'Adapting to climate change and boosting food security through traditional knowledge and skills on Maiana' July 2020

June 03, 2020: Under a project aimed at enhancing national food security under climate change (known as ‘LDCF 1’), the Ministry of Internal Affairs, through its Culture and Museum Division, together with Tourism, have returned from a five-day visit to Maiana island to continue activities begun on the island several months ago, including planting of traditional food crops and to conduct research on traditional knowledge related to the environment and food security.

With a strong turn-out of 311 participants – including pupils and teachers of Nei Karewea Primary School – 55 coconut trees, 25 breadfruit trees, 56 pandanus, 45 babai (swamp taro), and 10 fig trees were planted by the community.

As part of the trip, the team also consulted villagers about their traditional knowledge with the hope they would revive cultural and natural sites, along with awareness programs, targeting their upcoming cultural trade fair.

Nine pieces of knowledge and skills collected on the trip will be collated with knowledge gathered during the past visit in a “Knowledge Book” for the island, to be used in promoting food security.

Traditional knowledge and skills are passed down from families to strangers and considered family treasures. Maiana locals understand the value of their knowledge in local resilience, especially for the younger and future generations, who face growing impacts of climate change on food and water security.

On behalf of the Unimwane (male elders) Council, Itimaera Kiboboua voiced his gratitude to the team saying the project is playing a crucial role in improving food security for the people.

This trip was financially made possible by the project 'Enhancing National Food Security in the Context of Climate Change', commonly known as ‘LDCF-1’, funded by the Global Environment Facility-Least Developed Countries Fund through the United Nations Development Programme, and managed by the Environment and Conservation Division under the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Agricultural Development.