PNG Ports Corporation, TotalEnergies and Motukea International Terminal have signed a conservation agreement aimed at preserving the mangroves that help protect port infrastructure from rising sea levels.

The tri-party Memorandum of Understanding on Mangrove Conservation and Rehabilitation was signed at the Motukea international port facility on 21 May.

With rising tides and erosion becoming common along PNG’s coastline, promoting awareness and conservation of mangroves and the ecosystems they help sustain is an objective of the memorandum.

The triplicate agreement aims to focus on conservation efforts to not only preserve PNG’s coastline environmental systems, but also to ensure safe and secure port infrastructure and facilities into the future.

Climate change and rising sea levels was a focus for the MOU as a direct threat to the movement of cargo in and out of PNG. Mangroves, which protect against coastal erosion and storm surges, are regarded as playing a crucial role in mitigating the effects of climate change.

 “Through our PNG Harbour Management Services, we regulate activities and developments that take place throughout all harbours and ports in the country,” PNG Ports’ newly appointed CEO Neil Papenfus said.

“We are ready to work with all stakeholders, impact communities within declared port limits, government agencies such as CEPA and all development partners in ensuring compliance within the harbour and port limits.”

The signing was followed by the planting of more than 500 mangroves at the site.