U.S. Ambassador Walter E. North led the ceremonial planting of mangroves with high-level government officials to launch the U.S. government’s new five-year project that seeks to restore mangrove forests in the Pacific region.
The U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Mangrove Rehabilitation for Sustainably Managed, Healthy Forests (MARSH) project seeks to restore mangrove forests and improve the management of forested areas in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.
Ambassador North cited the vital role of mangroves in supporting the livelihood of coastal communities through the provision of food, wood (for fuel and construction) and medicines, aside from protection against storm surge, cyclones and sea-level rise.
“We are very happy to plant the first of many mangrove trees with our distinguished partners from the governments of Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu, and our many local partners,” Ambassador North said in his remarks.
“Through this project, we will work with the local governments of communities, provinces, and the national governments to provide today’s leaders with the information necessary to manage their natural resources in a sustainable way, and integrate that management into effective climate change planning,” the Ambassador said.
Joining Ambassador North were Governor Sasindran Muthuvel of West New Britain Province, Director University of Papua New Guinea Motupore Research Centre Dr. Agustine Munkanje; Acting Executive Director Varigini Badira of the Office of Climate Change and USAID/Pacific Islands Deputy Mission Director Reed Aeschliman; and Deputy Director General of the International Union for Conservation of Nature Poul Engberg-Pederson.
The MARSH project’s main activities include: (1) providing training for community-based, sustainable mangrove forest management and mangrove reforestation; and (2) strengthening technical and scientific capacity of local universities and public institutions to conduct forest carbon monitoring, reporting and verification.
In Papua New Guinea, the MARSH project will support the government in achieving the goals cited in the Papua New Guinea Vision 2050—reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 90 percent, to 1990 levels; establishing a sustainable development strategy for forests by 2015; increasing resilience to natural disasters and environmental change; and supporting the Office of Climate Change and Development’s goal of planting one million mangrove trees by 2016.
Gloria Willie (Ms),
CULTURAL AFFAIRS ASSISTANT, EDUCATIONUSA ADVISER & ALUMNI COORDINATOR
OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS-U.S. EMBASSY,
P.O. BOX 1492, DOUGLAS STREET, PORT MORESBY-121, NCD
PAPUA NEW GUINEA
Ph: +675 321 1455 ext:2122
Fax: +675 321 1593
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SOURCE: US EMBASSY/PACNEWS
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