Green Community- Conservation of customary land in Papua New Guinea.

Green Community- Conservation of customary land in Papua New Guinea.

Story of one community in the Eastern Highlands Province, keen to conserve their natural environment and the evidence of the mystical one-legged man.  

Just six degrees south of the equator

Humans have always had a co-existing relationship with mother nature yet it is staggering how much we take from her yet give so little to sustain it. While some may suggest that the need for nature conservation became essential during the Industrial Revolution in the eighteen hundreds, the scene was quite different in a small island nation, set across the Pacific. The island of New Guinea, pre-colonized, had its inhabitants co-existing with the tropical rainforest and ocean. They took from it as much as they gave back. They were not hungry for wealth or gain, only for food and game which nature provided abundantly.   Today, the country- now independent since 1975, has come a long way, joining in with the Asia-Pacific Economic Corporation and Melanesian Spearhead Group in the Pacific region. While economic growth is steadily on the rise, it seems to leave a footprint only on the shores of the Capital- Port Moresby.

Map of the Oceania region showing where PNG is

The city proved too hectic for me, I wanted to take a break from the dust and heat of Port Moresby so I travelled out of the city, to my home province set in the highlands at a cool 5 200 feet above sea level. The Eastern Highlands Province is well known for its all-year-around cool climate, abundant supply of fresh fruits and vegetables, beautiful flowers, Goroka roasted Coffee and the famous Asaro Mudmen.

The provincial center, Goroka Town is a bustling over-populated town seeing little or less expansion in the past years. Having so much to offer, the province is currently seeing a growth of Small to Medium Entrepreneurs (SME) in bilum weaving, coffee projects, rice projects and beekeeping (apiculture). The Annual Goroka Show attracts hundreds of guests and showcases different cultural sing-sing groups during the month of September which coincides with the country’s Independence Day (16th of September). Much of all these – the flora and fauna of the land, the culture and food production ties with our dependency on the natural environment. In realizing this, a few customary landowners in the Eastern Highlands Province are now engaging with their communities in creating forest, land and water conservation areas.

Kaveve Conservation

Hogave Conservation in the Lufa district is one that is currently open to visitors. Gahavesuka Park is another thriving spot just outside of Goroka Town, both ideal for bird-watching. And still, perched in the forested mountain ranges, North-East of Goroka town, is the Kaveve Conservation and Eco-tourism Hub; located at the headwaters for the Goroka town water supply. Once a popular spot a few years back, Kaveve Conservation saw as many as three hundred tourists visiting in the years 2007 to 2011. Most ideal for tracking and bird-watching, tourist have tracked from Kaveve to the Ramu region in the neighboring Madang Province. Initiated by community and church leader, Pastor Zuzai Hizoke, the project saw the inclusion of community members. It is no easy task to establish a Conservation and Eco-Tourism Hub but the Kaveve community never gave up and saw its fruition in year 2007 when Kaveve Conservation and Eco-Tourism Hub was officially launched. Like many projects, its operation required management and organizational skills. Thanks to the Research and Conservation Foundation (RCF), a grant of K10, 000 ($2832 USD) was allocated to the Conservation project and a training session held in year 2007. The much needed training covered topics of capacity building.

The Journey to Kaveve

I set out for Kaveve after New Year’s Day 2021. The distant blue mountain range indicated the journey was going to be long. On that day, I met up with Unape Rocky, a youth from Kaveve, who was going to take us (my two younger cousin brothers and myself) there. The last time I was at Kaveve was in the year 2008, it was in its glory days- the Conservation project had its Resource Centre, beside a clear crystal river. I did not know what to expect now. The bus ride was ten minutes out from Goroka Town to the next stopping point. It was walking from there onwards. The sun was kind and held back its strong blaze. Locals greeted us with cheerful smiles. “This journey is going to be good”, I thought. Two hours later, we arrived at Kaveve village.

