Papua New Guinea must improve the resilience of climate change issues that might affect the region into the future when meeting with world leaders next week during the Forum for India Pacific Islands Co-operation in Port Moresby.

PNG’s Climate Change activist and programmes manager for Pikinini Pilai, Vinsealhar Nen said we must exercise our nature-based solutions, derived from our traditional practices of looking after our land and seas in this fight, where Pacific Island leaders can talk about and PNG can take a serious look at.

“Many of our communities rely on the environment for their income sources, and as governments, it is your responsibility to ensure they have the capacity and resources to do so,” Nen said.
“We are identified as small islands, but there is greater power in collaboration.”

Climate Change and Development Authority acting managing director William Lakain will be giving a full report this week on their preparations towards the country’s position on climate change during the two-day India-Pacific Island Co-operation Summit next week.

“But in order to do this, we also need to economically empower our communities given the increased population in our countries,” Nen said.

“As a collective, I think governments within the region need to work together and be more involved in the work the people are doing too.”

She said climate change is a cross cutting topic for many island nations. She said the Pacific is a region that consists of many small island nations, and with carbon emissions rates doubling, it is not the industrialised nations who are facing the effects.

It is the smaller island nations that are facing the wrath of the climate and nature crisis, she said.

“There must be talks on how to reduce the impacts that we face in our communities, changing weather patterns, affecting food production or the rising sea levels washing our islands away.

“And our land is the greatest asset,” she said.