Papua New Guinea’s national Minister for Environment, Conservation and Climate Change, John Pundari, announced a vital conservation collaboration with the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s Central Papua Conference (CPC) during a special dedication service at the Varirata National Park outside Port Moresby.
The service was hosted by the Conservation and Environmental Protection Agency’s (CEPA) managing director Gunther Joku and his staff; they welcomed back Mr Pundari to another term as Environment Minister.
Mr Pundari, a lifelong Adventist, praised God for His grace in blessing Papua New Guinea with its abundance of biodiversity. He said he was humbled by his second term appointment and urged Adventists to be responsible in taking care of the environment, saying God is the Creator and we are only stewards, accountable to Him.
CPC president Pastor Kove Tau and his team were on hand to officiate at the service. Pastor Tau offered a prayer for God’s blessing, wisdom and direction upon the Minister, the CEPA managing director, staff and other stakeholders.
Mr Pundari highlighted his 100-day plan of closer collaboration with the Adventist Church to support mangrove conservation in Central Province. He said the Church is in a good position to assist due to the mangrove areas at its Bautama estate, admitting that there has been little coordination between parties in the past. Mr Pundari recommended the Church lead the project, while CEPA will provide training and regulatory standards.
Pastor Tau said he was excited by the opportunity presented to the Church to exhibit real stewardship; allowing the Conference to contribute meaningfully to the nation and the world. Discussions are continuing as legal and institutional framework details are being finalised.