The CONNOISSEUR Rainforest Project is supporting the Tuke community living on East New Britain Island, in Papua New Guinea, to protect their rainforest from illegal logging.
Tuke village is situated on the island’s central-eastern interior, surrounded by 42,000 acres of pristine virgin rainforest known as Tuke Rainforest Conservancy. The area falls into one of our WildArk100 Eco-Regions, the New Guinea Montane Forest. This Eco-Region is renowned for its numerous active volcanoes and complex geology. Forests cover 65% of the island and many of the species found here are found nowhere else on earth. This region has a wet tropical climate that supports 6000 species of plants, 44 species of birds, and 38 species of mammals.
The Tuke community is a relatively small indigenous community that practices a hunter-gatherer lifestyle with simple agriculture. The people of Tuke have maintained their traditional culture and way-of-life for thousands of years, living in harmony with the environment and have a vision to protect their rainforest for future generations.
Illegal loggers are clearing enormous tracts of forest around the island, and replacing them with palm oil plantations. The local people are being exploited by the loggers who come into the villages offering very little return for a one-time resource of old-growth hardwood.
THE CONNOISSEUR RAINFOREST PROJECT
The Tuke community has identified education as their highest priority. The CONNOISSEUR Rainforest Project in partnership with WildArk, will:
- Sponsor the education of all secondary school children living in Tuke Village in 2021
- Fund new desks and chairs for the village school
- Build a permanent house for the school teacher in the village. To date, the town has been unable to keep a permanent teacher due to the lack of infrastructure available.
The CONNOISSEUR Rainforest Project aims to ensure the Tuke community is engaged and benefits from protecting their rainforest. WildArk is working on a long-term plan to ensure the community can sustainably maintain their way of life and do not need to sell off parts of their forest to the loggers.