Mauberema Ecotourism, Nature Conservation, Education, Research & Training Center (MENCERTC)
Nestled in the tropical forests and grasslands of Papua New Guinea’s Simbu Province, the Mauberema Ecotourism, Nature Conservation, Education, Research & Training Centre (MENCERTC) is an Indigenous-led ecosystem conservation and cultural preservation organization.
Founded in 2017 by a young Indigenous community member, MENCERTC brings together 8 communities across the province to sustainably manage 665ha of a biodiversity hotspot. MENCERTC has integrated Indigenous values, traditional knowledge, and cultural practices into their conservation methodology.The community-based organization has formed numerous partnerships with local universities and international conservation NGOs to train and empower local youth to be the future conservation leaders of the Mauberema ecosystem.
Furthermore, MENCERTC is helping community members establish numerous nature-based enterprises, ranging from Indigenous crops, coffee, non-timber forest products and their growing ecotourism lodge. In a country with a history of International development interventions that have impinged on Indigenous sovereignty, MENCERTC stands as a model for sustainable, Indigenous-led local action.
Equator Prize Winner: 2022
Year of establishment: 2017
Location: Kundiawa, Papua New Guinea
Ecosystem: Forests, Mountains