Reducing risks and building community resilience in Autonomous Region of Bougainville

Background

The Autonomous Region of Bougainville (ARB) is highly prone to multi-hazard disasters both climatic and non-climatic including volcanic eruptions, earthquake, tsunamis, drought, floods, landslides, sea level rise etc. There are several active, dormant or inactive volcanoes. Mount Bagana in the north central part of Bougainville is an active volcano. Earthquakes are frequent in the region. In the recent past ARB had experienced numerous floods and drought that has affected lives and livelihood of people. Agriculture, fishing and cash crops such as cocoa and copra are the main source of income for people which are highly susceptible to extreme weather. Sea level rise is one of the major concerns and increasing sea levels have displaced people, affected agriculture and freshwater supplies.

Despite the thrust of national policy and legislation pushing for greater decentralisation of DRM responsibility (in line with Organic Law and greater provincial autonomy) levels of institutional (including human) capacity for DRM in the ARB is generally very low. Allied to the above is the issue of resourcing as there is lack of funding for DRM. Resources for DRM reduce even further moving down the administrative chain to the district and local level government levels.  The capacity for information collection, hazard and vulnerability assessment, disaster management planning is very weak. Mechanisms for coordination of DRM activities across government departments and between civil societies are weak both at provincial and sub-provincial level. Communities also lack preparedness and are not aware of disaster management procedures.

To address the above challenges a project has been initiated that aims to develop partnership between communities and government for sustainable risk reduction by developing and linking local level action to government policies and structures at provincial and sub-provincial levels. The project which is cofounded by DGECHO and UNDP is being implemented in 5 flood prone communities in Tinputz District of Northern Bougainville Region. The project builds upon UNDP’s previous engagement in ARB that included strengthening of ARB disaster management office through provision of office equipment, establishment of fully operational disaster management committee at ARB level and training of district and provincial staff on basics of DRM.  The project is also closed linked to UNDP’s efforts on ‘Peace through Inclusive Governance’ and uses existing governance structures at the district local level to integrate DRM issues in the broader peace and development planning and implementation.

Objectives:

The main objective of the project is to strengthen the resilience of the communities in ARB to natural disaster and climate change related risks through creating an enabling environment for community resilience and empowering the communities to identify hazard risks and formulate and implement local level risk reduction interventions.  This is to be achieved through:

Integration of disaster risk reduction concerns into local level planning

Development of Provincial and District level DRM plans

Assessment of community level risks and development of community level DRM Plans

Implementation of risk reduction measures

Project Information

Area:                                  

Environment, Climate Change and  Disaster Risk Management

UNDP CO:                                        

DGECHO                                         

Euro 140,000

Euro 400,000

Implementing Partner(S):       

National Disaster Centre

Participating Agencies:   

UNDP, DG ECHO, PNG Red Cross

Accomplishments



Policy development consultations completed

Project introduced to various stakeholders

Preparation for community risk mapping in progress

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