Ontong Java prepares for food security project

By the Solomon Islands PACC Team

Solomon Islands, March 2012 - A two day consultation was conducted by the National Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change Project (PACC) Management Unit to inform the House of Chiefs and communities of Ontong Java, Solomon Islands the outcome of the Vulnerability and Adaptation Assessment carried out in May of last year.

The consultation was spearheaded by community elders of Luaniua and Pelau in collaboration with the PACC team and the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock to discuss proposed activities which focus on improving crop yield and increasing agriculture productions for sustainable livelihood, and other adaptation options identified in the Assessments.

The Vulnerability and Adaptation Assessment is a process that is followed to determine or assess how climate change impacts the lives and resources of people in a positive or negative way and how they would adjust to the changes.

SolomonIsSolomon Islands Member of Parliament for the Malaita Outer Islands, Hon. Martin Mokolo at the Luaniua House of Chiefs
Photo: © Solomon Islands PACC

"We are grateful that the initiative has been taken to come back to inform us about what has been happening and what is being proposed for our communities," said a member of Luaniua House of Chiefs.

There is strong interest from the Pelau community, an area of land has been allocated and cleared in preparation for the agricultural project that will help ensure there is no threat to their food security.

"We depend much on Giant Swamp taro which has been severely affected by salt-water intrusion", said a community elder.

"Right now we are harvesting our swamp taro patches pre-maturely while it takes six to seven years before they are ready to be harvested. We have no option but to do it for our survival", he further reiterated.

It is proposed to introduce salt-resistant crops and new farming systems applicable for the low lying communities. At this stage, the PACC project is in the process of procuring materials, equipments and establishing crop bunks on the mainland ready to be transferred to the demonstration sites in Ontong Java.

The trip to Ontong Java was made possible by the Ministry of Climate Change, Disaster and Meteorology through the National Disaster Management Office for supplying of disaster reliefs for the atoll communities. It was also an opportunity to review the recent Vulnerability and Adaptation Assessment findings which was conducted last year.

The Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change Project consists of 14 member countries; it is implemented by the United Nations Development Programme in partnership with the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme.

It is funded by the Global Environment Facility and the Australian Agency for International Development with support from United Nations Institute for Training and Research in Climate Change Capacity Development Programme (C3D+).

For more information on the Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change Project, please visit www.sprep.org/pacc-home

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