Saving people icon

Saving People

TCA currently works with 50 villages comprising 13,000+ people who own the Torricelli Mountain Range Conservation Area (TMRCA). They have the Critically Endangered (CR) Tenkile and Weimang Tree Kangaroos on their land. TCA has implemented a variety of sustainable development projects to assist PNG’s rainforest communities to improve health, increase education and alleviate poverty and hunger. We still have a long way to go …

We will provide opportunities and services that aim to develop alternative livelihoods within rainforest communities to alleviate poverty and hunger to improve health as well as minimise the existing hunting pressure on wildlife, enabling the sustainable use of their natural resources.

Component 1: Saving Food

Access to Protein:

Our objective is to ensure all of the villages we work with have access to sustainable sources of protein. This will improve health as well as minimize hunting from wild animal populations..
  • Materials and training for chicken farming delivered: 100% 100%
  • Materials and training for rabbit farming delivered: 100% 100%
  • Materials and training for fish farming delivered: 100% 100%

A major component of TCA’s work is to establish a sustainable source of protein in each village. In order to reduce the amount of overhunting in the area, people need to actively manage their own sources of protein in the villages. People have a limited supply of village protein and have few resources to develop in this area without external assistance. Since 2004, TCA has established alternative sources of protein for village communities with varying degrees of success. Alternatives such as rabbits, chickens and fish are all kept in farmed conditions with appropriate materials, training and livestock being distributed throughout the project area. TCA currently focuses its efforts on providing fish fingerlings to villages when requested.

Project 1: Rabbit Farming

Activities include supporting TCA rabbit trainer to increase the level of interest and productivity in rabbit farming throughout the project area.

NOTE: Rabbits are kept in captivity and presently have not posed threat to other species and ecosystems in the PNG. Why Rabbits? Won’t they escape?

Rabbits have been successfully farmed in West Papua for over 50 years. Rabbit farming began in Papua New Guinea in 1992. To date, there have been no reported incidences in West Papua or PNG of rabbits escaping and establishing in the wild.

TCA decided to pursue rabbit farming in 2003 as a replacement mammal for a mammal. The idea being, that people will hopefully eat rabbits and not tree kangaroos. Rabbits produce more offspring than most native mammals in the Torricelli Mountain Range. Provided the rabbits are well managed by the villages, people will have a sustainable protein source. For example three female rabbits and one male rabbit can provide a family with one rabbit to eat each week.

Rabbits provide excellent by-products including manure, fur and potentially a small cash income. There are no cultural or religious limitations for farming and eating rabbits. Rabbits can survive and breed well on locally grown food such as sweet potato, corn, beans and grasses. For these reasons TCA chose rabbits as its first protein farming venture.

TCA provided each village with nails, wire and hinges to build rabbit cages. Those villages that have completed making their rabbit cages have received rabbits from TCA. Representatives from each village have attended a short training courses. TCA has supplied hundreds of rabbits to the villages with local rabbit farming experts identified and engaged as rabbit trainers. Vincent Kelele from Wigote village has successfully bred over 500 rabbits in his village and is now in charge of maintaining the program as his own personal business. TCA ceased farming rabbits in Lumi in 2011. TCA now provides support to village rabbit farming.

Project 2: Fish Farming

Activities include the distribution of materials to improve the quality and longevity of fish farming ponds and continue to deliver fingerlings to farmers.

TCA has been implementing various protein alternatives into the participating villages since 2003. One focus has been strengthening fish farms at each village. TCA has established two fish breeding facilities at TCA Base-Lumi. All villages can obtain fingerlings from TCA. TCA has provided support to a fish breeder in the Sibilanga area to service the Weimang villages.

In order to maintain this project we require K15,000 ($6,000 US) each year to employ our animal caretakers. If you would like to contribute click here.

Project 3: Chicken Farming

TCA conducted chicken farming for each village from 2005-2012. Using  Austraulaps and local chickens TCA bred and distributed chickens to the villages. People from each village were provided with materials to house the chickens and training to look after them. Due to the shortage of chickens available for distribution and the difficulty in regularly transporting stockfeed into the area this project had limited success.

