Newsletter January 2021

Decade of Action: UNDP Papua New Guinea is #GreeningTheBlue

A contractor installing energy-efficient LED lights in UNDP Papua New Guinea Country Office. Photo: UNDP Papua New Guinea

It's 2021, the Decade of Action has begun and taking care of our natural environment is an immense responsibility - as a matter of urgency, we all are accountable to #SaveOurPlanet.

As this new decade kicks in, the United Nations Nations Development Programme in Papua New Guinea is committed to "Green" our Country Office as part of the UN #GreeningTheBlue initiative.

Many of us are already 'green-aware' and take part in environmentally-friendly processes - such as recycling, reducing consumption and waste production to imagining circular economy models to limit our carbon and material footprint.

However, many people remain unaware of new technological and design advancements that are vital in reducing carbon emissions - for example, the use of energy-efficient lighting such as LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) can be valuable in our goal to conserve the environment and restore our planet.

This month, UNDP in Papua New Guinea, as part of it's Greening-the-Office efforts, installed new LED lights at the Country Office, in Port Moresby, with the aim of creating an energy-efficient and more environmentally-conscious workspace. LEDs reduce greenhouse emissions due to low energy consumption - approximately 80% of the energy supplied is converted into light, while only about 20% is converted into excess heat.

UNDP Papua New Guinea 'Greening the Office' Plan

UNDP Papua New Guinea's 'Greening the Blue' Task Force team have developed a plan to implement ways to reduce the Country Office's carbon footprint. The plan looks at travel and transportation, electricity consumption, waste reduction and recycling, and to provide "Green Office" awareness raising for staff.

The utilisation of LEDs in the office lowers electricity consumption and is an example of the commitment to ‘Greening the Office’ under the guidance of the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) Greening the Blue Initiative established to engage and support the UN system in the transition towards greater environmental sustainability in planning and management of its facilities and operations.

Replacing outdated lighting systems with LED lighting addresses Sustainable Development Goals #SDG7 - Affordable and Clean Energy and #SDG13 - Climate Action. Throughout 2021, the ‘Greening the Office’ team will champion the change to make the UNDP Papua New Guinea Country Office more environmentally sustainable and energy efficient.

We welcome your ideas on our Green Office Plan. Look forward to your tips! Email: communications.png@undp.org


Power of Data to end Gender-based Violence #EndGBV

Workshop participants with UNDP PNG Spotlight's Lindsay Lambi (2nd r) in Kokopo, East New Britain Province. Photo: L. Lambi/ UNDP Papua New Guinea

The United Nations Spotlight Initiative team was in Kokopo, East New Britain Province this month helping to train provincial decision makers at a 3-day Gender-Based Violence Database Consultation Workshop with the aim to #EndGBV.

The workshop led by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), under the UN Spotlight Initiative, was designed to develop a national data coordination system with support from UNDP Papua New Guinea.

UNDP Spotlight Initiative Project officer, Mr. Lindsay Lambi explained that establishing a national system ensures effective collection of GBV data, information management and efficient data sharing protocols vital for effective GBV programming and intervention at national and subnational levels.

“Stakeholders can effectively utilize the data to inform local and national strategies on how to respond effectively to ending GBV in Papua New Guinea going forward,” Mr. Lambi said. Based on experiences and lessons learned in the pilot phase of UNDP’s Gender Programme (from 2014-2016), the 13-15 January, Kokopo workshop aimed to bring together heads of government agencies and civil society organizations responsible for implementing Gender-Based Violence programmes and activities.

Stakeholders can effectively utilize data to inform strategy on how to respond effectively to ending GBV in Papua New Guinea going forward. Photo: L. Lambi/ UNDP Papua New Guinea

GBV stakeholders and government agencies in attendance - including East New Britain Community Development Advisor and District CDOs, Family Sexual Violence Action Committee (FSVAC) coordinators for East New Britain, Morobe and National Capital District, Police Family Sexual Violence Unit officers, Correctional Services, Law and Justice officers, Hospital Family Support Center officers and Safe House operators - shared ideas, experiences, challenges and lessons learned, and strengthened networks to reaffirm the importance of GBV Data that informs government decision-making.

Outcomes from the workshop included: i) Consensus between GBV service providers and provincial FSVAC/Community Development Officers to put in place data sharing protocols and agreements for provincial reporting; and ii) Consensus between provincial administrations and civil society organizations on the importance of partner support from UNDP and UNFPA to strengthen provincial coordination and GBV information management.

