27 Sep 2007

Tourism PNG welcomes wetland protection efforts

3:24 pm on 27 September 2007

The tourism authority in Papua New Guinea welcomes an initiative to protect a large area of wetland, savannah and rainforest as a wildlife zone.

The area south of the Fly river contains one of the healthiest wetlands in the Asia Pacific region and the largest remaining rainforest in PNG.

Local landowners, with support from the conservation group, the World Wildlife Fund and the government, are now to set to protect it as a wildlife zone.

The goal is to prevent it from development, preserve its unique biodiversity, and promote it to ecotourists and birdwatchers.

The tourism authority's, William Bando, says this will entice more visitors to the area.

"We don't have a lot of tourists going in there but there are a lot of birdwatchers going into that area. If it is protected, yes, it will be definitely good for the sector."

William Bando however says some infrastructure, including hotels, needs to be developed in the wildlife zone.