Australian High Commission
Papua New Guinea

150427 MR Kokoda Initiative news

Kokoda Initiative news

A new publication has been released, highlighting the work of the Kokoda Initiative partnership between the Papua New Guinea and Australian Governments.

The Kokoda Initiative partnership includes the Department of Environment, Kokoda Track Authority, Tourism Promotion Authority and the Australian Government. It is a bilateral agreement to protect the Kokoda Track, Brown River Catchment and Owen Stanley Ranges while improving the lives of the people living along the Track.

The publication, which will be produced every six months, highlights the extensive work of all partners working on the Kokoda Initiative. Some of the recent results include:

• health patrols in Kokoda, Sogeri and Mt Koairi that immunised 710 children and provided outpatient services for 982 people
• new double elementary classrooms built in Vesulogo and Depo benefiting 96 children
• training to enhance the literacy skills of 77 teachers in Central Province
• 22 water tanks installed in communities along the Kokoda track.

This edition also showcases a project recording the stories of more than 70 Papua New Guineans who were involved in World War II as soldiers, carriers and in other roles. The interviews will be used during an exhibition at the PNG National Museum and Art Gallery for the 75th anniversary of the outbreak of the war in the Pacific.

Minister for Environment, the Hon John Pundari MP, said: “The agreement between the PNG and Australian Governments is outlined in a Second Joint Understanding which is led by the Environment Departments. In anticipation of the Third Joint Understanding which will commence in 2016, it is a great opportunity for us to reflect on the tremendous progress of the Kokoda Initiative. The newspaper lift-out aims to celebrate just some of those successes.”

The Australian High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea, HE Ms Deborah Stokes, said: “Given the important historic value of the region, it is timely that we promote the Kokoda Initiative work through the photos and stories featured in this lift-out. It is a great example of our shared vision and partnership.”