TCA purchased and owns an egg incubator and will consider re-visiting chicken farming in the future.

Access to Food Security:

Support advances in agriculture for rainforest villages for ensuring food security and small income generating activities. For example Rice Farming.
  • Materials and training for crop rotation gardening delivered: 100% 100%
  • Materials and training for rice milling delivered: 100% 100%

ctivities include the delivery of rice milling machines, rice farming training and management training.

Project 1: Gardening

TCA has conducted a series of workshops and distributed seeds to Tenkile village representatives to establish market gardens. Two local agricultural experts Matthew Waisi and Andrew Saimbu from Rawete village were invited to conduct the workshops. These men were chosen because of their personal commitment and interest in gardening and nutrition. Both Mathew and Andrew have shown the initiative to establish their own ‘nutrition centre’ which is a community based organisation that aims to provide people with help and knowledge on improving their own nutrition by gardening and food preparation. We thank them for their valuable contribution. Unfortunately Mathew Waisi is no longer with us may he rest in peace. TCA will continue to provide support in local gardening techniques.

Project 2: Rice Farming

TCA has been supporting communities develop their rice cultivation by distributing rice milling machines and conducting training. A major food security issue facing people in the area is a shortage of sago. The sago palm is a staple food for local people and a source of carbohydrate. With the increases of human population, sago palms are in short supply. A realistic replacement is rice.

Local people have been trained in rice growing, harvesting and milling. Milling machines have been provided and management of these machines is now in the hands of local communities and Local Level Governments. TCA will continue to provide support when it is needed.

Contact us to receive a copy of the TCA-Rice-Farming Training Manual.

Access to Cash Crops:

Our objective is to ensure all of the villages we work with have access to support for their cash crops. This will improve access to markets, production, quality and increase income generation.

Project 1: Vanilla

TCA has conducted a feasibility study on vanilla farming in the project area. In consultation with the local village representatives it is deemed that TCA remain an independent supporter for this cash crops providing education, training and assistance to improve networks and increase access to markets. Vanilla began production in the area in the late 90s. It is now the most popular of all cash crops.

Project 2: Cocoa

Cocoa is the longest and most consistent cash crop in the area and its’ production is second only to vanilla. Cocoa has had the most trade and export in the region and remains an imperative income source for all villages.

A reason of concern has been the invasion of the Cocoa bod borer (Conopomorpha cramerella). A moth known from the region its impact on cocoa economies is enormous.

The cocoa pod borer has depleted productivity in the area for many years. It was first detected in 2010 within the TMRCA.

Project 3: Eaglewood

Agarwood, aloeswood, eaglewood or gharuwood (Aquilaria malaccensis) is a fragrant dark resinous wood that is used in incense and perfume. The value of this cash crop is high due to its relative rarity and depletion of wild resources.

TCA has recently been involved in establishing Eaglewood as an alternative timber product for local people to plant as an income generating activity.  It is a very slow growing species which requires attention to detail to produce a viable crop and inoculation of fungus to produce good quality Eaglewood.

TCA has provided education programs to interested farmers and will continue to develop in this area into the future.

Component 2: Saving Water:

Access to Water:

Our objective is to ensure all of the villages we work with have access to clean water. 
  • 370 water tanks installed throughout the project area – 350 to go! 51% 51%

Activities include the delivery of water tanks to the 50 participating villages and neighbouring villages and the delivery of training and advocacy programs in WASH.

The Tenkile Conservation Alliance had a well established partnership with Wateraid Australia to provide adequate drinking water, improved sanitation and hygiene practices throughout the project area. To date TCA has installed 370 1000 gallon Tuffa Water tanks in the project area.

We aim to deliver more water tanks and improve sanitation by assisting communities to change hygiene behaviours and practices for healthy and happy village communities. We have also extended our efforts into improving management of water tanks, water quality testing and data collection with various training programs delivered within the communities and with Local Level Government Health Workers.

