Papua New Guinea
The revitalisation of traditional management of the Admiralty cuscus
About the Implementing organization
Name: Pohowa, Tulu and Mondropolon Tribal Groups
Country: Papua New Guinea
Year of establishment: 1950
Type of organization: Indigenous group or organization
To address food security and enhance local communities resilience to climate change, drought resistant crop varieties were introduced to communities in the Great Central Forest of Manus Island. Crucially, local people were also trained in permaculture techniques (in order to farm the same block of land repeatedly) rather than practising shifting cultivation. As a result local communities are beginning to shift away from shifting cultivation which is one of the leading causes of forest loss. This subproject was facilitated by Papua New Guinea’s National Agriculture Research Institute (NARI).
Type of Action
Protection / Restoration / Sustainable use / Awareness and education
Sustainable Development Element
Jobs and livelihoods / Food security / Disaster risk reduction / Climate action
This initiative promoted sustainable agricultural practices and land management for rural farming communities within the Great Central Forest of Manus Island. Food security for the communities was increased in terms of yield and diversity thereby also providing an avenue for farmers to sell surplus crops in local markets. As a consequence of training locals are now better able to manage blocks of land. By moving away from shifting agriculture more forest can be allowed to regenerate and the impact of agriculture on the forest is significantly lessened.
Sustainable Development Impacts
Communities now have increased knowledge, a wider of gardening methods and new crop varieties that they are successfully growing. Prior to this initiative communities were primarily dependent on the staple crop which is sago. The risk for food security from such dependence on so few foods is significant and will only be increased with predicted impacts of climate change such as increased and novel pests and diseases and changing and unpredictable weather patterns. By diversifying garden varieties, and introducing drought resistant varieties, the initiative has improved food security.
This community initiative can be scaled at the national level as a policy measure through Papua New Guinea’s Department of Agriculture and Livestock (DAL) and NARI. DAL and NARI can work with provincial governments to revive hibernating agricultural extension programmes so that agricultural education can multiply and affect a greater proportion of the rural population.
Community-oriented food security projects are easily replicable in other parts of Papua New Guinea given that most rural communities are willing to trial new agricultural techniques. The potential for replicability is also supported by the fact that similar types of livelihood and food security projects are also undertaken in Papua New Guinea by non-government organizations including community based organisations.
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