The U.S. Government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and partner organization Papua New Guinea Centre for Locally Managed Areas celebrated the completion of the Scaling up Women’s Participation in Mangrove Management project.
The event brought together government agencies, stakeholders, and partner communities that supported the project in its one and a half year of implementation.
“Our partnership has helped enhance mangrove management and improve the livelihoods of three communities in Papua New Guinea’s Central Province,” said Ambassador Catherine Ebert-Gray.
“Your values are our values. Like you, we believe independence, self-reliance, and community is the bed rock of society.That’s why we chose to work with local civil society organizations and communities to find solutions that meet the individual needs of each community.”
The project has trained over 200 community members on mangrove ecology, nursery management and resource mapping. USAIDalso established mangrove nurseries in each of the three partner villages, with the communities now regularly conducting mangrove replanting.
The U.S. government also helped boost the income of mud crab sellers from the communities. Mud crabs, which are found in mangrove forests, are among the sources of income for families in the partner communities. With USAID support, PNGCLMA linked crab sellers with a sea food export company, thus providing an incentive for subsequent conservation activities.
USAID assisted the communities in developing Locally Managed Area Plans, which have been endorsed by the village leaders and will be forwarded to the relevant government agencies. The plan is based on the findings of the mangrove baseline survey that the project conducted with the University of Papua New Guinea, which established the astounding biodiversity of the mangroves.
Through the Pacific-American Climate Fund, USAID has supported 28 projects in 12 Pacific nations, with six of these projects located in Papua New Guinea. These resilience projects aimed to reduce long-term vulnerabilities associated with weather extremes.
USAID awarded grants to civil society organizations in support of resilience measures that were mutually beneficial to the communities and the environment, such as livelihoods enhancement, improved health, food security, disaster risk reduction and sustainable natural resources management.