A community leader making a point during the consultations on climate change impacts on Tasman Island, Bougainville. Photo: J.Poulsen/UNDP PNG
RNZ – PACIFIC / PAPUA NEW GUINEA
A United Nations-backed team is touring Bougainville’s outer islands this month, conducting climate change vulnerability assessments.
Focussing on remote communities at high risk of climate impacts, the Building Resilience to Climate Change team has already visited a number of islands and atolls in the Papua New Guinea Autonomous Region.
The team is on a 30-day sea journey during January, sailing to Nuguria, Tasman and Mortlock Island Groups, northeast of Bougainville.
They’re also in consultations at Tinputz on Bougainville’s mainland, with resettled Carteret Islanders.
These are communities at risk from rising sea levels affecting housing, health, food and water security.
The consultations are an initiative involving UN Development Programme, PNG’s government and the Asian Development Bank.
UNDP’s Resident Representative, Dirk Wagener said the discussions are intended to inform decision makers on the existing threats and impacts of climate change.
“These efforts will result in UNDP supporting these communities deliver practical and sustainable measures to help them better adapt to these impacts that are rapidly altering the way people live.”
According to Relief Web, to date the team have conducted assessments in Morobe Province on PNG’s mainland, as well as East New Britain and Manus Provinces in the Niugini Islands region, visiting a total of 12 islands and atolls.
A series of community consultations and activities are being conducted, with a total of over 500 men, women and children consulted on the impacts and solutions of climate change for their communities.
The team also offers among other support, Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment training for authorities and other “critical stakeholders”.
In the past week the team also conducted training in Buka Town, the capital of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, with relevant government authorities.