Submitted by sharon.manickaraj on Wed, 09/08/2021 - 17:06

Timmy Sowang is from Gomdan, a small village at the heart of the tropical forest which can only be reached on foot or in a small plane in Papua New Guinea. 

He started his first work experience as the Secretary for Yao Community Association as the Community representative for Yopno-Uruwa-Som (YUS) Conservation Area. He worked over a period of two years to create a community-cantered YUS map with a team of local community members along with the cartography faculty at the University of Technology and a facilitator from The Centre for the Support of Native Lands. Next Mr. Sowang was elected to be the President of the YUS Conservation Organization, the local landowner Community-based Organization (CBO). After the maximum 2 terms and 6 years of leadership. Timmy is currently employed as the Lead Conservation Officer with the Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program in Papua New Guinea where he has worked for over 15 years.

 Through his leadership, Timmy has reached the great majority of people throughout YUS with conservation education messaging and mobilized thousands to practice sustainable resource use and environmental protection. These efforts generated a strong resolve among the YUS landowners and communities to protect their landscape, resulting in the establishment of Papua New Guinea’s first nationally-recognized Conservation Area in 2009. Comprised of customary-owned land pledged for the protection of habitats and wildlife, the 78,000-hectare YUS Conservation Area has become a national model for successful conservation in Papua New Guinea.

He also led the first grant to the YUS Conservation Organization (through the UNDP Small Grants Programme) for a project on sustainable tree nurseries and awareness campaign on sustainable use of trees. The YUS farmers who have pledged land for conservation are now involved in a Conservation Coffee livelihood program and Timmy has promoted the benefits of this conservation-minded economic engagement.

Timmy Sowang


Community leadership in environmental sustainability & conservation
personal profile
Timmy Sowang
Timmy Sowang