WWF-Pacific Papua New Guinea announces expansion of marine programme to three new provinces in the South
WWF Pacific- Papua New Guinea (PNG) Marine Integrated Programme (MIEP) recently organised a stakeholder awareness meeting to introduce the expansion of their marine programme from Madang to the three new provinces in the Southern region of Papua New Guinea.
The WWF-Papua New Guinea Marine programme scaling–out is part of the Accelerating Coastal Communities Led Conservation Initiative which is supported by the Oak Foundation.
The scaling-out to the Southern region will involve strengthening coastal communities and their critical ecosystems with key components and learning from Madang’s coastal communities and will be implemented in the Southern communities of Aelowai, Poukama and Delena in two districts of Central Province with populations in their thousands.
“This is the first time such an initiative has reached our community. We are excited and grateful about WWF taking the time to come right down to my community with all these tools that we can use for the communities benefit,” said Kala Alu, the Councillor of Aelowai
“No government or other NGO has reached us like WWF, thank you WWF, my community is excited and is looking forward to this great partnership,” he said.
The project is expected to address issues that communities in the projects sites face stemming from a lack of understanding about the intricate link between depletion of natural resources through unsustainable exploitation and exacerbated by severity of climate change impacts, specifically rising sea levels and increasing frequency and intensity of natural disasters.
As a result, communities continue to extract their natural resources in an unsustainable manner thus depleting the source of their livelihoods.
“The project provides an opportunity to build the resiliency of these coastal communities in PNG by focusing and protecting key coastal habitats through climate change rehabilitation and mitigation efforts; building community capacity to sustainably manage their own coastal fisheries resources through financial inclusion saving schemes; as well as focusing on community based protected areas and strengthening their community facilitators network,” said WWF-Pacific’s Coastal Marine Programme Manager – Rebecca Samuel.
“Madang Province coastal & ocean region is highlighted as part of the Bismarck Sea Eco-region area that has a high biodiversity, majority of the Province’s communities living are coastal dwellers and rely on the marine environment for their livelihood, the Province is a natural disaster prone area due to volcanic eruptions and El Nino seasons which caused long periods of dry weather,” said Ms Samuel.
She said the WWF-Pacific PNG Marine team will be working closely with the national and provincial governments to implement the project.