In late August 2021, an assessment team led by Ms Luanne Losi, Acting Manager, Adaptation Branch, Climate Change Development Authority (CCDA) visited the low-lying coastal Karama and surrounding communities in Gulf Province to undertake community consultations and field assessments for the PACRES project that will enhance resilience to climate change and natural disasters. SPREP’s PACRES Project Officer, PACRES USP (UPNG), our consultant’s representative, the Karama community focal point and CCDA personnel made up the team.
After introductory calls on the Provincial Government and district administrations the team spent three days with the communities, assessing flood protection, food and water security options. Options to build resilience will be finalised in the coming days and selected options implemented with the communities in 2022. Community consultations confirmed a general understanding of climate change among people, however, there is a need for specific climate change concepts and information to be available in local language. The community favoured a participatory approach to consultations rather than more structured formal interviews.
The contribution of PACRES to Karama will enhance the already existing knowledge in the community in terms of mangrove rehabilitation and provide alternative options for water and food security and enable disaster preparedness for the community. Ms Losi noted “The community is already resilient to the impacts of climate change, however, with the right support and training then the community will be better able to make decisions to increase their resilience and adaptive capacity”.
PACRES will also fund additional Vulnerability Needs Assessments for a number of other coastal communities in Gulf Province in 2022- 23.