PAPUA New Guinea is a nation of talkers and is a nation of non-compliance while institutions that want to make difference get no financial and infrastructure support and no partnership, a university vice-chancellor has said.
Talking about climate change on Tuesday, University of Natural Resources and Environment Vice-Chancellor Prof Philip Siaguru said this was not a new issue to PNG and the world.
“It is the people’s attitude that stinks,” he said.
The university at Vudal, East New Britain, hosted a three-day climate change workshop organised by PNG Eco-Forestry Forum and Office of Climate Change and Development.
He told participants and organisers that the issue of climate change had been the talk for many years.
“Even our forefathers have been talking about it from sunrise to sunset, we have learnt in schools and we will still be talking about it and will continue to talk about it,” he said.
“Institutions that want to make a difference get no support financially, get no support in infrastructure and there is no partnership in this issue.
“Our heart is not in the right place, we are only good at talking,” he said.
He said that PNG had a culture of non-compliance.
“We know it is wrong but we will do it anyway. We know the damages our actions will cause to the environment, but if the bosses are not watching, we will do it.
“We are a nation of talkers and we are a nation of non-compliance. Like many other national issues such as law and order, service delivery, health and education, it is the attitude that stinks,” Siaguru said.
He said if people believed in something they must first change their attitudes and change their habits to begin to follow a new set of principles that would allow the change to work.
“We can continue to create awareness, but that will not be enough. We must change mindsets, we must focus on the young generation and involve them,” Siaguru said.