The Tenkile Conservation Alliance (TCA) has become the first organisation from Papua New Guinea to join IUCN. Today IUCN welcomed the TCA into the Union following their membership approval at the 82nd meeting of the IUCN Council.
Mr Jim Thomas, Director of TCA, said “The Tenkile Conservation Alliance applied for membership to IUCN to increase its network within the fields of conservation, animal classification and human development.”
The TCA programme encompasses a large area of the North Coast Ranges of Papua New Guinea where it is working with local communities to protect largely lowland and mid-montane tropical rain forests.
“Having IUCN status will mean TCA can be more aligned with governments and therefore be able to make a greater impact on the people, their environment and the unique species that TCA was established to protect, such as the critically endangered Tenkile (Dendrolagus scottae), Weimang (D. pulcherrimus), Black-spotted Cuscus (Spilocuscus rufoniger) and Northern Glider (Petaurus abidi),” Mr Thomas said.
The Tenkile after which the organisation is called, also known as Scott’s Tree Kangaroo, is endemic to Papua New Guinea and restricted to a small area. They are threatened by hunting for food and by destruction of their forest habitat, as are the Weimang, Black-spotted cuscus and the Northern glider.
The Weimang or Golden Mantled Tree Kangaroo, the Black-spotted cuscus and the Northern Glider are similarly critically endangered and face similar threats.
Mr Taholo Kami, Regional Director of IUCN Oceania, said that organisations like TCA, working on the frontlines of conservation efforts, deserve international recognition and our continued support.
“Without TCA’s efforts, these critically endangered species would undoubtedly become extinct. TCA’s work gives us hope that these species may yet be saved from extinction,” he said.
IUCN membership is made up of States (represented by their governments) as well as by Civil Society Organisations. In Oceania, IUCN’s State Members are Australia, Fiji, Nauru, New Zealand, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu. IUCN has NGO members from Australia, Cook Islands Fiji, French Polynesia, New Caledonia, New Zealand, and Tonga, with pending applications from NGOs in Palau and the new addition of TCA from Papua New Guinea.
“We hope to get more Members from the Oceania region, particularly from Papua New Guinea, a country extremely rich in biodiversity with many endemic plant and animal species requiring urgent conservation efforts to ensure that the world does not lose them forever,” said Mr Kami.
The North Australian Indigenous Land and Sea Management Alliance Limited (NAILSMA) of Australia also joins the Union as a new Member.