Food for the future: Nonouti island develops plan for food security as climate change impacts deepen

A team of fifteen government officers has visited Nonouti island to develop an Island Strategic Plan ensuring food security in the context of climate change.

Forty participants – including the Mayor and Councilor, the island clerk, community representatives, schools, churches and businesses and tour guides – were invited to attend the week-long workshop, 22 to 25 July.  

As a low-lying atoll nation, Kiribati is extremely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, in particular heavy rain, higher spring tides and storm surges (when both ocean and lagoon waters overwash the land), with flow on consequences for food security. 

On some islands, food crops such as breadfruit, pandanus, fig and coconut trees, as well as vegetables (pumpkin, kumara, pawpaw, taro) and leafy plants, have been wiped out. Tekaranga and Tamatantongo villages of Maiana island, Tabiang village at Abemama Island and Temotu village on Nonouti Island are several communities which have experienced such setbacks.

The workshop was coordinated by the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) through the Local Government Division (LGD) and supported by 10 government Ministries including the Ministry of Education, Fisheries Division, Environment and Conservation Division, Agriculture and Livestock Division, Culture and Museum Division, Tourism Authority of Kiribati, Ministry of Commerce, Business and Cooperatives.

To prepare for the formulation of the Island Strategic Plan, representatives of the Ministries provided an update on their surveys for monitoring natural resources and highlighted issues related to food security on the island of Nonouti such as the decrease in sizes of bonefish populations caught by fishermen, replanting due to the low survival rates of some plantings from recent flooding of brackish water.  

The formulation of the plan has 3 parts, (1) Identification of issues on the island aligned to the pillars of the government vision – KV20, (2) village consultation on the issues identified, and (3) finalization and endorsement of the plan by the island full council members.

Among the issues identified on Nonouti were the need to conserve the island’s marine biodiversity and the need to improve infrastructure such as the road, the airfield and seaport.

Island Strategic Plans have now been formulated for Abemama, Maiana and Nonouti, the three pilot islands for the LDCF-I project. For Abemama, the plan was completed in October/November 2018 and for Maiana, in May 2019. With the formulation of the plan for Nonouti, the project has hit a milestone. The LGD-MIA is now working on the finalization of the documents before launching their implementation.

The ISP workshop in Maiana was supported by the Kiribati LDCF I Project, funded by the Global Environment Facility and implemented under the Environment and Conservation Division with the support of the United Nations Development Programme.

For further information Contact

Bweneata Kaoti (Ms)

Project Advocacy Officer – PAO; Project Management Unit – PMU

Environment and Conservation Division, MELAD, 75228211,75228000,

bweneatak@environment.gov.ki

Group photo of participants during the first day of workshop.
Group Discussion