CSR- More than a hand out- it’s good for business!

by Paul Oeka - May 13, 2022

Photo credit: Port Moresby Nature Park​​

CSR: It once meant a big company handing over large sums of cash in the hope (or more usually, on the condition) of getting something in return, but today it means a whole lot more.  Today it is about the social licence to operate and also a necessity if we are to meet net zero by 2050.  Today’s global society is identifying that doing good for others is actually doing good for you.  In this way Corporate Social Responsibility, although still evolving, is also proving to be good for business.   A company that ‘cares’ for its staff and others, creates a happy workforce, a happy workforce leads to less staff turnover, greater productivity and overall, makes for a good bottom line.   In fact, progressive companies proactively use their CSR programs as marking tools.  

Furthermore, it doesn’t focus just on big corporations.  Every entity, private, government and not-for-profit, big or small, has a role to play in improving our communities.  It is as simple as the choices we make in whatever our line of work.  Ensuring supply chains are equally socially responsible is a sure way to drive change, and really takes little, to no extra effort.  By adding a few questions to your procurement processes you’re making a difference.  Better yet, those that can, should proactively assist/encourage business in the right direction:  if you supply in this way, we will commit to your product/service.    

Being socially responsible is worth more than just the material worth that may be provided.  It provides the concept of planning for tomorrow, because today is taken care of.  It provides long term assurance that support is ongoing, so there is no need for an immediate cash grab.  Advanced programs also provide for growth within arrangements and often involve more than one partner.  An initial relationship can create leverage and multiply the ROI when further relationships come onboard. This is often the case when industry partners with the not-for-profit sector; partnerships reach out to wider community groups to facilitate work required ‘on the ground’.

More and more we now see collaboration between partners that was previously unheard of.  Consider the recent arrangement between one of Australia’s largest pastoral companies, The North Australian Pastoral Company and Australian Wildlife Conservancy, one of the largest conservation NGO’s.  This will manage 6 million hectares with key objective to demonstrate that conservation focused land management can benefit both pastoral productivity and biodiversity.  It’s an innovative investment in the ongoing sustainability of both party’s core business. You need an open mind but if you start by finding similarities instead of targeting historic conflict, you’ll go a lot further.

Good CSR arrangements aim to become more than year to year grant submissions.  To be successful and truly fit the definition of corporate social responsibility, CSR arrangements need to be just like any other facet of business.  Budgeted for, measured, and reviewed accordingly to provide an effective feedback mechanism, thus ensuring the biggest bang for your buck! 

Agreed milestones also provide greater flexibility into how the project may evolve, even mid allocation, provided it meets criteria and each completed stage provides engagement opportunities between partners as well as to the wider community.  These celebrations are equally as important to schedule and commit too as the program itself and what’s more, they are wonderful brand promotional activities. 

Regularly sharing progress to the wider community, rather than just listing in an annual report offers your program momentum, credibility and adds to your reputational profile.  After all, if nobody hears about it, is it really social responsibility or just a business deal between two companies?   Additionally, consider delivering your success to wider audiences.  Make them a part of everyday business, promote them at industry expos and during networking events or conferences.  Offer to present them to other industry networking events as well.  You’ll be surprised at the response. Most of all, share your stories.

Port Moresby Nature Park simply wouldn’t exist without our corporate partners, big and small.  Annually they make up 30-40% of our budget.  Many of our partners have been with us from the very beginning: ExxonMobil PNG, Ela Motors, Digicel, being key players in our foundation wildlife and education programs.  Partners such as Newcrest Mining maybe newer on the scene but equally important as we expand our reach and capacity to assist rescued wildlife, enhancing the awareness of key environmental issues along the way.  In our future there are plans for major upgrades to infrastructure to provide a platform for an international conservation research hub.  A place where international players can base their fieldwork on PNG biodiversity.   With a focus on collaboration and coordinated research, we aim to be the most sought-after platform in the country, and to also utilise this to provide stability to finances.   There are a few steps to go in reaching this goal but we are perfectly positioned in a biodiversity hotspot central to current global conversations regarding climate change.  We remain steadfast in our Vision- to inspire the guardianship of PNG flora, fauna and culture; we hope you will join us.  Remember, it’s not just good for the planet, it’s good for business!

