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Entries in Kikori (4)


Science Week: Day 5

Original Post: Palms of Kikori, PNG
Date: September 4, 2008 at 1:01 PM

[NOTE: It has become clear to me after the first week of this retrospective (see Retrospective) that I have significantly more than five favorite posts from each category. Just so you know].


About ten years ago, Hank Cauley and I collaborated on an ecoforestry project in the Kikori River delta of Papua New Guinea. Hank, a dedicated non-botanist who was working at the World Wildlife Fund at the time, would later go on to become the U.S. director of the Forest Stewardship Council and a Senior Officer of the Pew Environment Group.  The Kikori project was focused on developing protocols for the sustainable management of local forests, which typically are: 1) tidally flooded, 2) owned collectively by large kinship groups, 3)  too muddy for mechanized logging, and, as a result, 4) not eligible for government forestry programs nor attractive to logging contractors.  In brief, we spent three years working with local communities helping them to manage their forests.  We also set up a small local sawmill.  Both with mixed results...

During this time, my colleague Andrew Henderson (see Hukaung Valley Rattan Survey), was finishing up a field guide to the palms of South Asia and he was looking for places to field test the taxonomic keys.  There are a lot of interesting palms around Kikori that we needed to identify so we invited him to come visit and do some plant identification.  I took my video camera when we went to the field.  It was all great fun and I learned a lot of palms.  So did Hank.

[NOTE: The large log landing and loading dock was filmed upriver outside of tidal forest. The log with the beautiful red wood being sawn at the end of the video is Xylocarpus granatum.]


We Come In Peace

A group of kids at Kikori village in the Gulf Province of Papua New Guinea (see Palms of Kikori, PNG) waiting to catch a glimpse of Andrew and I on our way to the field to collect palms. I returned the peace sign...and the smiles. 


Ten Years Ago in Papua New Guinea

A somewhat choppy, wandering video clip from a palm survey that I did in the Gulf Province of Papua New Guinea in 1999. The study was part of the Kikori community forestry project (see Palms of Kikori, PNG and Living on a Log Raft); the video was shot and narrated by Kevin O'Regan, the Kikori mill manager (thx, Kevin).   


Wet Feet

During the forest inventory work at Kikori (see Living on a Log Raft and Chain of Custody), the tide would occasionally catch us in the middle of a transect and we had to count and measure trees in water up to our waist.  The villager on the left is estimating tree height with a clinometer, while his colleague on the right has measured back 20 meters from the sample tree with a fiberglas tape. Kind of fun, actually, although I always worried about snakes. [NOTE: The main problem was keeping my camera out of the water.  Most of the time, it and the clipboard with the tally sheets were balanced on top of my head].