Heading towards the blue mountains for a visit to the Kaveve Conservation site.
Situated at 1,600 meters (5,200 feet) above sea level.
The road to Kaveve. A 4x wheel Landcruiser is ideal for this road condition.
A beautiful scene of the cool river. This is where the Kaveve Resource Centre was located. Unfortunately, at the time I was there, this river flooded its banks, sweeping away the Resource Centre building, built along the river bank.

Trekking to Sini Waterfall

This was the start of the real excursion, to reach the Sini Waterfall. The legend about the one-legged man who baths in the waterfall has evoked the interest of many to visit the falls. It is also for this reason that I chose to visit the Sini Falls. Was the legend true? This one-legged man, known as the Nokondi, (originally called Nokoti) can be seen on the provincial flag holding a coffee branch. Described as having only one leg, one arm and half of the human body, many similar stories of its existence originate from the Fore area in the Henganofi District as well as other areas all through out the province. (Read about the Fore folklore of the Nokondi, link ).

The Eastern Highlands Provincial Flag with the ‘Nokondi’ – the one-legged man can be seen at the center of the flag, holding a coffee branch that signifies the main cash crop of the province.
Image of the one-legged Nokondi

One reason why the Kaveve community chose to conserve the area was because of the physical evidence that Nokondi once lived in the area. The wide path became narrow as we headed off on the bush track. The air was much more refreshing. Half way there and we stopped to cross a river. The river was safe to drink, so we filled our water bottles there; the best tasting water I have ever drank I might say, the benefits of nature conservation.

A woolly friend I met along the way.
A drink of fresh water taken from the stream in this picture.

Legend of the Nokondi

As the legend goes in the area, Nokondi left his shelter in the mountains to steal bananas from the low grassland area. It was in the early hours of the morning when Nokondi was returning home with a bunch of bananas. As was the time for tribal fights then, that always meant someone had to keep watch. An elder from the nearby Bena area was visiting an old friend from Kaveve and decided to keep watch just before dawn. Seeing movements amongst the bushes, he thought an enemy was lurking and shot his arrow, injuring Nokondi. Now injured, Nokondi leaped back to the foot of the mountain, ending up at a muddy area under the pandanus tress. Having just one leg, it seemed impossible to get out of the mud. It was at this site that Tro’hine, a local from Kaveve found the one-legged man’s life-less body and buried it there. As the story goes, papa Tro’hine was the last to see the Nokondi. Shortly after, Tro’hine had a dream in which the Nokondi’s wife and child mourned the loss of their beloved and fled into the deep jungles never to be seen again. Generations later, this story is been told to many who visit the Sini Falls. In the local Gahuku dialect, the place where Nokondi was shot is called Izaumoka and the place of death, Go’houga. (Other areas in the province have different stories of the Nokondi)  

The Cave (Muli’eh)

Amongst the dew scented shrubs, trail markings of a cuscus was spotted. Passing moss-covered rocks and logs that acted as a bridge, I finally stood at the entrance of the stone cave called the Muli’eh. Believed to be the resting area of the Nokondi, this rock dwelling is said to be the main physical evidence of the existence of Nokondi. The cave interior looked much like a siting area and a bed. It has been this way and till now, locals believe it was curved out by Nokondi.

The stone bed believed to be carved out by Nokondi.
Picture taken from the entrance of the cave. Nokondi’s stone bed.

Sini Falls (Sini aukalo lisani)

Destination reached. The river was cold, five minutes walking barefoot in it and my feet was numb. Up ahead was the Sini falls. In all its pearly white majesty, cascading into the pool of water below, the waterfall was where the Nokondi daily bathed. This was truly worth the journey. This was worth conserving. Up ahead, rain clouds were gathering. It was time to go back. I had to make one last stop. I met up with papa Sekito Tanoka, a silver-crowned elder of the Kaveve village who gave this account of the myth of the one-legged Nokondi.     

