The Piku Biodiversity Network informs and empowers local communities to work together to maintain a healthy environment that supports local cultures and livelihoods whilst also positively contributing to biodiversity conservation.
The pig-nosed turtle. Image: Piku Biodiversity Network
The Piku Biodiversity Network leads the Kikori Turtle Rangers project that connectsgroups of young individuals from seven tribes to work on community-based conservation. Their role as conservation champions is important as it enables the conservation of the endangered pig-nosed turtle, which holds cultural significance in the country.
The project engages young people on a journey, that most have been a part of as a child, to participate in education programmes as well as turtle monitoring and incubation. This work led to an increase in pig-nosed turtle egg survival rates and hatchings. The Piku Biodiversity Network managed to build a strong network of communities along the Kikori River that sustainably own and manage their resources.
It wants to build capacity by collaborating with universities and other educational institutions in research training. This provides an opportunity for trainees, Kikori secondary, university and graduate students, and members of society to engage with the work of the Piku Biodiversity Network in protecting the pig-nosed turtle.
The organisation spread awareness through publications on the conservation, management of wildlife and other environmental issues by using various forms of media such as the radio and books. In 2012, Piku Biodiversity Network successfully released a Piku on Radio program and a children’s book The Adventures of Piggy on the Kikori River, increasing its global reach and further empowering the local community to engage in conserving the pig-nosed turtle species by reaching the younger generation.