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PNG Business News - May 13, 2021

Papua New Guinea put on World Map by Port Moresby Nature Park

With its foreign awards and recognitions, the Port Moresby Nature Park continues to place the country on the map. The Zoo and Aquarium Association of Australasia's (ZAA) biannual Gala Awards event has Nature Park as a finalist in three different award categories. The Zoo and Aquarium Association Awards are a recognition and appreciation of exceptional achievement accomplished as a result of our member zoos and aquariums' commitment and important efforts, as well as their positive effect on conservation and animal welfare. The park is a finalist in exhibit design for small scale development for its Reptile Haus, the first of its kind in PNG, as well as exhibit design for large scale development for ‘Plumes of Paradise,' the park's eight aviary bird of paradise precinct complete with educational area, and finalist in the community engagement award for Snaketastic. Michelle McGeorge, the chief executive officer of the Port Moresby Nature Park, expressed her pride in the team and park on the announcement, saying that this experience is akin to the zoo Oscars, and that being recognized alongside some of Australia and New Zealand's largest zoos is a true homage to the Nature Park's impact and professionalism. “This is not the first time that the Nature Park has been nominated in the biannual ZAA awards, with the park actually winning two awards. In 2016, Nature Park won the innovation award for its efforts in establishing what is believed to be one of the first globally established sister zoo partnerships between a developing and developed country zoo with the park partnering with Zoos Victoria. “We’re excited to share the above announcement with the rest of PNG, that we’re up against some of the biggest zoos in Australia and New Zealand in the Zoo and Aquariums Association (ZAA) Awards this year,” she said. “Such is great news for Port Moresby Nature Park and Papua New Guinea as a whole for earning international recognition through environment conservation.” The park will engage in three separate formal online presentations before a strict selection panel in the next step of the award judging process, and the winners of each division will be chosen and revealed at a formal award dinner ceremony at Taronga Zoo in Sydney in early August. The park's mission is to encourage others to protect PNG's special biodiversity.


PNG Business News - September 20, 2021

Motukea International Port to be Renovated

According to PNG Ports Corporation chairman Kepas Wali, the Motukea international port facility west of Port Moresby will undergo a multi-million kina makeover next month. It is estimated that the repair and reconstruction work will take ten months and cost K56 million. “The pavement covering the Motukea international terminal surface has deteriorated to a stage where it requires immediate remedial works to prevent further impact on traffic operations, and health, safety and environment issues,” Wali said. The PNG Ports Corporation and Hebou Construction in Port Moresby have inked a deal. Wali stated that they wished for the project to be completed on schedule. “We trust that Hebou, given its proven record of quality and sustained performance over the decades, will provide quality construction on time and budget,” he said. After the terminal was repaired, he said PNG Ports aimed to improve service at the facility. Wali claimed that the investment at Motukea has yielded economic benefits such as shorter supply chain turnaround times, reduced waiting times, and increased cargo volumes passing through. “Motukea receives at least 19 international vessels, accommodates cargo revenue tonnages of approximately 106,700, and 5,220 containers passing through,” he said. The K300 million port, which replaced the Port Moresby port, was finished in 2018.   Reference: The National (10 September 2021). “Port will undergo renovation, says official”.


PNG Business News - January 27, 2022

Chamber Says Port Upgrades Will Result In Job Possibilities

According to the New Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry, local jobs would be produced throughout the upgrading and refurbishing of ports around the nation, which will cost roughly K1.48 billion. Nolis Thomas, president of the Chamber, said the initiative might boost the province's export earnings. The Australian government has granted AU$580 million (K1.48bil) to rebuild and enhance ports around the country. Kavieng port will get K66.4 million, according to State Enterprise Minister William Duma. “Just by having the project here will provide employment for people in the province,” Thomas told The National. “In the long run, the possibility of increasing the export of other products, mainly marine, will increase. “That’s been talked about but how much will come to reality is something that we will wait and see. “But it will increase the possibility of exporting other goods. “We have oil palm which is one of the main cash crops. “So oil palm, logging and fisheries will be boosted and return a little for the province in oversea currencies.” In a virtual ceremony, Prime Minister James Marape and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison signed the agreement. Morrison stated that the agreement with PNG was aimed at ensuring the country's sovereignty, independence, and self-sufficiency. In the 1960s and 1970s, the Australian colonial authority developed all of Papua New Guinea's ports.   Reference: The National (25 January 2022). “Ports upgrade will create job opportunities, says chamber”. 

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Get over it... with PNG Forest Products' NiuBridge

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PNG Business News - May 16, 2022

Need help with to live, work and study in Australia and with student enrolments in EQI accredited schools? Ask Migration Plus!

