Rosa Koian: fighting for village people against mining corporations in PNG

There can be no sustainable development when rural women in their communities are frequently held under threat of displacement, or physical and sexual abuse.

Rosa Koian, Activist, Papua New Guinea

Fifty-two-year-old Rosa Koian is a pioneering environmental and human rights activist in Papua New Guinea, where she’s been unafraid to fight for the rights of women and village people against exploitation by transnational corporations or extractive industries.

Originally trained in development communications, Rosa has coordinated development campaigns focused on community development in Madang, where she advocates for gender justice and fights against land grabbing and corruption. She has recently taken up a new challenge in advocating for those in the margins – people living with leprosy.

As powerful Western interests make inroads into Papua New Guinea, Rosa has been a vocal champion of a more culturally sensitive development model, one that benefits all people and honors her country’s communal way of life.


This portrait of Rosa Koian was first published by the Pacific Community for the 70 Inspiring Women campaign, it is reproduced here with their permission.

The 70 Inspiring Pacific Women campaign has been produced by the Pacific Community (SPC) in partnership with Australian Aid and Pacific Women. The campaign marks the 70th anniversary of SPC, and leads up to the 13th Triennial Conference of Pacific Women and 6th Meeting of Ministers for Women in Suva (Fiji) from 2nd to 5th October 2017.

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