WCS PNG opened a new Climate Change Education Resource Centre in its Kavieng office today (30th April, 2015).
Director of the Fisheries and Marine Resources Division of the New Ireland Authority, Donald Papaol when officiating the ceremony said that the centre would be a source to disseminate information that would empower communities to make the right decisions to look after their environment.
The centre is intended to promote awareness and understanding of the causes of climate change and ways that local people can adapt to its impact.
It holds information on wider environmental and conservation issues that are relevant to New Ireland such as the sustainable use of marine resources, forest and mangrove conservation.
It is located at WCS’s office at the Fisheries Wharf on Nusa Parade, adjacent to the Provincial Fisheries Authority (PFA) and will be open to the public three days a week and by appointment.
Although information is available for all ages with educational posters, books, pamphlets and videos on climate change, the centre is targeting schools and student groups in the province.
“The fisheries and Marine Division is happy to be part of this and we will support the centre and help take it to another level,” says Mr Papaol. “Students are the most important agents of change and this centre will give them the information they need to know about climate change and the future decisions they need to make about their environment.”
WCS Country Director, Dr. Richard Cuthbert said that the centre would be a great resource and opportunity for Kavieng to promote education about climate change and ways to adapt to its impact throughout New Ireland province.
“I am grateful to the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), the Research and Conservation Foundation (RCF), and the New Ireland Provincial Government for supporting the centre’s creation and I look forward to seeing it being used by many school children for years to come,” said Dr. Cuthbert.
RCF’s Conservation Education Programme Manager, Mrs Aimee Batebate says the centre is an interesting and strategic facility that would help citizens to become climate change smart people.
“It will most certainly raise the literacy level of users and even enhance teachers and students understanding of climate change,” says Mrs. Batebate.
The centre was opened by WCS with the support of the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and technical guidance from the Goroka based local conservation organization - RCF who operate three other similar conservation education centres in PNG.