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Disaster Risk Management (DRM) Mainstreaming in Papua New Guinea

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The second country engagement to establish a DRM Mainstreaming for PNG took place on the 3rd-14th May 2010 with representatives from SOPAC, UNDP Pacific Centre and UNDP PNG. This was a follow up mission to the first country engagement in February this year. The intention of the first mission was to scope out a process for the development and implementation of a DRM National Action Plan.

However, in the initial stages of the mission, stakeholders dispelled the prospects for the development of a comprehensive national approach to mainstreaming as would normally be undertaken through the mainstreaming exercise. The geography and population of PNG make the concept of DRM mainstreaming difficult. The need to strengthen DRM in PNG is heightened by the fact that nearly 25% of the natural disasters occurring in the Pacific between 1950-2008 were in PNG (EM-DAT1).
That said, DRM is gradually coming in to the spotlight in PNG with the inclusion of DRM in the Development Strategic Plan (DSP) for 2010-2030. The Department of National Planning has been tasked with translating the DSP in to a medium term sectoral strategy. The proposed programme seeks to complement this work, by advocating and implementing risk reduction measures, through cost benefit analyses and economic profiling of past disasters.
The revised approach focuses on six focal areas; advocacy, mainstreaming DRM at the national and sectoral level, strengthening DRM governance arrangements, strengthening the capacity of technical DRM agencies, strengthening the provincial DRM capacity and improved risk information for development decision making. Based on these strategies were developed.

During the mission a stakeholder workshop was conducted to obtain feedback on the proposed strategies. Participants of the workshop included representatives from the PNG National Disaster Centre (NDC), key government departments such as the Department of the Prime Minister, Department of National Planning and Monitoring, the Department of Health, Department of Mineral Policy & Geohazards Management amongst other Government departments and as well other key stakeholders including AusAID, the EU, UNOCHA, Oxfam, etc.

The intention of this workshop was to give key partners the opportunity for involvement in the design phase of the programme and the added option of participating in the delivery of the Programme.

Following the stakeholder workshop a presentation was made to the National Disaster Committee on 12th May 2010. This was a key meeting for the Programme as support from the National Disaster Committee is needed to coordinate efforts in DRM.

During this meeting full support from the National Disaster Committee was given for the proposed mainstreaming programme, and a formal request was made to finalise the implementation details. The members of the National Disaster Committee selected Morobe to be the pilot province for strengthening provincial DRM capacity.

A third country engagement is expected to take place in June 2010 which is envisaged to focus on the finalisation of Programme costing, which will be presented back to the National Disaster Committee, as well as the immediate implementation of selected DRM measures at the national and
provincial level.

Last Updated on Sunday, 20 June 2010 12:50  


SOPAC and technical partners coordinated assistance to help four Pacific Island Countries make recent maritime sovereignty history. In April 2010, representatives from the governments of Papua New Guinea, Federated States of Micronesia, Solomon Islands and the Kingdom of Tonga made successful presentations to the United Nations for their respective extended seabed areas. These submissions are made pursuant to the 1982 United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea.

Two presentations were made in New York; the first was a joint presentation by the governments of Papua New Guinea, Federated States of Micronesia and the Solomon Islands for the joint Art 76 submission on the Ontong Java plateau. The second was a presentation by The Kingdom of Tonga for the south eastern area of the Kermadec Ridge.
The area claimed in the joint submission is for over 600,000 sq km of shared pacific seabed. The area claimed is larger than the combined land mass of the three pacific islands countries involved. It is also significant that for the first time, three Pacific Small Island Developing States have successfully worked together to conclude a joint MOU and submission to the United Nations.