Papua New Guinea
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Students help plant mangroves

Students from Simberi Primary School in New Ireland Province, joined in on a mangrove planting exercise yesterday, with 20 employees from St Barbara’s Simberi Operations.

The group planted more than 200 mangrove shoots at Pikinur along the airport runway, in celebration of World Environment Day. 

General Manager Randy McMahon and Acting Environment Manager, Faith Angoro acknowledged the effort of the employees in honouring St Barbara’s commitment to respecting the environment through the activity, while emphasising the important role of mangroves in the ocean’s ecosystem.

“Mangroves are not just trees, they are the nursery for the ocean. Planting a mangrove is putting a nursery in the ground. It benefits the ocean and the land,” said McMahon.

Environment Assistant and Bekou villager Jacinta Peter re-enforced the GM’s message saying, “Mangroves are important to the marine ecosystem of Simberi, Tatau and Big Tabar. They prevent land erosion and absorb storm surges during extreme weather. They also provide a rich source of food.”

Employees intend to monitor the shoots to see how well they grow in the coming months and years. The shoots can reach up to a metre within two years if they get adequate nutrients.

Mangroves are home to fish species like barramundi, mangrove jack and mud crabs, which employees from Simberi enjoy regularly for dinner.