Sini Falls up ahead
Sini Falls. Believed to be where the Nokondi bathed.

Environmental Sustainability

 The evidence of the mystical one-legged man may have been part of the reason to conserve the area, as a tourist attraction site however the main reason is the same for many other conservation sites in the region- to manage wisely the natural resource of the land, trees, and water systems and in return benefit from it. Environmental sustainability needs more advocators. Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) are doing a great job, overseeing the many conservation projects within the province and country at large.         

Needless to say, the Government of Papua New Guinea foresaw the need of environmental conservation, thus established in 1985 the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC), now the Conservation and Environment Protection Agency. Under 3 percent of the country’s total land area are currently under some form of protection status while 97 percent of the land is under customary ownership.

A step in the right direction towards environmental sustainability, the customary landowners of Kaveve hope to be a model community in the province. For a weekend getaway or just a break from the city, check out a green community near you. The folks at Kaveve would surely welcome you to the Sini Falls. Before we make big talks about a greener world for our children, why not start with a green community back home on customary land, ‘lon peles na graun blo yumi‘, not only for our children, but for us to enjoy, today.

Reference: APEC Environmental Goods and Services Information Exchange

Words and Pics by: Shirley Komogi

My Pirple Project – HTML & CSS

For my Project #2 (Final Exam)

I created the homepage of Netflix using HTML and CSS (and public domain images).

Composition of my code

Divided into six (6) sections indicated by a <hr> line in html code, the first section has a background image with texts, a sign in button that when clicked re-directs to sign-in page. Moreover, another button inside a text input for email addresses.   

The second section has texts. The third and fourth: texts and images. The fifth section comprises of texts and buttons with drop-down texts to read. Initially, I wanted to create the drop-down from button using java script but still could not get it to work. I therefore chose to use the hover over for text drop down in the fourth section. Finally, the footer that comprises of <a href> html links with no styling of the underline marks.

In this course, I have learned about HTML and CSS. Specifically using classes, tags and identifiers in my HTML code and more about CSS alignment. I am glad I took this course.

The CSS code is shown below.

