Sunday, April 11, 2010

Graduands urged to be agents of change

Graduating students of the University of Natural Resources and Environment at Vudal in East New Britain province have been urged to be agents of change.

 Vision 2050 chairman Prof David Kavanamur (pictured) urged the graduands to become key agents of change towards attaining the vision and mission statement contained in Papua New Guinea Vision 2050.

 “Our vision: ‘We will be a smart, wise, fair, healthy and happy society by 2050’,” Prof Kavanamur said.

 “Our mission statement: ‘We will be ranked in the top 50 countries in the United Nations human development index by 2050, creating opportunities for personal and national advancement through economic growth, smart innovative ideas, quality service and ensuring a fair and equitable distribution of benefits in a safe and secure environment for all citizens’.

 “Your country, the independent state of Papua New Guinea is now calling upon your knowledge, skill sets, values and nationalism that UNRE has inculcated into your being for attaining the country’s overarching strategic intent.

 “It is encouraging indeed to note that PNG UNRE has already aligned itself to the implementation of Vision 2050.”

 Prof Kavanamur said in strategic planning, once the strategy was set, the next challenge was strategy execution.

 He said the UNRE had captured all seven pillars of Vision 2050 which were human capital development and people empowerment;  wealth creation and natural resources;  service delivery;  environmental sustainability and climate change;  spiritual, cultural and community development; strategic planning; and bio-security and food security.

 “What’s more, the university’s name, following your timely and smart rebranding strategy, reflects the PNG Vision 2050,” Prof Kavanamur said.

 “The name, the Papua New Guinea University of Natural Resources and Environment, will be recorded in the annals of history and talked about for a long time to come.”

 Prof Kavanamur said the Vision 2050 team recognised that natural resources held so much untapped potential.

 “We recognised much earlier on that enclave industries like mining, oil and gas would never provide all the employment or business opportunities that would satisfy our people’s aspirations or even at the least be effective mediums for equitable distribution of national goods and services,” he said.

 “Contrary to popularly held views, the key lies in unlocking the potential in our renewable natural resources sector through positive empowerment and engagement of our people.

 “We all know too well that is conservatively estimated that around 90% of Papua New Guineans depend on income from coffee, cocoa, palm oil, copra and food crops to make a living for themselves.

 “A very large percentage of this takes place in the informal sector.

 “Compare this to our mining, oil and gas sector which employs less than 50,000 workers across the entire country and your have a perspective on this paradox.”

 Prof Kavanamur told the graduands that they were skilled in the area of natural resources and environment management and had an important role to play in society.

 “In addition, the Somare-Temu Government has deliberately asked us to come up with staretegies to ensure the rapid expansion of four key economic sectors: agriculture, eco-forestry, coast fisheries and eco-tourism,” he said.

 “All these sectors fall within your area of training.

 “In order to fully realise the value of our natural resources, we need to move downstream and position ourselves further along the value chain, thereby creating more local jobs and higher value from our existing renewable resources.

 “This is the real challenge in Vision 2050, to identify and empower more-creative people within our society who will move into these production sectors and progress the transformation.”

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