United States Agency for International Development (USAID)’s PNG Lukautim Graun Program (LGP) has given financial grants to Madang Forest Resource Owners Association Inc (MFROA) to help empower women and improve village-level natural resource management practices in Madang Province.
MFROA’s Projects Manager, Mr Taksey Dobon, officially signed the grant agreement on behalf of the association at the Madang Resort in the presence of representatives from USAID-LGP, MFROA board members, forest-owning community representatives, youth and female representatives, staff, and volunteers recently.
Mr Dobon said that the project is important as they are trying to create a better alternative to large scale logging operations.
“The project will empower rural women and youths into forest biodiversity conservation and income generation through honeybee farming and other agricultural land use systems.”
MFROA will use the grant from March 2023 to May 2024, to collaborate with the communities of Ambaruk, Upinint, Astangu, Itarangu and Iraruk in Madang’s Middle Ramu District.
This is to provide training in conducting biodiversity surveys, gender awareness and female empowerment approaches, agricultural techniques, market access skills, project management, institutional capacity building, and sustainable eco-friendly livelihoods.
“This work will help contribute to reducing environmental threats to biodiversity by mobilising communities to improve natural resource management and participate in conservation-related livelihoods like honeybee cultivation.” said Junne Cosmas, Grants Manager for USAID-LGP.
More than 2,500 people in these communities are expected to benefit from the program, with women and youth the primary beneficiaries.