A project to help rural communities in five provinces in the country tell their climate change stories is underway with two island villages in New Ireland province been the first to complete a media workshop on digital storytelling.
Funded by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with the Climate Change Development Authority-CCDA (formerly OCCD) this was one of the activities that the Wildlife Conservation Society in Papua New Guinea (WCS PNG) was contracted to undertake under OCCD/UNDP’s Climate Change Resilience and Adaption project.
WCS PNG will be producing education and awareness materials for this project that will focus on peoples’ stories of their own climate change experiences, the production of awareness and education materials such as posters and factsheets, the development of climate change materials to support national school curricula and the production of a website to act as a national hub for climate change information.
In late February to early March this year WCS’s media team carried out digital storytelling workshops at Kavulik and Ungakum villages of the Lavongai Local Level Government in New Ireland province.
“Digital storytelling had captured individual’s personal stories of their climate change experiences in unique ways. As a media person, I was emotionally attached to their stories and the challenges they face are real when you get to the heart of the story – and that is the people,” said Ms Elaine Vaina, WCS Media officer and training team leader.
Ms Vaina said that many rural communities are vulnerable to the effects of climate change however they lack the capacity and the resources to help them voice their own stories.
Digital storytelling technique is user friendly to non-media professionals including anyone who desires to use new technologies to share their experiences, concerns, and hopes with the larger public.
Stories from Kavulik and Ungakum villages were 3-4 minutes multi-media pieces that combined a narrated script, images, text, and a musical soundtrack of individual participants’ personal climate change experience.
A female participant from Ungakum village, Rachael Pesat spoke on behalf of the participants and expressed a challenge that most of them had faced when trying to tell their experiences.
“Many of us do not know how to tell stories using media. This training had taught as well. We were able to tell and create stories of our daily lives with our husbands, wives and children in our homes and the community using the pictures we captured,” said Mrs. Pesat.
Similar trainings will be conducted in the rural communities of East Sepik, Northern, Madang and Morobe provinces in the coming months.