Managing director Andrew Barry said ExxonMobil was committed to protecting the country’s unique environment for future generations.
The Piku conservation project is focused on raising awareness about the endangered pig-nosed turtle species, which is in decline due to the over-harvesting of the turtles and their eggs by locals.
ExxonMobil PNG and the University of Canberra are providing protection for the turtle.
“We provide assistance to such programmes because it supports and encourages environmental protection,” he said.
“The Piku project is a good example of how a community-led conservation initiative can lead to real results.
“The programme also has a capacity-building component to increase technical expertise in conservation science in Papua New Guinea, which includes a master’s research degree scholarship.”
Scholarship recipient Yolarnie Amepou has been stationed in Kikori over the past seven months to help deliver the various conservation initiatives.
“Research is critical to conservation,” Amepou said.
“To date, we have trained 14 local field assistants to monitor the nesting sites, measure the turtles and 52 volunteers engaged with the communities to monitor local consumption.”