‘Tuki and the Turtle’ is a comic book with Tok Pisin.
Island and Ocean Ecosystems

22 May 2024, Port Moresby, PNG - Papua New Guinea's Tok Pisin has recently been officially recognised as the ‘most beautiful sounding language in the World!’ 
A study by the Journal of Psychological and Cognitive Sciences in 2024 found that people listening to languages from all over the globe chose Tok Pisin as the most beautiful. 
Using this beautiful language, the Pacific BioScapes Programme and the Conservation and Environment Protection Authority of Papua New Guinea have been working together on something special. 
‘Tuki and the Turtle’ is a comic book with Tok Pisin text and illustrations by the famous Papuan illustrator Gima Segore. In the book, Tuki and his uncle learn about sea turtles in the Pacific and how to protect them from extinction. In one day, they find turtle nests, meet a large adult leatherback turtle, and watch hatchlings take their first steps into the ocean. 
Despite their cultural and ecological importance all six species of marine turtles found in the Pacific are threatened with extinction. Threats include overharvesting, coastal development, invasive predators, and climate change. Assessments have found that large numbers of turtles and their eggs are harvested and sold in Papua New Guinea, including the leatherback turtle, which is fully protected under national law.

A black and white version of ‘Tuki and the Turtle’ comic was first released by the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council in 2007 and was very well received by Papua New Guinea communities. The latest version has been updated in colour for a major turtle awareness campaign being undertaken in Papua New Guinea under the Pacific BioScapes Programme.
The Programme is a European Union (EU) funded action, managed and implemented by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP). It includes 30 focused activities taking place across a diversity of ecosystems in 11 Pacific island countries that are addressing critical issues concerning coastal and marine biodiversity, and ecosystem-based responses to climate change adaptation.
Marzena Ann Marinjembi from the Conservation and Environment Protection Authority has been editing the pidgin language text in the comic book. ‘I am grateful to be part of the editing team for the turtle awareness comic and to work in collaboration with SPREP. I enjoyed the work as I am a strong believer of giving back to the communities and the comic in the pidgin language is a really great example of that’ said Miss Marinjembi.

The turtle book
Printed copies of the comic book will be of great value in rural communities where access to digital media is limited. Miss Marinjembi explains: ‘in urban communities phones and the internet are very accessible, unfortunately people in rural communities, where most turtles or turtle eggs are harvested, have limited or no access to digital media. There is a challenge with accessibility to these areas to raise awareness, for example, of the leatherback protection laws in the country. I know the comic book will be much appreciated by local communities here in Papua New Guinea’.

So please enjoy this story and learn more about turtle conservation in the ‘most beautiful sounding language in the World’ in our pidgin language comic book, available online here:

For those outside of Papua New Guinea, the English language version is also available here: