Wild foods Kafe Tribe. Eastern Highlands. Image credit: Courtesy of the Agroecology Fund

Advancing Indigenous Solutions for Climate Change and Food Security in Melanesia

Organization Save PNG
Realm Australasia

The Project Marketplace is organized by the major terrestrial realms divided into 14 biogeographical regions – N. America, Subarctic America, C. America, S. America, Afrotropics, Indomalaya, Australasia, Oceania, Antarctica, and the Palearctic realm, which coincides with Eurasia and is divided into Subarctic, Western, Central, Eastern, and Southern regions.

Category Regenerative Agriculture

There are five main project categories: Energy Transition focuses on renewable energy access and energy efficiency. Nature Conservation includes wildlife habitat protection and ecosystem restoration, as well as Indigenous land rights. Regenerative Agriculture supports farmers, ranchers and community agriculture. Climate Change covers global science efforts, climate adaptation, and social justice work.

Status ongoing

Seed indicates an early stage project that needs some level of support to develop into a larger funding proposal. Ongoing indicates any project that needs core programmatic funding. Urgent indicates a short-term project initiated in response to a natural disaster or other impending risk.

Funding Level $$

$$ indicates a project with a funding need between $50,000-$250,000.

Timeframe Ongoing

Papua New Guinea contains the third largest rainforest in the world and is home to 7% of the planet’s biodiversity. Every 3-4 years it bears the brunt of El Niño, along with other Pacific countries including Vanuatu, Fiji, and the Solomon Islands. Five million people across the region are at elevated risk of experiencing hunger, poverty and disease due to weather-related droughts, erratic rains, flooding, and frosts. Combined with climate change, these effects will have devastating impacts on food security.

Building resilience for the region is key. Save PNG is a Papua New Guinean-founded organization that plays an instrumental role in building resilient communities, providing a model that can be scaled across the region to help Pacific farmers adapt to climate change and become more self-sufficient in responding to a crisis situation. It believes in the power of creative advocacy and participatory programs that provide intercultural training programs reaching over 10 million people through the Pacific. The organization operates within the framework of the Global Indigenous Peoples Movement and the Sustainable Development Goals. 

Indigenous cook in Domara Village. Image credit: Courtesy of the Agroecology Fund

Seeking to improve access to nutritional food plants and seeds in grassroots and indigenous communities, Save PNG aims to plant 10 million climate-resilient food trees by 2025 in pursuit of a future in which every adult and child in Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands is healthy, wealthy and resilient. 

Their work also includes the production of Café Niugini & Café Melanesia, two TV series on Melanesian food culture and farming systems. Café Niugini was filmed in over 30 communities in Papua New Guinea alone, and Café Melanesia was filmed in over 30 communities throughout Fiji, Solomon Islands, New Caledonia, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea.

Taro Garden in Lifou Island, New Caledonia. Image credit: Courtesy of the Agroecology Fund

Traditionally, all Indigenous families once maintained a biodiverse food garden for their own sustenance. This densely intercropped system allowed communities to harvest foods at different times of the year. Although the rise of industrial agroforestry and imported foods has disrupted these practices, Save PNG is working to revive this agroecology heritage in Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Fiji and Vanuatu, and to improve climate resilience and food and nutrition security to reduce both rural and urban hunger through partnership with schools and grassroots communities.

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