The Tenkile Conservation Alliance (TCA)
The Tenkile Conservation Alliance (TCA) is a non-government organisation (NGO) established in Papua New Guinea - 2001. TCA was born from a tree kangaroo workshop held by various organisations in Lae (PNG) in 1998. A hunting moratorium for Tenkile was signed in 1999 with only 13 villages. TCA has since grown to include a total of 50 villages with over 12,000 people – 20 have Tenkile on their land and 30 have the Weimang on their land.
The land on which the Tenkile depends for its survival is owned by several landowners of many villages residing on the slopes of the western Torricelli Mountain Range in Sandaun Province. The Tenkile Conservation Alliance (TCA) relies on the understanding and interest of these landowners to conduct successful conservation work in the area. TCA is only able to undertake its field based conservation work with the endorsement of these landowners. The co-operation comes from understanding and respect between TCA and the landowners.
TCA works closely with the 20 villages of the Tenkile moratorium and has successfully negotiated with the villages to work in teams of two to three villages to conduct field research. TCA has arranged an annual landowner fee for establishing and using 7 research sites. At present, 3-4 meetings are held each year between TCA staff and representatives from each of the 20 villages. These meetings are the main avenue for discussion and decision making for the Tenkile Villages with both men and women present at the meeting. Additional meetings and discussions are constantly needed and these are conducted via TCA staff visiting villages or by village representatives coming to TCA Base - Lumi.
The 20 Tenkile villages belong to 4 different language groups. As well as their own language (Tok ples), the majority speak pidgin english (or Tok Pisin) and some also speak English. All TCA meetings, discussions and newsletters are in Tok pisin. This has meant better communication between TCA and the people of the area.
Most of the Torricelli Mountain Range villages can only be accessed on foot. There are four villages that can be accessed by road, however, even when the road is good it is still difficult to get there by vehicle.
The 20 villages of the Tenkile moratorium are Wai'eli, Wuguble, Maiwetem, Walwalem, Soulete, Waunulu, Yongite, Rawete, Wilbeite, Miwaute, Wabute, Sarpoute, Tolgete, Wigote, Hapseim, Yomoum, Lilal, Mupun, Bagam and Uwei.
The Weimang, or Golden-mantled Tree Kangaroo is only found in the eastern half of the Torricelli Mountain Range within Papua New Guinea. It too is classified as critically endangered.
In March 2007 TCA established a hunting moratorium with 12 villages that have Weimang on their land, this has extended to include 30 villages.
The Weimang Villages belong to three different local languages but all speak Tok Pisin. The 30 villages of the Weimang moratorium are Weikint, Nunsi, Awang, Winbe, Muku, Sumil, Weiki, Yapunda, Marakumba, Paita, Sibilanga, Anipo, Yanungen, Aseir, Barkop, Aluna, Suara, Seleb, Brau, Mup, Kolembi, King, Dato, Kofem, Koleik, Kulifi, Komola, Sakap, Serpmel and Maui (near Lumi).