PORT MORESBY: ENVIRONMENTAL and Conservation groups under the PNG Eco-Forestry Forum network are embarking on a massive tree planting drive with a target of 10,000 mangrove seedlings to be planted to commemorate World Environment Day on June 5.
The Motupore Islands Research Centre’s mangrove expert, marine biologist Thomas Manuawie, is heading the re-vegetation exercise to take place in three coastal villages of Gabagaba, Tubuseria and Tahira on June 5- 6.
“The theme for this year’s event 'Your Planet Needs You!-UNite to Combat Climate Change' reflects the urgency for nations to agree on a new deal at the crucial climate convention meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark in December and the links with overcoming poverty and improved management of forests,” said Thomas Paka, EFF executive director
Mr Paka said the forum with various sponsors were taking the lead to promote this day amongst schools and local communities at various centres through the distribution of information kits on climate change issues to highlight the importance of environmental protection.
He said the theme called for community participation and action for local communities and citizens to take ownership of the fight against climate change.
He said climate change had become a primary concern with Papua New Guinea’s food, economic, cultural and biodiversity security at stake and coupled with the absence of/or slow progress of government policies to deal with these impacts, people need to be proactive.
He called on the government to immediately put in place appropriate policies and strengthen the capacities of its relevant institutions both at the national and local levels to deal with the issue with urgency to avoid catastrophic impacts.
Growing trees is the simplest way to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store them in trees (carbon sequestration).
As many costal communities are at the risk of rising sea level and its related impacts, the mangroves planting exercise should raise awareness and promote practical as mitigation actions to deal with the issues of climate change.
These efforts are also in line with the stated aims of Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare for 50% reduction of PNG’s carbon emission by 2020.
He is urging corporate entities, business houses, groups, communities and individuals to be part of this campaign either by either purchasing or sponsoring a mangrove plant for