Peace-Making Ceremony marks a milestone for Kokoda track landowners


Left to right: Kovelo village leader, Alfred Amuli, Kokoda Track Authority’s (KTA) CEO, Julias Wargirai, Oro Provincial Administrator, Trevor Magei, KTA Board Chairman, Jack Deia, KTA Board Member, Jimmy Toroi and TPA’s Senior Partnerships & Industry Liaison Officer, Clare Atava following the peace-keeping ceremony at Kovelo Village.

The Kokoda Track Authority (KTA) hosted a peace-making ceremony with villagers of Kovelo who had constructed a barricade to block off people entering the track.

The event held at Kovelo Village, Oro Province, on Sunday 12 May comes in the wake of mounting tensions among landowners. A Barricade had been erected at the gateway to the Kokoda Track marking one of the first checkpoints trekkers encounter as they embark on their journey along the historic trail.

The peace-making ceremony, attended by esteemed dignitaries including board members of the Kokoda Track Authority, village leaders from Kovelo Village, Oro Provincial Administrator Trevor Megei, and members from the Papua New Guinea Tourism Authority (TPA), served as a gesture of unity and progress for the villagers.

Oro Province’s Provincial Administrator, Trevor Magei, reminded the people that the government is committed to strengthening community projects aimed to promote their wellbeing.

“The recent visit of both the Australian and the PNG Prime Minister marked a special moment for the people and the Kokoda Track, signalling a renewed commitment to addressing the grievances of landowners and strengthening sustainable developments for the community.

The allocation of funds by the government represents a positive step towards progress, demonstrating a collective effort along the historic Kokoda Track and the people,” said Magei.

Following the event, Julius Wargirai, CEO of KTA, met with village leaders where he urged them to collaborate with the government to create a five-year plan for community development. He emphasized the importance of allowing the flow of tourists visiting the Kokoda Track, highlighting its significance as a beacon of historical and cultural heritage.

Wargirai also said that KTA would actively engage with each of the eight proclamation wards and their councilors to craft individualized five-year plans, tailored to the unique needs and aspirations of the respective communities.
Papua New Guinea Tourism Promotion Authority’s (TPA) CEO and the Deputy Board Chairman of KTA, Eric Mossman Uvovo, reiterated the importance of working together with landowners to create a sustainable and beneficial tourism avenue in Kokoda.

“As we all embrace the promise of a brighter tomorrow, KTA and TPA reaffirms our unwavering commitment to safeguarding the Kokoda Track, to make it sustainable for many generations to come.”

The peace-making ceremony at Kovelo Village marks a significant moment in our journey towards unity and progress along the historical track,” said Uvovo.


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Oliver Smith


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Oliver Smith


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