From what people tell us, there is nowhere else in PNG that has delivered this level of WASH service to remote villages in PNG. But we still need to do more!

Local people do not have the financial capacity to purchase the water tank infrastructure without external help. If you wish to contribute to the purchasing and transport of a 1000 gallon water tank, all fittings and a VIP toilet for a family please click here.

Access to Sanitation:

Our objective is to ensure all households have their own toilet for improved sanitation.
  • One toilet installed per household 100% 100%

TCA has delivered a “one toilet per household” campaign and successfully installed over 2600 upgraded VIP toilets throughout the TCA project area.
Contact us to receive a copy of the One Toilet Per Household Booklet.

The 50 villages who have participated in this amazing achievement are responsible for their own maintenance of their toilets. This is a first for remote PNG communities.

Component 3: Saving Trees:

Access to Improved Housing:

Our objective is to ensure all of the villages we work have a minimal impact on trees being harvested for housing or infrastructure development. 
  • Tin roofing for 800 households delivered – 1900 households to go! 30% 30%

Currently, approximately 50 trees are harvested every 5-10 years to build a house – there are 2700 houses in the project are. That’s 135,000 trees.  It is a catch 22 situation.  Without access to timber mills small trees are harvested because they are easier to cut down. That means they are not strong enough to last more than 5-10 years so the whole process of building a house needs to be repeated.

If the houses are covered by tin roofing, they last a lot longer – over 20 years. By providing households with tin roofing not only will they save trees people and villages increase their water catchment area. This is a win win situation for everyone!

To contribute to this project and save trees DONATE HERE or find out more about saving trees at the Saving the Planet page.

Component 4: Saving Livelihoods:

Access to Improved Education:

Our objective is to ensure all of the villages we work have access to good quality education so they can make informed choices that improve their lives and well-being as they advance into the 21st century.
  • School education program delivered 100% 100%
  • Teacher training program delivered 100% 100%
  • Materials and support to schools delivered 100% 100%
  • School fees supported 100% 100%
  • Staff capacity and skills transfer development 100% 100%
  • Project Management Training Delivered 100% 100%
  • Money Management Training Delivered 100% 100%
  • WASH Management Training Delivered 100% 100%
  • Governance Training Delivered 100% 100%
  • Conflict Resolution Training Delivered 100% 100%
  • Anger Management Training Delivered 100% 100%
  • Leadership Training Delivered 100% 100%

TCA has conducted many many training programs to not only improve capacity of local people but to ensure the longevity of the projects we deliver. After many years of experience in this field we understand that education on its own is not enough. The combination of education and training with projects that enable change is the key to our success. The real behaviour change comes from the people who participate in the opportunities TCA provides. We like to say “we can lead a horse to water but we can’t make it drink”. Real change must come from the people themselves. 

TCA addresses social development with emotional intelligence concepts in all of its training. Key areas of focus have been developing leadership qualities, anger management, conflict resolution and confidence in staff and village capacity building programs. TCA has also developed inclusiveness and gender equity in all of its approaches with systems in place to ensure an equal representation of men and women in village meetings, committees and management of TCA activities.

In the future we aim to develop more training and services to address various social issues relevant to the project area. We have conducted some serious dialogue workshops with our stakeholders to identify and prioritise key social issues that we would like to address in the future to help create stability and change for long term project success.

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There are many valuable ways in which you can contribute to the Tenkile Conservation Alliance’s vision – which is, the people of PNG value and protect their natural resources, their community and their culture.
Click 'Contribute' button above to learn more.

Subscribe to our mailing list

There are many valuable ways in which you can contribute to the Tenkile Conservation Alliance’s vision – which is, the people of PNG value and protect their natural resources, their community and their culture.
Click 'Contribute' button below to learn more.

Our Partners

Tenkile Conservation Alliance is proudly supported by:

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Perth Zoo logo
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The content of this website does not reflect the views of the European Union or any other TCA partner.