Country

Papua New Guinea

Explore historical and projected climate data, climate data by sector, impacts, key vulnerabilities and what adaptation measures are being taken. Explore the overview for a general context of how climate change is affecting Papua New Guinea.

Adaptation

PNG is extremely vulnerable to the changes of the natural environment. In the southwest Pacific, (Melanesia region) the rate of change of sea level rise as measured by satellites over the 10 years was at 8-10 mm/yr, approximately three times the global average. Through the Office of Climate Change and Development, the government has identified and placed emphasis on resilience actions in the categories of climate and natural hazards.

Adaptation Options for Key Sectors

  • Promote research into new plant varieties, crop rotation, use of irrigation, altered nutrient levels and plantation forestry alternatives. 
  • Promote sustainable natural forest management. 
  • Implement capacity-building initiatives focused on piloting innovative extension systems.
  • Improve and integrate farming technologies. 
  • Strengthen agricultural data collection. 
  • Plan and expand micro credit and small business training facilities. 
  • Conduct information collection and data transfer on water resource management methodologies. 
  • Implement water hazard warning/forecasting and improve analysis techniques. 
  • Develop alternative water sources, such as rainfall catchment devices as well as saltwater and brackish water desalination plants. 
  • Implement water conservation measures, including leakage control.
  • Invest in and promote new water technologies, particularly for recycled water. 
  • Assist in the acquisition of upgraded resources to enhance national technologies.  
  • Incorporate climate change into water management legislation. 
  • Strengthen capability and capacity building for water quality monitoring. 
  • Improve infrastructure, including adoption and enforcement of more stringent building codes, and improve quarantine services.
  • Eradicate artificial breeding sites (i.e. litter, solid waste, water containers) for vector-borne diseases.
  • Improve sanitation, reliability, and safety of water supply.
  • Develop emergency response systems to cope with floods and droughts.
  • Improve provision of primary health care.

Gaps and Needs

  • An improved understanding of traditional mechanisms for coping with climate hazards, coupled with effectively designed strategies for dissemination of endogenous knowledge is required to support vulnerability reduction to the country’s population. Vulnerability studies in key areas of the country could provide this information.
  • Collecting detailed accounts of local strategies to adapt to climate change are desperately needed to serve as a starting point for knowledge exchange on successful practices among vulnerable populations and to support rational policymaking in vulnerable areas.
  • Technology access and income diversification activities need to explored and piloted, particularly in areas most vulnerable to climate risks.
  • Research on the impacts of warm phase El Nino Southern Oscillation events is needed across the country’s economic sectors in order to develop context and culturally relevant adaptation portfolios for the areas most at risk.
  • Lack of coordination and cooperation between government agencies is common; this problem is exacerbated by the lack of strong information systems. This is also the case with donors, where coordination is desperately needed, particularly on gender issues.
  • Strengthening institutions to support agriculture and fishing by enhancing the skills and knowledge of male and female farmers and fishermen will yield significant returns.
  • Concerns related to human health do not appear to be addressed through current initiatives. Nor do any current adaptation projects or proposed strategies specifically identify gender considerations as a prominent component.
  • Resource deficiencies (i.e. human, financial) need to be addressed, particularly at the local level, as they limit the exchange of knowledge and information on climate change and adaptation and complicates efforts to mainstream these issues into national development plans.
  • A better understanding of the local dimensions of vulnerability is essential to develop appropriate adaptation measures that will mitigate these adverse consequences. This requires detailed vulnerability assessments to be conducted in the most vulnerable flood and drought-prone areas.
  • Better information is needed on water resources management and drainage systems, particularly those feeding growing urban areas.
  • Developing sound early warning systems including flood forecasting is essential.
  • Ongoing efforts such as the Climate Change Data Rescue project, the Pacific Meteorological Services Needs Assessment Programme, and the Climate Change and the Southern Hemisphere Tropical Cyclones Project (listed in the adaptation section above) are set to provide critical information, but these efforts will need to be augmented for other hazards in the region.
  • Resource deficiencies (i.e. human, financial) need to be addressed, particularly at the local level, as they limit the exchange of knowledge and information on climate change and adaptation and complicates efforts to mainstream these issues into national development plans.