Mundiya Kepanga, the Papuan chief is Robert Redford’s new BFF

To avoid deforestation, the traditional chief Mundiya Kepanga knew exactly what to do.

Papua New Guinea is home to one of the richest and oldest forests in the world. Although it covers nearly 70% of the country’s surface, with 20 000 species of plants, 1500 species of trees, 3 000 species of insects and more than 750 species of birds, it could be halved by 2021. The reason? The unrestrained logging of large trees by foreign companies.

To avoid deforestation, the traditional chief Mundiya Kepanga knew exactly what to do. First, Marc Dozier, a long-time friend of his, made him the main protagonist of his documentary « Frères Des Arbres » (« Brothers Of Trees »).

Also, during an international tour to talk about the situation of Papua New Guinea’s biggest forest, the Papuan chief crossed paths with movie star Robert Redford, who is also an ecologist, and invited him to visit him in his village. Great way to raise awareness … and you never know, maybe Mundiya will teach him how to whisper in the ears of trees…

Robert Redford with Mundiya Kepenga, Papuan traditional chief © UNESCO/F.Gentile