   Final Project
 body {   background-color:black;   justify-content:center; } header{   background-image:url("");   height:500px; } #netflix{   display:flex;   float:left; } button{   width:90px;   height:40px;   font-size:19px;   border-radius:16%;   background-color:red;   color:white;   float:right;   margin:30px 5px; } nav{   height:50px;   width:50%; } .formz{   display:flex; } #emailtextbox{   display:flex;   float:left;   left:550px; } /*#gettingstartedbutton{   float:right;   left:600px;   margin:30px 348px;    position:absolute;   top:0px;   bottom:0px;   right:0px }*/ label{   display:flex;   align-items:center;   position:relative; } #gettingstartedbutton{   width:200px;   height:45px;   background-color:red;   color:white;   font-size:20px;   position:relative;   border:1px solid #FFFFFF;   border-radius:6%;   position:absolute;   top:0px;   bottom:0px;   right:0px;   left:470px;   justify-content:center;   align-items:center;   margin: 30px 348px;; } #emailtextbox{   height:40px;   width:500px;   font-size:16px;   position:relative;   justify-content:center;   align-items:center;   margin: 30px 10px;   left:420px; } #headingsubtext{   color:white;   text-align:center;   font-size:30px;   font-style:normal;; } .netflixtitle{   color:white;   text-align:center;   font-size:50px;   margin-top:50px; } #netflix{   color:red;   font-size:35px; } h3{   color:white;   text-align:center;   font-style:normal; } /*pics*/ #hoverpic2{   width:50%;   height:50%;   margin:5px 100px; } .boxframe, .olBoxFrame{   flex-flow:row wrap-reverse; } hr{   width:auto;   height:3px;   background-color:grey;   margin:0px;   border-color:grey; } /*second stripe*/ .secondstrip>h2{   color:white;   font-size:50px; } .secondstrip>h4{   color:white;   font-size:18px;   font-family:verdana;   margin: 0px 40px; } .secondstrip>h2{   padding-left:40px; } /*third stripe*/ .third{   color:white;   font-size:30px;   display:flex;   padding-left:230px;   padding-top:60px; } .text3{   padding-right:10px;   padding-left:90px;   width:400px; } .text3>p{   font-family:verdana;   font-size:20px;   padding-left:10px;   width:300px; } } /*fourth segment*/ /*.fourth{   color:white;   font-size:30px;   display:flex;   /*margin: 20px 50px 50px 50px;   padding-left:100px;   padding-left:230px;   padding-top:60px;*/ } .Fimage>p{   font-family:verdana;     padding-left:10px;   color:white; } .Fimage{   padding-right:150px;   width:600px;   padding-left:20px;   color:white;   margin:0px 10px   float:left;   text-align:left; } .Fimage>h2{   font-size:55px;   margin:50px 400px;   width:500px; } .Fimage>p{   font-size:25px;   width:550px;   margin:50px 400px; } #image3{   margin:0px 800px;   display:inline; } .nav-item{   display:flex; } .box{   display:flex;   width:120px;   height:40px;   padding:120px;   float:left;   margin:50px 500px;   box-shadow: 0px 0px 10px 2px white;   background-image:url(;   background-size:cover; } .Fimage{  display:inline; } /*fifth segment*/ .FAQ{   color:white;   font-size:22px;   width:900px;   margin:40px 0px;   padding-left:300px;    position:absolute; } /*.FAQbutton{   width:520px;   height:55px;   font-size:25px;   border-radius:5px;   background-color:grey;   color:white;   font-family:verdana;   