Sharing experiences of sustainable development

Apr 26, 2018

Hon. Francesca Semoso BHOR Deputy Speaker and member of the SDG Committee and Hon Rosen Kiap Jiwaka Provincial Assembly Women’s Representative at the welcome ceremony of the Bougainville delegates. ©Serahphina Aupong/UNDP

Kurumul, 26 April 2018The global vision Agenda 2030 expresses vision for a better future world for everyone. Imagine if no one was living in poverty, all had access to quality health, education, clean water, fair working and living conditions and all live in natural environment that is sustainable.

This vision seems insurmountable; for an individual, a community and a government.

It is however a task that the Bougainville House of Representatives (BHOR) have taken on. Last year they established a Parliamentary Committee on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); making them the first parliament in the Pacific Islands to have such a Committee.

A core function of the Committee is to ensure that development priorities and plans for the Autonomous Region of Bougainville (ABG) work towards the ideals and values captured in the 17 SDGs.

This is a vision that the Committee knows they cannot achieve alone.  

Over 11, 000 kilometres away from AROB, in the highlands of Papua New Guinea is a society that is as different Bougainville as the ocean is to the mountain, yet we see a society that holds the same vision.

Jiwaka Province is proving to be a role model in showcasing that the collective effort of a few likeminded people can have impacts beyond their provincial boundaries. In Jiwaka, there is support for ward-level communal industries that have the potential to grow and improve the quality of life for people in the communities, the community leading this is Domil who in a recent documentary called “Driving the Change”  is showing PNG and the world what an isolated community in a remote place can do to improve its livilhood and live in harmony. 

This week, Members of the BHOR SDG Committee is in Domil to see first hand the infant industries that they are trialing.

Tracy Vienings, UNDP’s Deputy Resident Representative said: “This visit captures the essence of the SDGs. It shows that both the ABG and Jiwaka governments are interested in supporting community informed and community-based approaches to development which are sensitive to both the needs of people and the environment. It also captures the value of partnership which is demonstrated in the relationship with the UN and now with each other. It is our hope that this partnership will become fruitful for the people of the Authonomous Region of Bougainville and the people of Jiwaka.”

As a new province, this visit is a milestone for Jiwaka, it is the first official visit by another sub national government.

The Provincial Administrator Mr Michael Wandil in welcoming the delegation to Jiwaka said: “We are very happy to have you here in our province. Your visit alone has already shown that we can learn a lot from each other. Jiwaka can learn how SDGs can become part of our Provincial Assembly while you can learn from what is happening in Domil which is a unique community development project.”

Regional Member for Bougainville Hon Joe Lera echoed these sentiments: “In this day and age we must network, connect and build partnerships if we want progress and prosperity for our family, community and nation. We are here to see the practical example of how to add value to our natural resources so that we attain the development that benefits our people.”

Chairman of the BHOR SDG Committee Hon Clarence Dency said: “Our Committee’s desire is to establish strong political, social and cultural relationships with other government partners. This is why we are here in Jiwaka, to see what Jiwaka is doing in Domil and in the province as a whole. We want to see our people prosper and we see that Domil’s approach to community development is a way this can be achieved.”

This government to government exchange is part of the work that UNDP is facilitating through the support of the Peace Building Fund.   

Contact information

Serahphina Aupong,   UNDP CommunicationsOfficer,+67573748724, serahphina.aupong@undp.org

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