Mahonia Na Dari (MND ‘Guardian of the Sea’) established in 1997 and located next door to Walindi Resort is an NGO conceived and founded by Walindi Resort owners Max and Cecilie Benjamin and facilitated by The Nature Conservancy during its time at the Walindi Nature Centre.
Its core program is the Marine Environment Education Program (MEEP) for local schools and communities. The outcome of MND activities and projects is improved awareness and appreciation of marine and coastal biodiversity in Kimbe Bay through school-based and community education programs and activities to encourage appropriate conservation and climate change adaptation practices.
The MND Mission Statement is,
‘To understand and conserve the natural environment of Kimbe Bay and Papua New Guinea for the benefit of present and future generations.’
Since the inception of the organization in 1997, MND has reached out to more than 150,000 students and teachers, local communities and other organizations who are interested in marine education.
In the national arena, MND is a leading advocate for marine conservation with strengths in marine education and awareness. It facilitates marine research and an increased understanding of the marine environment.
These programs have promoted the protection of PNG’s abundant biodiversity by promoting sustainable use of marine resources by the community.
Visit Mahonia Na Dari's dedicated website to learn more about this organisation working to protect Kimbe Bay for present and future generations.
In collaboration with the Marine Conservation Ecology Lab at James Cook University (Australia), led by Professor Geoff Jones, Mahonia Na Dari & Walindi Resort initiated the Resident Researcher program in 1996. Over two decades later the program has gone from strength to strength with current and past researchers conducting their postgraduate research in Kimbe Bay.
Researchers spend significant amounts of time at Mahonia Na Dari and are also involved in delivering some aspects of the Marine Environmental Education Program. Walindi supports resident researchers through the use of our facilities and encourage researchers to mingle with guests, so guests can learn more about the ecology of Kimbe Bay directly from the experts in their field. Some evenings these marine biologists will conduct presentations of their work at the resort.
Environmental research and education go hand-in-hand. Mahonia Na Dari & Walindi Resort offer a unique opportunity for marine scientists and other researchers to work on a wide variety of projects that both advance collective knowledge and benefit communities.
Professor Geoff Jones and his lab group based at James Cook University (Australia) have been conducting scientific research in Kimbe bay for over 20 years and have produced over 110 scientific papers on Kimbe Bay and over 25 PHD’s have been earned in the area also from JCU research, further enhancing our knowledge of this unique ecosystem.
They have also collected one of the most significant long-term reef monitoring data sets in the region and have published some of the most important studies to date in the fields of marine ecology and conservation.
Conservation of Kimbe Bay’s dive sites is achieved through regularly maintained environmental moorings that protect our reefs from careless anchors. This is partly funded by an industry environmental and safety fee charged to divers that visit PNG.
Since the begining of Walindi's operation we have always used some form of moorings on our dive sites, these moorings have been further refind over the years to what we use today. All our dive sites have moorings on them to tie up our diving boats including our liveaboards MV FeBrina and MV Oceania. We have installed over 100 moorings in our region of operation – we don’t use anchors at all that would destroy our reefs. This was a PNG Divers Association program that started in 1996 and which the industry still maintains today.
Local clans also help to protect certain dive sites, and do their part to monitor their reefs and outer islands to protect the sites from overfishing and general misuse. Walindi Resort pays a fee for every guest that visits these sites, which assists landowners to fund their conservation and community efforts.
Walindi Resort is a proud member of the PNGDA and follows its Environmental Code of Ethics. The Papua New Guinea Divers Association was established in 1994 and is a members-based organisation representing the interests of the dive industry of PNG. Recognised as a leading industry association, the strength of the PNGDA lies in the co-operative approach of Members interacting with other industry bodies to address matters relating to the sustainable development of dive tourism in PNG.
The PNGDA Secretariat is today entirely funded through its own income sources, although it continues to work in close partnership with the PNG Tourism Promotion Authority on marketing and tourism development projects.
PNGDA's mission statement: The Papua New Guinea Divers Association is committed to the representation of Members in the ongoing development of a sustainable, conservation-oriented, well-marketed, self-regulated and best-practise based successful dive industry in Papua New Guinea.
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