Posts Tagged ‘MCC Ramu Nickel’

Rita Aroga, Grade 8, Holy Spirit Primary School, Madang

The fourth goal of Papua New Guinea is for its natural resources and environment to be conserved and used for the collective benefit of everyone and be replenished for future generations.

The environment is everything around us including our resources. Papua New Guinea is well known for its land and water resources. A resource is anything that we have the knowledge of using. Banana is a food resource for many Papua New Guineans; kunai grass is a resource traditionally used for building houses and stone is a non-renewable resource used in making tools and axes.

Papua New Guinea has traditional subsistence lifestyles. We have plenty of natural resources and we use these for food, medicine and building houses and canoes.

  • Land resources include plants, soil, domestic animals, wildlife, minerals, forest, swamps and wetlands. They meet our basic human needs.
  • Water resources come in different forms: oceans, rivers, mangroves, marine life etc.

All of these land and water resources are for personal use or for an income. However, as population increases the consumption of these resources is becoming unsustainable. This is because of poor management and the selfish attitude of people.

The use of land and water resources must be managed wisely if we are to provide for the needs of people now and in the future. There is a need for appropriate ways of managing resources. Some of these include: conservation, reforestation, sustainable fishing/hunting/gathering, coral reef protection, protection of the natural environment, water conservation, wildlife management etc. If these resources are mismanaged, human life is in danger.

Sustainability and conservation methods are needed in order to preserve these resources for the next generation.

The exploiting or taking away of resources is happening in both land and water resources. In our country today, exploitation is taking place in three main areas; that is in the sea, on the land, and under the ground.

  • In the sea, fishing is the common purpose of exploitation. We have big fishing companies who use illegal fishing methods. For example, a large fishing boat from RD canners is using a large trawling net to catch tuna. The boat pulls the net very slowly while it swallows anything passing by including young breeding stock and their habitat. The entire marine environment is destroyed at that time. The boat makes one harvest and all the tunas are gone in that particular fishing zone. They take certain sizes and quantity and the rest (already dead) are thrown back into the sea. This then creates major problems such as a decrease in the endangered species and water pollution. This type of fishing should be banned by the government and the companies should find a more safe method of fishing.
  • On the land, forest environments are becoming scarce because people clear the land for agricultural purposes, infrastructure development and the introduction of logging companies Forest areas must be conserved because most of our basic needs come from it. For instance, a man living along the [Gogol] River wanted to make canoes for his family. He selected a few mature trees and cut them. He made the canoes but according to an awareness of future generations, he replanted young new ones so his sons and their children may be able to make canoes in the future.
  • When exploitation takes place under the earth’s surface, we know that it is generally mining of minerals. We have a lot of operating and possible mine-sites in our country but the question is: minerals are non-renewable resources which means nature does not replace them, so if all of them are exploited today, what will our future generations benefit from? This question should be reconsidered by the government very carefully before allowing mining companies to advance onto our local areas. They must think of sustainable ways and how to manage these resources so that they won’t run out very quickly. One solution could be to only allow four major operating mines, one in each of the four regions. The other mines can be closed and re-opened when the fixed time is up. In that way, we can save some of the minerals for future generations.

The environment as a whole must be protected and conservation law enforced if we are to provide for the needs of people now and in the future. In addition to that, sustainability and conservation practices depend on our positive actions as well as positive attitudes.

Conservation has always been important in the traditional life of Papua New Guinea. There are many ways that our natural resources and environment can be conserved. The wise use of resources depends on our attitudes towards the environment. We should reuse, recycle and replant, use traditional and safe methods and good practices. In this way, our needs are satisfied while safeguarding resources for the next generation.

Conserving is an appropriate way of managing resources. By conserving resources people can use the same garden land without cutting down more forest. Reforestation – that is, repantin young trees after old ones have been cut down, is another way. Sustainable fishing, hunting and gathering are good sustainable practices that involve taking only what you need for useful purposes.

Community leaders must educate people so that they use the reef wisely to meet their needs as well as sustain it for future generations. Wildlife management is needed in order to preserve our beautiful birds, butterflies and animals. If they are not protected, they will be in danger of extinction. Good management can allow wildlife to flourish in their natural environment.

There are many ways to protect our environment and natural resource, both modern and traditional, but traditional methods are the best when it comes to conservation of resources.