Supporting local youth to lead on coastal food security and climate action in PNG
Destruction of coral reefs across PNG due to overfishing, use of dynamite and pollution has led to decreasing fish catches for local fishing communities. To reverse this trend and build back breeding grounds for fish, Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP) NGO Kyeema Foundation is working with four communities in Central Province to set up community-led coral gardening activities.
A major obstacle for the sustainability of marine conservation projects is compliance among coastal communities, especially if it means short-term reductions in fish catch. Kyeema Foundation is working with local master farmers and coral gardeners to promote improved village chicken production as an alternative protein source to fish, running in parallel with community-led coral reef restoration using heat-tolerant species.
The leading coral gardener is young Kevin Egu, who has motivated a team of youth in his village of Tubusereia to set up, maintain and monitor the growth of two community coral reef nurseries which have shown a steady increase in diversity of new marine life over the past year. Kevin is teaching by doing and has worked with community members to contribute to securing the long-term food and nutrition security of the community.
“I am hopeful the coral nursery will be developed to train the next generation of community youths in coral gardening, in combination with village chicken farming,” says Kevin.
Together with Uncle Koivi Egu – a leading Master Farmer – Kevin plans to develop a training hub for both village chickens and community-led coral restoration at Tubusereia for people across Central Province.