WHO WE ARE
Eco Custodian Advocates aims that each of the peoples of PNG have a belonging to place, as custodians of the environment and with an appreciation of their cultural ties to it.
Where we work
Eco Custodian Advocates focuses its conservation efforts on the Milne Bay Provice, and for good reason. Located in Southeastern most Papua New Guinea - a country comprised of just 1% of Earth's land and yet an impressive 7% of the world's biodiversity - the 15,000 square kilometers of land and 5,500 square kilometers of reef that comprise Milne Bay is ecologically outstanding, even by PNG standards:
- Of the 1495 reef fishes found in PNG, 1109 are found in Milne Bay Province.
- In 2000, 28 endemic reptiles and amphibians were known from Milne Bay; today that number is at least 150.
- At least 11 major island and mountains contain numerous endemic species.
Recognizing the many and unique resources at stake makes our task even more challenging. The area is extremely susceptible to pressures from a rapidly increasing population, the erosion of customary knowledge, destructive resource extraction, climate change and most importantly, a lack of conservation awareness and ecological knowledge.
Eco Custodian Advocates will strive to empower Papua New Guinean communities to sustainably manage their important and stunning ecosystems and natural assets, which support the livelihoods of those relying on their delicate environment for subsistence living.
Eco Custodian Advocates was created in 2016 by the staff of Conservation International-Papua New Guinea (CI-PNG) with support from their organizational leadership. Following two decades facilitating conservation efforts within the country, and working closely with communities and local government, CI-PNG closed its doors and Eco Custodian Advocates opened theirs. Eco Custodian Advocates, by being locally managed directly in Papua New Guinea, is well placed to respond to the emerging needs of the nation and its people.
Moving forward Eco Custodian Advocates will continue creating and distributing culturally appropriate, innovative educational resources to motivate and empower local communities to take conservation into their own hands. We will continue to collect important data through biodiversity surveys and collaborate this information into the Milne Bay Biodiversity Atlas. We will also continue with seasonal community turtle tagging and management, and encourage the management of local culturally significant endemics such as the Vulnerable Goldie’s Bird of Paradise.