Held on October 25th, General Manager, Michelle McGeorge, said: “Today is about acknowledging the support and commitment of NCDC and our many, many wonderful sponsors, donors and partners and what we have achieved through your support.
“I also want to take this opportunity to share with you our future… our 10 year vision to where our organisation will be in 2030. We have always dared to dream big... and my word, we have achieved big.”
In attendance was President of the World Association of Zoos and CEO of Zoos Victoria, Dr Jenny Gray, NCDC Governor Powes Parkop, Motu Koita Assembly Chairman Dadi Toka Jr and City Manager Bernard Kipit.
In her keynote address, Dr Gray emphasized the significant role that zoos play in the conservation of wildlife and the natural environment.
“The world needs good zoos, we know that animals and wildlife and the environment need places where people come and appreciate that. We need good zoos to be a place where children fall in love with animals, where they learn about compassion and kindness because I can be sure that the world needs more compassion and kindness.
“We need to continue to drive an agenda of conservation and whether that’s breeding animals and putting them back in the wild or being a safe haven for animals that get injured – it’s incredibly important.”
The Port Moresby Nature Park has been in operation for seven years with over K7 million spent in redevelopment during this time, majority of which has been achieved only through the generosity of sponsors and donors. This includes everything from the main entry precinct, the rainforest retreat area - home to the cassowaries, wallaby walk, tree kangaroo trail, and the Plumes of Paradise precinct.
In the past 9 months, the park has launched a whole new schools excursion program and school holiday events, two parrot aviaries, PNG’s only reptile house exhibit and construction of a new tree kangaroo exhibit.
The support from sponsors has enabled the park to build vital infrastructure such as training and learning centres, playgrounds, toilet facilities in addition to enabling meaningful scientific research to be conducted into pig-nosed turtle growth rates, breeding programs for tree kangaroos and birds of paradise and future proofing PNG frogs in a newly launched conservation program conducted in partnership with Zoos Victoria.
NCDC Governor Parkop not only acknowledged the Nature Park as one of the highest planted green spaces in the city but also highlighted the vital role it plays in the education of the community on the importance of wildlife and the natural environment.
The Governor then went on to thank the supporters of the park in their continued generosity towards the park and encouraged the business and donor community to continue supporting the efforts of the Park into the future.
“The Nature Park provides our community with the opportunity to reconnect to the environment and to reinforce our interconnectedness. Indeed the Nature Park’s logo of the feather, the leaf, and the tattoo, all with interconnecting circles reminds us that the environment and wildlife contained within is connected to our culture. Without one, the others will be lost,” said Parkop.