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Planning for resilient island communities

Kinjap - Consultant Wendy Lee at BRCC planning workshop (Peter Kinjap)
Consultant Wendy Lee and participants at the climate resilience development planning workshop (Peter Kinjap)

PETER SOLO KINJAP

PORT MORESBY - Papua New Guinea's Climate Change and Development Authority (CCDA) is implementing a K93 million Climate Investment Fund grant to secure greater climate resilience in small islands and atolls.

The project started in 2016 and will end in 2021 in Bougainville, Manus, Morobe, East New Britain and Milne Bay.

Some 24 islands and atolls were selected from these provinces to mainstream climate resilience in development plans focusing on vulnerable communities.

A planning workshop was conducted from 11-13 March in Port Moresby at the CCDA office to review key activities so far and to establish planning milestones for the implementation of the next phase over the remaining 22 months.

There will be three main components, firstly, climate change vulnerability assessment and adaptation planning for the targeted communities.

With the five provincial governments as stakeholders, the project plans will be integrated into district development plans.

A climate change vulnerability assessments uses scientific information to describe the degree to which resources, ecosystem and other sectors are affected adversely or beneficially by climate variability in the selected islands and atolls. The assessment also includes an assessment of the sectors’ ability to adapt.

The project will establish a small grant facility to finance community-based projects including the installation of 200 water supplies and 100 sanitation facilities. There will also be training of locals from the targeted islands.

Kinjap - Farmer in his garden Kiriwina Island Milne Bay (BRCC)
A farmer in his garden on Kiriwina Island in Milne Bay (BRCC)

The second component covers sustainable fishery ecosystems and food security. A sustainable fishery is one harvested at a rate where the fish population does not decline over time. Sustainability can be threatened by changes in climate patterns.

Food security is about people maintaining access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their food preferences and dietary needs.

The three main threats to food security are the disappearance of the variety of plant species, increase in water scarcity and limited availability of land, and food loss and waste.

The third component of the project is to build climate-resilient coastal infrastructure and early warning communications systems to collect information on diseases and so trigger prompt public health interventions.

In each of the five pilot provinces, the National Maritime Safety Authority will install radio communication devices to report warnings to the nearby disaster centre.

Peter S Kinjap is a media officer for the ADB-funded Building Resilience to Climate Change project under the Climate Change and Development Authority. Email pekinjap@gmail.com

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