Manus Island looks at food security to battle climate change

The people of Mbuke Island in Manus Province are looking at food security to help adapt to the effects of drought, El Nino and climate change.

Mbuke is one of many islands in PNG affected by climate change and sea level rise.

Officers from Government agencies, including NARI, Department of Agriculture and Livestock and Department of Environment and Conservation, visited the island recently to speak to the locals.

They did a survey and interviews with focus groups, community leaders and women on food security and income generating activities.

The people were very happy to hear about options on income generation, women empowerment and capacity building and training.

The men were asked on other economic driven options like ecotourism and fisheries development that the community is trying to promote in line with the Manus 2030 Vision and PNG 2050.

Local NGO Marine Environment Awareness and Response Team, headed by former WWF Marine Officer Selarn Kaluwin, said they are targeting ecotourism, mari-culture and fisheries for income generation.

He said they have discussed with the team that visited and are working to maintain their natural food crops to have reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food.

Kaluwin said they have also spoken with some of their partners as well, like Manus Fisheries Division, Commerce and Tourism and other non-government organisations, to see how they can achieve food security and generate more income.

Picture: Mbuke villagers involved in the survey, courtesy of Selarn Kaluwin 

Quintina Naime