Thursday, February 12, 2009

Papua New Guineans join BBC Expedition

Over 20 Papua New Guineans are part of a group of 50 scientists, explorers and TV presenters on a BBC expedition to one of Papua New Guinea’s last frontiers, Southern Highlands Province’s Mt Bosavi.

The team, who are part of the world-renown BBC Natural History Unit, are filming a major TV documentary series entitled ‘Expedition New Guinea’ which will be aired in the UK and around the world towards the end of the year.

Daniel Huertas, a British researcher with the group, highlighted the international composition of the expedition team and in particular the pivotal role played by the PNG participants.

“We have a number of PNG scientists and local community members assisting and advising the international team in species recognition and location finding. The project would not be possible without the support and amazing knowledge of our colleagues from Port Moresby, Kiunga, Fogomaiyu, Talisu and Siena Falls,” he said.

British High Commissioner to PNG, David Dunn, welcomed the team to PNG and highlighted that the shooting of such a major documentary series reinforced the special relationship between the BBC Natural History Unit and PNG, which started more than 50 years ago by British broadcaster and naturalist Sir David Attenborough.

“Sir David's ‘Zoo Guest’ series, which heralded his entry into wildlife television documentaries and 50 years of broadcasting, brought him to PNG in 1957. That much remembered pioneering series changed the way broadcasters filmed natural history forever and opened the wonders and beauty of the planet and in particular PNG to the world. Although the technology has changed dramatically since those early days the warmth of the welcome and generous support given to the numerous and regular visiting BBC teams by the people of PNG has not. I would like to thank the Government of PNG and all those associated for their continued help, support and collaboration and I look forward to PNG showcasing to the world its amazing beauty and bio-diversity through the Expedition New Guinea programmes,” he added. 

Mt Bosavi, a dormant volcano endemically rich in flora and fauna, has been the subject of various studies by international research and conservation groups in recent years.

Mr Huertas said the mountain’s isolation and the enthusiasm of the local communities for their forest to be part of the documentary series made it the first choice for the BBC.

·        The expedition team’s adventures can be tracked through the BBC Science and Nature News website and a Blog by expedition member and the University of California’s curator and department chair for ornithology and mammalogy, Dr John Dumbacher



  1. Thanks Malum. My friend a mammalogist is among the BBC crew

  2. Hey, does the BBC and PNG crew have a team medic? Im desparate to find out who it is - and possibly get in touch. Also, exactly when the the expo start? please could someone e-mail me.