PNG adopts ancestral practices to lower carbon footprint

PNG's climate change action committee says the ancient tradition of cultivating mangroves will help counter the effects of climate change. [ABC]
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PNG's climate change action committee says the ancient tradition of cultivating mangroves will help counter the effects of climate change. [ABC]

Last Updated: Wed, 23 Nov 2011 16:19:00 +1100

A PNG action committee says it is looking at ways to lessen the expected impacts of climate change on populated coastal and highland areas.

Papua New Guinea has been flagged as "highly vulnerable" to the effects of climate change, placing its people, environment and economy at great risk.

The Office of Climate Change and Development's Adaptation Director is calling on PNG residents to return to their ancestors' traditional and environmental lifestyles to lessen the impacts.

Varigini Badira says this lifestyle change, along with creating a greener economy, will lower PNG's carbon footprint.

"We are encouraging our people to go back to looking at how they can use their traditional knowledge to combat climate change," he told Radio Australia's Pacific Beat program.

"Traditionally, our people have been living a sustainable lifestyle - with a very low carbon footprint - living in harmony with our seas, forest, animals and rivers."

Mr Badira says the body will support initiatives like growing mangrove trees around coastal villages to prevent rising sea levels from flooding and damaging houses.

Tending to mangroves is an ancient PNG custom, he said.

He added that the harmful effects of climate change are "a bleak story, however, this is not a doomsday situation."

We need a sustainable green economy, which is resilient to climate change, and the needs of the 85 per cent of our people must be addressed through this pilot programme."

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