27 Sep 2007

PNG wildlife zone promises a number of benefits for locals

7:42 pm on 27 September 2007

A vast area of wetland, savannah and tropical forest in Papua New Guinea's south is to be protected 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 rainforest in the country.

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

A WWF spokesperson, Ashwini Prebha, says the initiative will have many benefits for the local people.

"The long term goals are to see that cultural, social and livelihood values are preserved and that species that have traditional significance are preserved and not threatened by the developments of these areas."

Ashwini Prebha says it may also help to develop ecotourism in the area.