PETER S KINJAP
PORT MORESBY - Climate change is a global crisis and a multi-sectoral issue. It will take every living person in this decade to do something, big or small, to reduce carbon emissions and adapt to changes in weather patterns.
Nickson McManga, 35, from Kumdii in Western Highlands and his voice on climate change may not be as big as Greta Thunberg’s on the global scale but his is still a " compelling voice on the most important issue facing the planet”.
Nickson is a local environmental activist who is creative and vocal on climate issues.
He did his research and started telling people at every available public gathering about the impacts of global climate change.
“The world is approaching catastrophic climate impact, its growing each day,” Nickson says. “Amongst many approaches to address climate crisis, is one is to plant more trees.
“Tree planting can help reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. As trees grow, they absorb and store carbon dioxide emissions that drive global heating.”
Nickson started a local Mt Hagen environmental and eco-tourism activism group, Paradise of Kumdii Climate Change Awareness, who volunteered to undertake a long trek from Mt Hagen to Port Moresby.
“The purpose of this walkathon is to make people aware of the effects of climate change and to promote ecotourism in Papua New Guinea,” Nickson said.
“Everyone is talking about the impacts of climate change and to support the campaign these seven trekkers planted 30 trees each in their communities before they commenced their journey.
“This year 2020 will be the final year for our three years of creating awareness for climate change. The volunteers propose 3 November to be observed as National Environment Repentance Day.”
It’s proposed that on National Environment Repentance Day each year, a number of activities will occur:
All men and women over 18 shall plant three trees each
People will repent from their bad actions towards the earth and the environment.
There will be awareness raising of the important of trees and long term action to address climate change
“If the government, through the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment Protection, accepts our volunteer policy on tree planting, it’s anticipated that we can save millions of kina by planting millions of trees.
“If we have PNG National Environment Repentance Day gazette as a national event to be observed nationwide, it will help take care of our environment,” Nickson said.
Nickson became a pastor with the Healing The Land (HTL) missionary group after graduating with a Certificate in Bible Translation at Aiyura Summer Institute of Linguistics in Eastern Highlands.
For the last 10 years he has been studying and working on environmental matters to actualise his inspiration to advocate for environmental concerns and fight the climate crisis.
He is pushing for his idea to be accepted by the government in order that 3 November will be commemorated as PNG’s National Environment Repentance Day.
Nickson’s group has teamed up with Travel4Green (T4G) PNG, www.t4gpng.org, in its Planting 10 Million Trees by 2030 program.
T4G PNG is a not-for-profit private project that has a nationwide volunteer network on climate change issues, including planting more trees and mangroves and conserving existing forests.
Peter S Kinjap is a freelance correspondent on Climate Change issues. Email email@example.com