left:20px;   display:block;   margin:0px 185px;   text-align:center;  */ } .FAQ>p{   color:white;   font-size:10 px;   display:block;   background-color:silver; } /********************************/ /*First drop*/ .dropdown {   position: relative;   display: block;   border: 2px solid grey;   color:white;   background-color:#696969;   font-family:verdana;   margin:10px 150px;   width:400px;   height:45px; } .dropdown-content {   display: none;   position: absolute;   background-color: #696969;   min-width: 120px;   box-shadow: 0px 8px 16px 0px rgba(0,0,0,0.2);   padding: 12px 16px;   z-index: 1; } .dropdown:hover .dropdown-content {   display: block; } /*second drop*/ .dropdown2 {   position: relative;   display: block;   border: 2px solid grey;   color:white;   background-color:#696969;   font-family:verdana;   margin:10px 150px;   width:400px;   height:45px; } .dropdown-content2 {   display: none;   position: absolute;   background-color: #696969;   min-width: 120px;   box-shadow: 0px 8px 16px 0px rgba(0,0,0,0.2);   padding: 12px 16px;   z-index: 1; } .dropdown2:hover .dropdown-content2 {   display: block; } /*third drop*/ .dropdown3 {   position: relative;   display: block;   border: 2px solid grey;   color:white;   background-color:#696969;   font-family:verdana;   margin:10px 150px;   width:400px;   height:45px; } .dropdown-content3 {   display: none;   position: absolute;   background-color: #696969;   min-width: 120px;   box-shadow: 0px 8px 16px 0px rgba(0,0,0,0.2);   padding: 12px 16px;   z-index: 1; } .dropdown3:hover .dropdown-content3 {   display: block; } /*fourth drop*/ .dropdown4 {   position: relative;   display: block;   border: 2px solid grey;   color:white;   background-color:#696969;   font-family:verdana;   margin:10px 150px;   width:400px;   height:45px; } .dropdown-content4 {   display: none;   position: absolute;   background-color: #696969;   min-width: 120px;   box-shadow: 0px 8px 16px 0px rgba(0,0,0,0.2);   padding: 12px 16px;   z-index: 1; } .dropdown4:hover .dropdown-content4 {   display: block; } /*fifth drop*/ .dropdown5 {   position: relative;   display: block;   border: 2px solid grey;   color:white;   background-color:#696969;   font-family:verdana;   margin:10px 150px;   width:400px;   height:45px; } .dropdown-content5 {   display: none;   position: absolute;   background-color: #696969;   min-width: 120px;   box-shadow: 0px 8px 16px 0px rgba(0,0,0,0.2);   padding: 12px 16px;   z-index: 1; } .dropdown5:hover .dropdown-content5 {   display: block; } /*************************************/ .footer>p{   color:white;     font-size:25px;   font-family:calibre;   margin: 200px 500px;   width:350px;   padding-bottom:0px;   padding-top:150px; } .nav-list{   color:silver;   font-size:15px;   font-family:normal;   word-spacing:3px;   margin:10px 250px;   display:flex;   column-gap:40px;   column-count:4;   padding-top:0px;   padding-bottom:200px; } h4{   color:grey;   margin:10px 280px;   font-size:15px; } #p4{   color:grey;   font-size:20px;   margin:480px 500px;   width:600px; } li{   width:190px;   height:30px;   font-size:13px;   color:grey;   font-family:verdana; } #footerimage{   margin:0px 500px;   left:600px;   padding-top:0px;   padding-bottom:20px; } 

