By Fabian Hakalits – EM TV, Buka
Tulele Peisa, a local Non-Government Organisation of Bougainville, has thanked the United Nations, for recognising its work and effort on resettling islanders of the sinking Carteret Island.
Tulele Peisa received the global ‘Equator Prize’ for demonstrating sustainable development and resilience, as the first community in Papua New Guinea that championed community ‘climate change’ refugee relocation.
Tulele Peisa was selected from over 1,200 nominations of 121 countries worldwide, recognised for its relocation and adaptation program of the Carteret Islanders, beginning with Tinputz, land allocated by the Catholic Church.
The community approach to relocation has offered positive resettlement model for other atolls in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.
Executive Director, Ursula Rakova, says the relocation has offered unexpected benefit of improving inter-island trade, serving to enhance local resilience and livelihoods.
Ursula said that so far eight families were relocated to Tinputz. More people are expected to be relocated, from the 2,700 still living on the island.
Life has changed so far; islanders are living in semi-permanent houses with waters tanks, food gardens and planting cash crops like cocoa to earn a living.
Maria Salei, one of the islanders who was relocated to Tinputz said that the people are adopting well. She also thanked the UN for the Equator Award.
Meantime, what the Carteret islanders want to see is for the National and Autonomous Bougainville Government’s to seriously address climate change issues.