Two new volunteers

Our new volunteers have arrived from Australia. Peter Butler and his wife Meri Billington reached Ringgi on 23 June and will be here for 12 months. They are now learning all about KIBCA and the protected area and settling in to life in the rain in Ringgi. They have commenced planning some new projects as part of KIBCA’s management team. 

Pete worked as a ranger in Kakadu National Park for 26 years. Kakadu National Park is a very large park listed as World Heritage and jointly managed between the Australian government and Aboriginal people. Pete will be putting his experience to good use, working side by side with Wayne Tefenoli, KIBCA’s only Ranger at present. This “dynamic duo” will start off by reviewing the Ranger program, including Ranger tasks and responsibilities, available resources and drafting up a works program. 

Meri also has a background in working with communities in national park management and preparing plans of management for reserves. Her main focus will be on building awareness about Microfinance and Sustainable Livelihoods. KIBCA is aware that there are local people trying out new ideas with a view to future projects. Ferguson and Meri will be consulting closely with the local communities around Kolombangara to find alternatives to logging as a means of sustainable income. 

Please say ‘hello’ to Pete and Meri when you see them around Ringgi or elsewhere. They are very keen to meet people on Kolombangara as they have heard so many nice things about them!