Here’s the HTML code.

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Creating ‘My fav book’ site

The code I wrote

My site is about one of my favorite books from one of my favorite authors- Danielle Steel. Writing HTML code using JS Bin, the code comprises of the main parts- head, body (main) and footer. Enclosed within the head are the elements <meta-charset> and <title>.  The body contains the main content of my site. Here I have inserted the <div> element to divide the content into sections that can be easily understood. I have inserted a paragraph about the book (titled Jewels) and another paragraph about the author. I have also inserted images, an audio file and embedded a video from YouTube and a table. In the footer is the unsorted list and address elements.    

How the code works

The paragraphs are enclosed within the <p> elements. All elements end with a closing tag </> so my site contains a header 2 title. The book title is a header 3 element. The content comes in the body with a link at the end of the paragraph, linking to Wikipedia. Image sources are relative urls. The image files are in the folder image. Audio file is in the Audio folder as type .mpeg(mp3). In addition, the video is embedded onto my website from Youtube and enclosed in the <iframe> element. The table is enclosed in the <table> element with several rows in one column.

What I have learned from Pirple

The important elements of creating a website. The video lectures are explained well with homework at the end of each session to give you more exposure and coding experience. I am looking forward to learning CSS.

Here’s my HTML code

<!DOCTYPE html>
Created using JS Bin

Copyright (c) 2020 by anonymous (

Released under the MIT license:
<meta name="robots" content="noindex">
  <meta charset="utf-8">
  <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width">
  <title>My cool site</title>
 <header> <!-- title sub-section -->
  <h2>My Fav Book </h2>
   <h3>Title: Jewels</h3>
    <div> <!--main content, about the book-->
    <p><em>About the book</em></p>
    <p>Seventy-five-year-old Sarah, Duchess of Whitfield, looks back on her long 
      and eventful life. The daughter of a wealthy American family in New York in 
      the 1930s, Sarah Thompson marries Freddie. With little interest in her,
      he drinks all night and associates with prostitutes. Sarah becomes pregnant
      but miscarries, and she and Freddie divorce. Her parents drag a listless
      Sarah to Europe, where well-meaning friends and family force their nephews,
      sons and grandsons on her. She meets William Whitfield, the Duke of Whitfield, 
      13th in line for succession to the British throne. Captivated by him, she
      finally becomes his companion in London. William soon casts aside 
      her fears of a public scandal and finally convinces Sarah to marry him.
      <a href="">Read more.</a></p>
    <p><img src="images/jewels_book.jpg" alt="Jewels book cover">
    <div><!--main content, about the author-->
      <p><b>About the Author</b></p>
       <figure><!--figure element-->
         <img src="images/danielle_steel.jpg" alt="Danielle Steel">
      <figcaption>Image taken from google</figcaption></figure>
      <p>Danielle Fernandes Dominique Schuelein-Steel (born August 14, 1947)
        is an American writer, best known for her romance novels. 
        She is the bestselling author alive and the fourth bestselling fiction 
        author of all time, with over 800 million copies sold[citation needed]. 
        She has written 179 books, including over 146 novels.
        Based in California for most of her career, Steel has produced several
        books a year, often juggling up to five projects at once.</p>
    <div><!--main content, audio file-->
      <audio controls>
        <source src="audio/alex_menco.mp3" type="audio/mpeg">
      <p>Click above to hear a sample audio 
        file or below to watch an interview with Danielle Steel"</p>
    <div> <!--main content, video insertion-->
      <iframe width="560" height="315" src=""
       frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; 
      encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    <div> <!--main content, table insertion -->
      <table border="1">
          <td><b>Other books by Danielle Steel</b></td>
          <td>The cast</td>
    <div> <!--main content, form to get feedback-->
  <!--footer section, about the page creator-->
  <footer><p><b>Page created by Shirley</b></p>
    <p><address>Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea</address></p>

The flower project – post 3

bird-of-paradise-floral-800x800Thank you Rachel and Julie-Anne for the crane flower cuttings on Friday morning. Red and yellow flowers; beautiful. Quite heavy but I got them in the morning.

Flower cuts preservation

Sit cuttings in warm water. Another way is add a cup of 7-up soda or Sprite to three cups water. Add a few drops of bleach to kill bacteria.


I left the bouquet in the boot of the taxi. Arrived on Friday eve at the Well bean shop in time. Taxi fee is thirty kina now from where I live to the hospital. Quite expansive; meters should be installed already, I do not know why most taxis do not have one. Met up with EK and MK an hour later. Flowers were now placed in a bucket waiting tomorrow.

The next day

Visiting hours are as follows: 6 to 7 am in the morning, 12 noon to 1 pm and 6 to 8 pm in the afternoon. EK and I arrived at 10 minutes past six in the morning. Ward 1D (pediatrics) nurse in charge said we have to have an approval letter from the new hospital administration. I’m impressed by the cleanliness of the hospital. However since we were already there, we can go.

We gave every one parent there with their child a flower and card with a Bible verse. It was early, meant time for breakfast and milk distribution for the infants. A few brave children smiled back when we touched them. Parents placed the flower on their bed stand. Ward 1D looked colorful that morning. A few parents were shy, especially the young mothers. Only one parent had a bible with her and offered to read to her child that morning.

Some who were not there, we placed the flower and card on their bed. They will see it later. I have to admit, I was nervous at the start. But thank you EK, for your support. She did half and I finished the other half. After washing our hands with alcohol hand-sanitizer, we both walked out with a few cuttings left over. The time was 6:56 AM, perfect timing of one hour up. What a wonderful way to start the day. I like the visit in the morning compared to the one in midday. We will see how it goes next time.

Things to take note of for improvement

Number of flower cuttings was perfect. Thirty eight were given out although some beds were empty. So we will need precisely forty(or more) the next time. One thing to note; some parents are illiterate so we should read them the verse on the card, explain it, and ask if we can pray with them. Will take that into consideration the next time. Closing prayer follows. Pray for ward 1D this week. Pray that the Bible verse will speak to them.

Next flower pick up

Will rotate and this time check with the UPNG PFM aunties. Will check with aunt Selina as well. She mentioned she would give some flowers for free so that’s a blessing. Will make a post on fb too. Also remember to write a letter or email to PMGH CEO Dr Paki Molumi for an approval.

** Won’t post Anneth’s story this time as said in last post

That is all for now.