Remarks by Mr. Dirk Wagener, UNDP Resident Representative Launch of National Adaptation Plan Document

5 April 2023, Port Moresby, APEC Haus

April 5, 2023

Mr. Wagener at the launch of Papua New Guinea's National Adaptation Plan at the APEC Haus, Port Moresby

Seru Kepa | UNDP Papua New Guinea

Gutpla avinun/nite olgeta

I am truly honoured and privileged to attend the launching of the National Adaptation Plan document, another milestone in our joint fight against the climate change emergency. 

At the outset, I would like to thank Minister Kilepa, who heads the Ministry for Environment and Climate Change, for the ongoing partnership with the United Nations Development Programme. Without his leadership and support, we would not be here today. 

I also wish to thank Mr William Lakain and the team at the Climate Change and Development Authority for their commitment to addressing climate change and adaptation needs across Papua New Guinea, through previous projects such as the Adaptation Fund, the ongoing Building Resilience to Climate Change project and now Advancing PNGs National Adaptation Plan. 

The Challenges that Climate Change poses to PNG

Climate change continues to negatively impact Papua New Guinea, and its impact is increasing.

It affects the growth trajectory, and the socio-economic opportunities people may otherwise enjoy. 

Building resilience to climate change has featured in national dialogue and political commitments for over a decade. 

Recognised at an acute challenge and emergency, Government and partners have committed to mainstream climate action in their planning and delivery. 

The National Adaptation Plan supports this.

Importance of Climate adaptation

Climate change is the single greatest threat to our existence as we know it. 

Weather patterns grow more erratic and there are more climate change-induced natural disasters. 

Food production is growingly affected and disrupted. 

Community resilience and livelihoods are constantly threatened.

Matters are made worse by the triple planetary crisis where pollution and biodiversity loss are amplifying the impacts of climate change. 

We entered the so call “Anthropocene” where it is not the natural environment anymore that shapes the planet and how we live, but it is us humans who shape and impact the planet. 

Ensuring that communities are adaptive and resilient to climate change is therefore at the forefront of adaptation planning.

This planning however is only half of the story. 

Planning is only as good as the action that supports it. 

On this, I call on all partners – Government, civil society, the private sector, and development partners – to act. 

Together, coordinated and harmonised.

UNDP’s role in assisting Papua New Guinea with Climate Adaptation

UNDP is a long standing and principal partner to Papua New Guinea on climate action.

We are proud to work with partners such as CCDA and CEPA to address its impacts and to take action.  

We are working jointly – for example - with communities in low-lying and atoll communities on adaptation which will be essential for their survival.

Assessing the impacts of growingly erratic weather patterns on food security and how we can help communities better prepare for this growing disruption. 

UNDP works with partners on mitigation aiming to conserve forests and arrest biodiversity loss while supporting their livelihoods. 

We are also looking at ways to simulate green and blue economic growth to minimise dependence on carbon intensive industries. This will be key for creating sustainable livelihoods on the medium and long term and job creation. 

A truly sustainable and green future needs to start today with increased investments not only in adaptation but also mitigation and a green energy and economy transition.

What is the purpose of the National Adaptation Plan/What will it help PNG Achieve:

The National Adaptation Plan acts as a means to identify medium- and long-term climate change adaptation needs. 

It aims to implement strategies to address those needs across the Health, Agriculture, Transport, and Infrastructure sectors.

The Green Climate Fund, under its readiness programme, provided 1.7 m US dollars for the implementation of the project “Advancing Papua New Guineas National Adaptation Plan.” 

This is the first of Green Climate Fund financing to Papua New Guinea.

This broader project has supported the successful implementation of three key outcomes. These are:

Outcome 1 The Coordination mechanism for multi-sectoral adaptation planning at different levels is strengthened. 

Outcome 2 PNG’s National Adaptation Plan is formulated with specific focus on Agriculture, Health, Transport, and Infrastructure 

Outcome 3 Financing Framework for climate change adaptation action for medium to long term is established.

This document – the National Adaptation Plan – is the culmination of collaborative efforts on outcome two of this initiative. 

I am proud to report that Papua New Guinea is the third country in the Pacific Region, after Fiji and Kiribati, and the forty-fifth developing country globally, to submit a National Adaptation Plan to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

While we celebrate the launching of this Plan, that will greatly support the mobilization of adaptation finance for Papua New Guinea, I would also like to remind each and every agency represented here, that the real impact will only be felt in communities across Papua New Guinea with the effective implementation of the plan.  

The United Nations Development Programme is committed to support phase two of the Green Climate Fund Readiness Programme to make this happen.

I strongly encourage all Development partners and Government agencies also to commit to support the Climate Change and Development Authority ensure that the mandate of the Plan is fully and successfully fulfilled.

We look forward to continuing our work with the Minister for Environment and Climate Change, his team, and all Papua New Guineans on supporting efforts to combat Climate Change in Papua New Guinea.

Have a Wonderful Evening Olgeta, Tenkiu Tru 

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A truly sustainable and green future needs to start today with increased investments not only in adaptation but also mitigation and a green energy and economy transition.
UNDP Resident Representative, Mr. Dirk Wagener