In a significant move towards sustainable development, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the European Union (EU) have allocated grants totaling over US$420,000 (approximately 1.6 million PGK) to support initiatives aimed at combating deforestation, improving food and nutrition security, and adapting to the impacts of climate change. These grants are set to benefit communities across six districts in Enga Province, Papua New Guinea.
Handover Ceremony at Takeanda Museum
The official handover of these grants took place during a workshop held at the Takeanda Museum in Wabag, Enga Province, on 17 January 2024. The workshop saw the active participation of key figures, including the Provincial Administrator, Mr. Sandis Tsak; the Provincial Director of Commerce, Culture and Tourism, Ms. Margaret Potane; and the Provincial Director of Agriculture and Livestock, Mr. Ronnie Tirone. The workshop also included project staff and representatives from community-based organizations.
Guidance and Empowerment
Beyond the grant distribution, participants received crucial guidance on monitoring and reporting the outcomes of their initiatives. The workshop also focused on enhancing the effective implementation of diverse project activities. This additional support aims to ensure that the funded projects yield impactful results and contribute to the overall goals of sustainable land management.
Addressing Climate Change and Unsustainable Practices
Mr. Nicholas Booth, UNDP Resident Representative, emphasized the urgency of addressing the devastating consequences of climate change and unsustainable land management practices on communities reliant on Papua New Guinea’s biodiversity for their daily subsistence. He highlighted the significance of empowering affected communities to take a lead in fostering a more sustainable future that balances development with ecosystem preservation.
EU’s Commitment to Sustainable Development
The European Union Ambassador to Papua New Guinea, H.E. Jacques Fradin, expressed pride in supporting the project. He emphasized the project’s role in assisting provincial authorities in adapting to climate change challenges and increasing public awareness about the importance of preserving Enga Province’s rich biodiversity. Ambassador Fradin highlighted the instrumental role of low-value grants in mobilizing local communities to actively participate in environmental protection and promote communal welfare in a sustainable manner.
Continued Support: Strengthening Integrated Sustainable Land Management Project
This marks the second time the ‘Strengthening Integrated Sustainable Land Management’ project has supported community-based organizations in Enga Province through small grants. In 2023, 10 organizations received grants to conduct initiatives related to strengthening coffee production, expanding fisheries, and replanting forests. The continuity of support underscores the long-term commitment to fostering sustainable practices and community resilience in the face of environmental challenges.
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