Name: Stanis Giru
Country: Papua New Guinea
Location: Kimbe Bay

Stanis Giru, at the age of 53 years, is a well respected member of the community, and has been very active at his community’s LMMA. To anyone who meets Stanis for the first time, they would say that he is a very humble and a quiet person. And if you take a minute to talk to him, you will be surprised – he has a lot of knowledge and experiences that he willingly shares.

Stanis hails from Patanga Village in the Talasea District in Kimbe, West New Britain Province, Papua New Guinea (approximately 19.15 km from Kimbe Town, the capital of West New Britain Province). Stanis represents the Patanga LMMA committee and is also the secretary of the broader Kimbe Bay LMMA Provincial Network. He is a member of the representative clans of that area and is the Chairman of the local church council. He completed his year 10 studies and then went on to the University of Papua New Guinea in 1973 to study Accounting and Business. Since then he has returned back to the village to retire and is spending his time helping his community.

The Patanga LMMA is part of a coastal village community consisting of about 800 people who are subsistence farmers and fishers, who use the sea and the environment around them for food, shelter and other economic needs. This community became interested in tabu areas (reef closures) in the year 2001. The Patanga community LMMA is trying to restore and replenish fish stocks, especially the Karebu renge (blue-striped surgeonfish). The community members are also doing surveillance to prevent destructive fishing methods.

Having grown up in the village, Stanis has witnessed the degradation of his community’s marine habitats over the past decade, and is now a true believer in improving and restoring their threatened marine resources. He believes that by doing so, he is contributing to the preservation of marine resources for the present and future generations in his village.
With the knowledge, respect and the education level that Stanis has, he has been a great leader, helping his community to understand the importance of their marine resources and mobilizing their youths to be active in monitoring activities. He has been an asset to the broader Kimbe community, representing the Provincial LMMA Network in community meetings and leading the local fundraising efforts to support the costs of site activities. Patanga LMMA committee is also spearheading the formation of a local association to assist with fundraising targeted at local businesses, donors and government agencies.

He is a very committed leader that is genuinely dedicated to conserving marine resources and will help his community to do so. He is a role model for younger generations within his local community.

Photo by Annisah Sapul