The South Pacific is one of the more vulnerable regions in the world threatened by climate change natural disasters such as cyclones, earthquakes, volcanoes, droughts and floods, in addition to the impacts of climate change. This project was funded by the Australian government and worked with isolated and vulnerable communities across Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Kiribati to implement food security approaches that are based on protecting ecosystems, innovative farm technologies, dissemination of local farm knowledge, and community engagement in national adaptation planning.
50 climate resilient crop technologies were documented and widely disseminated through locally established networks and backed up through innovative farm demonstration sites and the establishment of farmer-driven Knowledge Hubs. The role of these hubs is to train, support and expand knowledge about assessing climate risk, adaptation planning, and application of farm technologies that increase agricultural resilience. Through the project 32 Knowledge Hubs representing 3000 households were established.
The Knowledge Hubs shared planting materials for healthy, climate resilient crops, established nurseries for propagation of crops, conducted informal community-based risk assessment, and established and demonstrated new farm technologies, particularly 12 varieties of Taro. The Knowledge Hubs were also linked to Disaster Response Clusters in Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, with specific responses to flooding in Honiara and cyclone response in Vanuatu.
Through this project resilient food systems were established, expanded and sustained from within communities themselves, with support from and links to government departments, which reduces their vulnerability to climate change impact. Through the Knowledge Hub activities communities now understand the risks from climate change and how to use climate resilient crops, farm technologies and climate change leadership at the community level. In PNG this included the strengthen of national agricultural research institutions NARI to support Knowledge Hubs and promote food security and agricultural resilience at community level. In Kiribati Knowledge Hubs in Abaiang and South Tarawa created a movement of change that had the capacity to safeguard food resources and take food to markets. In Vanuatu sustainable food enterprises were created in Efate, Santo and Tanna. In Solomon Islands the Knowledge Hub model was integrated into Disaster Risk Management clusters including the Food Security Cluster.