PNG path towards climate resilience roads and infrastructure

An inception workshop held in Port Moresby marked a significant step towards addressing climate change adaptation in Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) roads and infrastructure sector. This initiative is part of the Infrastructure for Resilient Island States PNG (IRIS PNG) Project, led by the Department of Works and Highways (DoWH) with support from the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) and the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI).

David Wereh, Secretary for DoWH, highlighted the urgent need for action: “This year has been the worst year. It could be the beginning of the worst still to come. We’ve experienced damages worth millions of kina in road infrastructure due to continuous heavy rains and extreme weather events. This is a growing trend and a massive challenge to address as a country.”

Despite progress, Wereh emphasized the need for further advancement: “Relevant agencies must share information and data and ensure coordination is strengthened to build climate-resilient infrastructures.”

PNG, an island state, faces increasing climate change impacts, necessitating urgent action. The DoWH has demonstrated its commitment to climate-proofing roads and infrastructure under the National Adaptation Plan (NAP). The 24-month IRIS PNG project, funded at US$499,998, aims to strengthen institutional and technical capacity for developing climate-resilient transport infrastructure.

The project focuses on two key areas: enhancing the adaptive capacity of DoWH by strengthening knowledge and partnerships for resilient infrastructure by 2030, and improving infrastructure resilience through better policies, plans, and standards.

Acting Managing Director for Climate Change and Development Authority (CCDA), Ms. Debra Sungi, commended the DoWH for spearheading this project, emphasizing its role in supporting PNG’s transition from traditional development practices to climate-resilient planning. GGGI Country Representative Sakiusa Tuisolia said, “GGGI is committed to supporting PNG in its journey towards building climate-resilient infrastructure. Our collaboration aims to ensure sustainable development and enhanced resilience against climate change impacts.”

CDRI Director General Amit Prothi added, “CDRI is delighted to support the development of climate-resilient transport infrastructure in Papua New Guinea with this grant of US$499,998. We are committed to enhancing infrastructure resilience by strengthening institutional and technical capacities.”

Over the next 24 months, the IRIS PNG Project will engage with stakeholders to develop climate-resilient transport infrastructure, contributing to PNG’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and NAP priorities. A Memorandum of Understanding was established between GGGI and the Government of PNG through the DoWH to strengthen institutional capacity for climate-resilient transport infrastructure in PNG through the IRIS Project.

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