A team of 10 officials from various government ministries and UNDP have returned from Nonouti after conducting groundbreaking consultations with the full Island Council on October 27 and island representatives on October 28th at Matang village, for the project Enhancing Food Security in the Context of Global Climate Change.
Thirteen members (13) of the full Island Council from Temotu to Benuaroa wards and the islet Abamakoro came to the launch.
Coastal erosion was voiced as a major concern. internal trade on local products was welcomed but there was request for transport of such to be improved. cleaning of the island from sources of pollution, such as plastics and e-waste which are undertaken on S/Tarawa, were suggested to form part of the project. Causeways were observed by the islanders to be the cause in the decline of their marine resources and hence request was made if this could also be addressed.
The second consultation with the village wards’ representatives had a turnout of more than 50 participants from the Elders’ group, Women, Youth, schools, as well as co-operatives from the fishing, agricultural and copra associations, and some Government officials stationed on the island.
Participants had an interest in agricultural activities ranging from preparation of the planting plot, finding alternate sources of moisture to trees during dry spells, hosting of gene banks and concern with poultry disease infecting many chickens in some villages.
The consultations marked the commencement of this project to raise awareness of the islanders so they are well informed of the activities that Government will be rolling out, to build their resilience and enhance their food security in light of climate change.
The project is executed by the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Agricultural Development (MELAD), with other implementing partners from Office of Te Beretitenti (OB), Ministry of Information, Communications, Transport and Tourism Development (MICTTD), Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Co-operatives (MCIC), Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA), Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources Development (MFMRD) and Ministry of Education (MoE).
The team will be visiting Maiana in mid-November for the same mission.
The 5-year project has US$4.45 million dollar funding provided by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) while UNDP, provided US$140,000.