The most important asset in the development of a sustainable trekking industry along the Kokoda Trail is the client who pays for the journey. Without him or her there will be no trek fees, no employment for guides and carriers, no shared benefits for villages, no campsite fees – no sustainable trekking industry!
Of equal importance in a country with complex traditions regarding customary land ownership are local landowners.
Unfortunately the people in charge of dispensing government aid programs from Australia seem to have little appreciation of these essential basics. Of more concern is the fact that they disregard the advice of those who have invested risk, time, energy and resources to create a wartime trekking industry across the Kokoda Trail. They have achieved this by working at the grassroots level to establish local partnerships based on mutual obligation. [Read more…]