Port Moresby – In a world facing warming of 2-3 degrees Celsius, Pacific nations with intersecting vulnerabilities are at the frontline of climate change. How can communities be better prepared and empowered with information?
To discuss this issue, and further develop a project proposal focused on enhancing climate data and early warning systems, representatives from across Papua New Guinea’s government – including the Climate Change and Development Authority, Department of Agriculture and Livestock, National Weather Service, National Maritime Safety Authority, National Disaster Center, and Conservation and Environmental Protection Authority – joined technical specialists from UNDP, and partners from New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) and FAO in the capital Port Moresby last month.
Around 75% of households in Papua New Guinea are dependent on subsistence agriculture, and around 40% of the population lives on less than US$1 a day. For the heads of farming households, being able to anticipate an impending drought, frost or heavy rains, and being able to act in advance, can mean the difference between feeding your family and not having enough to eat; between making enough money to send your kids to school and not having enough to pay for the basics.
Facing more frequent and intense weather events, driven by climate change, the PNG Government in 2016 identified the need for improved climate information and early warning systems. To address the issue, the government engaged with UNDP to develop a proposal for the Green Climate Fund.