Photo credit: Migration Plus Migration Plus is a leading Migration firm in Cairns, in the Far North Queensland region providing professional migration advice to students, individuals, government, businesses and corporate groups including the mining, hospitality, tourism, agricultural and air services industries. Migration Plus are also Education Agents with Qualified Education Counsellors on their team and they represent a number of reputable universities and colleges across Australia, including Education Queensland International (EQI) for student enrolments.  They work closely with EQI and have successfully assisted PNG students enrol in schools across Queensland and also assisted with visa applications for the students for many years.   With Australian borders opening to international visitors, temporary workers and international students, they can assist you with all migration matters for your business and family to visit, work or study in Australia.  Now is the time to start your children’s enrolment to study in any of the EQI’s accredited schools from Prep to Year 12.  Education Counsellors at Migration Plus can assist your children’s enrolment for Year 10, Semester 2, the important pathway into senior high school subjects through the Senior Education and Training Plan. Semester 2 commences in July 2022. With an in-depth knowledge of migration law, their specialist team provides a complete solution to your migration requirements and coordinate all facets of your migration needs. The Migration Plus team is very passionate about what they we do – the rewards of being able to assist in changing lives and helping clients achieve their goals is first and foremost.  With over 90 years of combined experience available to you, you can count on their highly specialised team for accurate advice. Contact the Specialist team for further information.


Marcelle P. Villegas - May 16, 2022

Australia Opens Its Doors to International Students

Photo credit: Education Queensland International “International students are an important part of the Australian community, and we are excited to welcome them back to our classrooms, campuses and communities.”  This was the announcement posted on their website by the Australian Government last February to herald the reopening of international travel to students. “Australia’s borders are open to fully vaccinated international students and Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa holders.” [1] “From 21 February 2022, all visa holders who are fully vaccinated for international travel purposes can travel to Australia without a travel exemption. Unvaccinated visa holders will still need to be in an exempt category or hold an individual travel exemption to enter Australia.” [2] The Australian Government said that international students will be subject to Australian Government border restrictions and any State and Territory quarantine and testing requirements. Quarantine and testing arrangements for State and Territories are frequently changing. Therefore, international students are advised to visit www.Australia.gov.au/states to be updated with the latest information and announcements of the Australian Government. In relation to this, the Department of Education, Skills and Employment has developed a “factsheet on the reopening of international travel to students” which is available for downloading from the website. [3] “All visa holders who are fully vaccinated in accordance with Australia’s international border entry requirements are able to arrive in Australia without needing an approved travel exemption. This includes fully vaccinated international students.” [1] Here are more important reminders from the Australian Government: People who do not meet Australia’s vaccination requirements for international travel must apply for a travel exemption to travel to Australia, unless they are in an exempt category. Visa holders who arrive in Australia may have their visa cancelled and be detained and removed if they: are not fully vaccinated for international travel purposes in accordance with Australia’s border entry requirements; or do not have a medical contraindication to a COVID-19 vaccine as defined by the Australian Government; or are not in an exempt category or hold an individual travel exemption. To be considered as “fully vaccinated for international travel purpose” to or from Australia, one should have completed a primary course of a vaccine approved or recognized by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). This includes mixed doses. The currently approved or recognised vaccines for travel are the following: Two doses at least 14 days apart of AstraZeneca Vaxzevria, AstraZeneca Covishield, Pfizer/Biontech Comirnaty, Moderna Spikevax or Takeda, Sinovac Coronavac, Bharat Biotech Covaxin, Sinopharm BBIBP-CorV (for people under 60 years of age on arrival in Australia), Gamaleya Research Institute Sputnik V, Novavax/Biocelect Nuvaxovid. Single-dose dose of Johnson & Johnson/ Janssen-Cilag COVID Vaccine are also in the list of approved and recognized vaccines. “At least 7 days must have passed since the final dose of vaccine in a course of immunisation for you to be considered fully vaccinated for international travel purposes. Mixed doses count towards being fully vaccinated as long as all vaccines are approved or recognised by the TGA.” How about exceptions for vaccination requirements and arrangement for children? “People with acceptable proof they cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons, and children under 12, can access the same travel arrangement as people who are fully vaccinated for international travel purposes.” Moreover, temporary visa holders who are younger than 18 years old at the time of departure for international travel to Australia do not require an approved travel exemption when the child is travelling with at least one adult who is fully vaccinated for international travel purposes. “Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated children aged 12-17 years old entering Australia may be exempt from passenger caps and eligible for reduced quarantine requirements. Travellers should always check the quarantine requirements for the state or territory they plan to travel to, or transit through, prior to arranging their travel.” “If the child is travelling with unvaccinated adult family members, then the entire family group will be subject to managed quarantine and passenger caps.” For more information on vaccination travel requirements, quarantine rules, and other related matter, visit https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/vaccinated-travellers.   Reference: [1] https://www.dese.gov.au/reopening-international-travel-students [2] https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/vaccinated-travellers [3] Factsheet on the reopening of international travel to students https://www.dese.gov.au/reopening-international-travel-students/resources/factsheet-reopening-international-travel-students

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