Despite a historical and cultural predominance of men in roles of leadership, women are playing a key role in the fight against the large-scale land and coastal clearing that threatens their local ecosystems and livelihoods. One particular concern is still largely intact mangrove forests that protect the shorelines of Papua New Guinea’s island and coastal provinces.

The Nature Conservancy is an international NGO working with women across PNG to address mangrove loss and women’s empowerment through the Mangoro Market Meri (MMM) project. Using MMM as a case study, Barbara Masike-Liri and Robyn James engaged with the current status of mangroves in PNG and how women and communities currently utilised mangrove livelihood and techniques to develop a scheme to link them to ​larger scale economic benefits for conservation.

Barbara Masike-Liri is a strong Bougainvillean woman who began her career as a journalist covering issues in Bougainville. She has been with The Nature Conservancy for over fifteen years supporting community conservation in Papua New Guinea.

Robyn James has been with the Nature Conservancy (TNC) in Melanesia since 2010 and leads conservation work as well as addressing issues with mining and extractives. She also leads women’s empowerment work across the organisation.

Watch the #PerspectivesAsia seminar online.

Perspectives:Asia is presented by the Griffith Asia Institute, Griffith University and the Australian Centre of Asia-Pacific Art (ACAPA) at QAGOMA. Previous Perspectives:Asia seminars are also available online.

Images: Natasha Harth