The National, Tuesday 30th April 2013
PAPUA New Guinea has made a good but slow progress towards achieving sustainable development to reaffirm its commitment as part of a global community’s emphasis on ensuring environmental sustainability.
Representing the PNG delegation at the Asian and Pacific Regional Implementation Meeting on Rio+20 Outcomes in Bangkok, Thailand, last week, Ethel Namuri said: “Papua New Guinea relied on the nation’s rich biological resources for sustainable livelihood and its social structures and economic development are important components in maintaining a sustainable environment.”
She highlighted PNG’s national priorities under the three pillars of sustainable development – economic growth, social improvement/inclusion and environment protection.
Namuri reiterated that ESCAP work closely with each country on their country specifics and initiatives and integrate gaps identified (overlaps and duplications) in line with best practices of sustainable development to be integrated into
“A critical first step in integrating sustainable development is to consider actions that incorporate current stress in the social, economic and environmental analysis associated with development planning and implementation,” Namuri said.
“Climate change makes it even harder for PNG and other developing countries, mostly Pacific island countries to attain sustainable development as it threatens resources, deepens existing problems, poses new problems and makes solutions more difficult and expensive”.
Climate change adaptation and mitigation was highlighted in the meeting as one of the crucial agendas that required close collaboration within the Asia Pacific region.
Namuri from the Office of Climate Change and Development was accompanied by Rose Waigl Alphonse from the Department of Environment and Conservation.
Waigl said like many other countries in the region, PNG was prone to various natural hazards including sea level rise, increase in malaria and vector borne diseases, cyclones, coastal and in-land flooding, landslides, agriculture yield changes, coral bleaching and migration due to the changing climatic conditions.
Other issues discussed at the meet were regional perspectives on global processes resulting from Rio+20 such as the establishment of a high level political forum to replace the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, the development of sustainable development goals and Post 2015 development agenda.