The workshop also created awareness of UNDP's role within the European Union funded UN-Spotlight Initiative in institutional strengthening of the National Gender-based Violence Secretariat and in establishing Provincial GBV Secretariats. Participants had an opportunity to learn from the success of the National Capital District commission as the only district in the country with an established GBV Database system.

The Spotlight Initiative is a global, multi-year partnership between the European Union and the United Nations to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls by 2030.


#ClimateAction: Building Resilience in Bougainville

A community leader making a point during the climate consultation process on Tasman Island. Photo: J. Poulsen / UNDP Papua New Guinea

The United Nations Development Programme in Papua New Guinea, in partnership with the Climate Change and Development Authority (CCDA), continues to drive national climate action for remote communities.

The Building Resilience to Climate Change (BRCC) team visited a targeted number of islands and atolls in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville conducting climate change vulnerability assessments in remote island communities.

On this leg of the 30-day sea journey, under sail during January, the BRCC mission included Nuguria, Tasman and Mortlock Island Groups, northeast of Bougainville, and Tinputz – a resettlement village on the main island for the climate change-impacted community of Carteret Islands at risk from rising sea levels affecting housing, health, food and water security.

The BRCC team sailing into Mortlock Island. Photo: J.Poulsen/ UNDP Papua New Guinea.

UNDP’s Resident Representative, Mr. Dirk Wagener stated, “This work is intended to inform decision makers on the threats of climate change which are already here and impacting communities now. These efforts will result in UNDP supporting these communities deliver practical and sustainable measures to help them better adapt to these impacts that are rapidly altering the way people live.”

To date, the team have conducted assessments in Morobe, East New Britain and Manus Provinces visiting a total of 12 islands and atolls. A series of community consultations and activities are conducted, with a total of over 500 men, women and children consulted on the impacts and solutions of climate change for their communities.

Communities in these outer islands rely on freshwater from wells, often impacted by saltwater intrusion from rising sea levels. Photo: J.Poulsen/ UNDP Papua New Guinea.

The team also offers among other support, Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment training for authorities and other critical stakeholders - including workshop training in Buka Town, the capital of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, with relevant Government authorities.

During the mission, the Autonomous Bougainville Government was briefed on the work conducted and relevant authorities will be engaged on issues related to the impacts of climate change on outer and remote isolated islands and atoll communities.

This project is a joint initiative with UNDP, the National Government of Papua New Guinea and the Asian Development Bank.


Deadline 2030: Sustainable Development Goals - Decade of Action

The Sustainable Development Goals are a first in human history—a global compact to create a future where nobody is left behind.

The 17 goals were adopted by all countries at the United Nations in September 2015.

They encompass every aspect of human and planetary well-being, a universal call to action to end poverty, to protect Earth and ensure all people enjoy peace and prosperity.

They also come with a deadline: 2030


International Youth Art Contest for World Wildlife Day 2021

Let's do this #PNG ! #youthart #worldwildlifeday

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (ifaw) is hosting its 3rd global #ArtContest for school-age youth. This is highlighting efforts under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora and its work with UNDP. This year's there is ‘#Forests and livelihoods: sustaining people and #planet'.

Entries close on 7 February 2021.

Follow link below for more information on how to enter the contest.


“Now it’s unpredictable” - Young people call on #ClimateAction for Papua New Guinea

Kim Allen started his career with the United Nations Development Programme in Papua New Guinea. Photo: Alice Plate/ UNDP Papua New Guinea

Growing up on an island, Kim Allen is acutely aware of climate change.

“I can see vividly what coastal erosion can do,” he says. “It’s the displacement of communities.”

Kim (child on right) remembers vividly the coastline and how it was two decades ago compared to the current state. Photo: Courtesy of Kim Allen.

Kim grew up on Tubetube Island, part of the Engineer Islands, located off the southeast coast of Papua New Guinea. Leaving his home at the age of 12 for educational pursuits, he returned several years later to find that the coastline from his childhood had washed away.

Kim’s experience is the story of Papua New Guinea’s coastal communities, who face an uncertain future as climate change brings about sea level rise, increased inland water salinity, and the loss of marine life.

Giving the example of food insecurity, Allen points to changing weather patterns and rising salinity as causing hunger in Papua New Guinea. People used to know how to predict when it would be rainy, or sunny, or when to harvest, but “now it’s unpredictable,” he says.

Coastal communities in Papua New Guinea face an uncertain future in the wake of climate change. Photo: Canva

Kim Allen, now an Assistant Communications Officer with the USAID Papua New Guinea Lukautim Graun Program, which roughly translates to “biodiversity conservation,” uses his experiences to advocate for Papua New Guineans affected by climate change, especially communities dependent on forestry and marine resources. This includes focusing on youth.

