Climate Change Research Grant Recipients Announced

The Climate Change and Development Authority (CCDA) and the Australian High Commission today jointly announced the selection of six successful candidates for a research grant in Port Moresby.  This follows a call for Expression of Interest (EOI) in November 2023, inviting researchers and organizations to propose innovative research projects. There are two categories of the EOI: student and open category.

The research grant initiative, a collaborative effort between the Governments of Australia and Papua New Guinea through the PNG-Aus Partnership, aims to enhance research, knowledge transfer, and capacity building. It seeks to create a development pathway within the climate space, fostering improved policy development and decision-making in PNG.

Following a rigorous screening process against predetermined criteria, with the support of the Australian National University, six exceptional candidates have been selected to receive funding for their impactful research endeavours. Below are successful grantees and their respective research topics:

1) Mr. Micheal Kabuni – Australian National University, Student Category. Research Topic: Island Future: Mapping Potential Resettlement Strategies for Atoll Communities of Carteret and Kalinus Islands.

2) Mr. Peter Topas – University of Technology, Student Category. Research Topic: Use of organic matter from leguminous plants to manage and sustain soil fertility under sweet potato production in Papua New Guinea.

3) Mr. Philip Ouyoumb – University of Technology, Student Category. Research Topic: Comparative Analysis of Different Silvicultural Treatments over 16 Years on Forest Recovery and Tree Species Regeneration for Timber Production, Carbon Storage, and Conservation Values.

4) Ms. Rita Goiye – Conservation Environment and Protection Authority, Open Category. Research Topic: Determining the key environmental factors that influence the health and survival of coral fragments at the coral nursery sites in Bootless Bay, Papua New Guinea.

5) Mr. Patrick Micheal – University of Technology, Open Category. Research Topic: Targeted and Structured Agronomic and Genetic Traits Improvement Approach for Winged Bean Production to Contribute to Food and Nutritional Security in PNG under Climate Change.

6) Ms. Jane Awi – University of Goroka, Open Category. Research Topic: Research, Documentation, and Application of Traditional Knowledge of Women in Climate Change Adaptation.

Addressing climate change mitigation and adaptation targets in PNG has faced significant challenges in research and data collection. However, in a promising stride forward, the Australian Government revealed a collaborative endeavor—an innovative research grant under the PNGAus Partnership—during the National Climate Change Summit in 2023. This initiative, backed by a budget of AUD 191,176 for one year, is poised to drive this research program for the candidates forward.

CCDA’s Acting Managing Director Ms. Debra Sungi in commending the selected candidates thanked the Australian High Commission for their support in advancing this research program.

“On behalf of CCDA, I express profound gratitude to the Australia High Commission for their generous support, which will undoubtedly propel our endeavors to advance research and development pathways within the climate change space.

“This partnership enables us to leverage expertise and findings crucial for evidence-based policy development in PNG, with far-reaching implications for sustainable planning and development across various sectors”, said Ms. Sungi.

Ms. Sungi also extended her gratitude to the Program Steering Committee, alongside the Screening Committee, whose unwavering dedication has led to the completion of the selection.

Furthermore, investment in this research will also enhance understanding the health and environmental impacts of climate change, and promoting sustainable solutions for communities. The ultimate goal is to empower stakeholders with the knowledge and tools needed to address the challenges of climate change.

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