“Youth have the potential and the power,” he explains, as he talks about tapping into the potential of the country’s youth to help solve Papua New Guinea’s most pressing issues.

His work with UNDP and USAID has included educating young people about climate change and conservation, including school awareness projects on tree planting and coastal cleanups which reached around 5,000 students.

In 2019, Kim was one of two Papua New Guinean youth representatives to travel to New York City to participate in youth and policy discussions at the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Youth Forum. Also part of a youth delegation in Fiji, Kim attended the Regional Young Leaders Dialogue on Good Governance and Human Rights, with discussions about the issues Pacific-islander youth face, including climate change.

In addition to his advocacy work, Kim looks to the people of Papua New Guinea, especially the youth, as a source of hope for combating climate change.

One such example comes from coastal regions, which are dependent on the ocean for food and livelihoods. Community-led mechanisms manage overfishing by rotating where and when fishing can take place. Marine biodiversity is maintained by allowing fish and other marine stocks to replenish.

Kim Allen (center) with fellow young people at the 2019 UN ECOSOC Forum in New York City Photo: Kim Allen

“We have internal solutions” he says, while observing that leaders often fail to see the potential found in Papua New Guinea itself, including young people. “Papua New Guinea is labelled as a developing country, but we contribute immensely to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.”

While communities and young people are mobilizing to develop solutions, Kim explains that their perspectives often fail to reach national-level policy conversations. “We need the political will to elevate their voices,” he notes.

Additionally, Kim calls for more education and awareness so that young people understand climate change and climate policy, including the translation of policy into practical actions.

“Papua New Guinea is labelled as a developing country, but we contribute immensely to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions” - Kim Allen

“We are interconnected with the environment and that gives us hope,” he says. “We look after the environment and the environment looks after us.”


Climate Adaptation Summit #CAS2021

Hosted in 2021 by the Netherlands, the Climate Adaptation Summit - #CAS2021 is the first global summit of world leaders dedicated to accelerating action for a climate resilient recovery from Covid-19.

Following the work of the Global Commission on Adaptation chaired by Ban Ki-moon, 8th Secretary General of the United Nations, Bill Gates, co-founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, CAS2021 will launch a comprehensive Adaptation Action Agenda on 25-26 January, to kick start a transformational decade.

World leaders including Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the Netherlands, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, President of France, Emmanuel Macron, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina will participate. They will be joined by Bill Gates, co-founder of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, Managing Director of the IMF, Kristalina Georgieva, Executive Vice-President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans and other regional leaders and changemakers.

Highlights of #CAS2021 include:

• Launch of 'State and Trends of Adaptation 2020' Report on progress of climate adaptation and best practice on building resilience.

• Signed Science Statement of 2500 scientists from 130 countries calling on world decision makers to invest in changing climates.

• Youth Declaration of young people from 115 countries presented a Global Youth Call to Action “Adapt for Our Future”.

• UNDP presentation to #CAS2021 highlighting leadership of global climate adaptations in Disaster Risk Management and Locally Led Adaptation.

• UNDP in Papua New Guinea was pleased to contribute to #CAS2021 with the submission of the country’s Nationally Determined Contributions (#NDCs).


Learning every day at UNDP

Kale Gore is on his 13th year with UNDP in Papua New Guinea. Photo: Clive Hawigen/ UNDP Papua New Guinea

“The greatest motivation that drives me to continue my work here - I do not make money for shareholders, I work to serve and empower other people”

Mr Kale Gore hails from the rocky limestone terrains of Simbu Province, though Port Moresby has been his home since 1998.

A soft-spoken and ambitious individual, he is currently on his 13th year with UNDP in Papua New Guinea.

Mr Gore joined UNDP in 2007 as a Project Services Associate, which at that time was a new section to support the programmes. Commencing a new role as Finance Associate in 2009 before moving abroad for further studies – and attaining a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the Australian National University (ANU) - Mr Gore rejoined the Finance team in 2015.

Now a Programme Finance and Assurance Analyst, Mr Gore explains why he enjoys working for UNDP. First, as operations' staff, Mr Gore and his team in their area of expertise contribute directly towards the overall goals of the organization. Second, he enjoys and is encouraged by, the unlimited learning opportunities offered by the organisation.

“I have been around for some time and every day we are learning something new. I find that here at UNDP the learning never stops.”

Mr Gore believes there is more he can offer and accomplish.

“There are some personal goals I have set for myself to achieve here. UNDP in Papua New Guinea has made a lot of difference and progress in development, but I think there is always ways in which the programmes can have greater impact."


Contact us: info.png@undp.org