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Analysing future livelihoods of coastal communities

Many coastal communities in Papua New Guinea (PNG) are dependent on marine resources and ecosystems for their livelihoods. Population growth, uncertain global economic conditions and climate change mean that these resources could be threatened. It is vital to plan for these future uncertainties in order to preserve the livelihoods of these communities.

CSIRO and our partners developed a framework to analyse future scenarios and we work with PNG Department of Environment and Conservation and the PNG Climate Change and Development Authority. The project was supported by the Australian Government as part of their engagement in the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security.

The framework considers the perspectives of government and local community stakeholders, and designs adaptation strategies tailored to the characteristics of local livelihoods. The technique combines local knowledge with global climate projections (downscaled to 8 km), ecosystem services valuation, livelihoods modelling, and adaptive capacity analysis.

CSIRO recognised that strategies had to be flexible due to the uncertainty of climate change, cultural differences between communities, different land and sea-based resources which underpin livelihoods and variations in population growth.

Stakeholders in participatory scenario planning workshops analyse the current and potential future characteristics of systems from which they derive their livelihood. At each level, participants identify strategies for tackling potential threats to their livelihoods and build their adaptive capacity. These workshops take place at village levels, provincial levels and in local level government. 

In subsequent workshops, participants integrate the learning and adaptation strategies identified at each scale and compare perspectives. Participants assess whether strategies are already being applied in policies and programs, and if they aren't, identify the reasons why.

Developing sustainable fisheries management processes and protecting biosecurity

CSIRO is working with Australia's neighbouring countries in the Indian and Pacific oceans to develop more sustainable fisheries management processes and safeguard biosecurity. Australian and neighbouring waters have some of the most diverse shark and ray fauna. These species reproduce relatively slowly and are extremely vulnerable to over-fishing, so ensuring sustainable fisheries management is critical to their future and biodiversity.

CSIRO is working with the Papua New Guinean (PNG) National Fisheries Authority to provide tools and training for local fisheries staff in how to manage the catchment of shark and rays more sustainably. The project aims to build local knowledge around fishery activities and their likely impacts to the health, supply and quantity of seafood.

This project aims to help stakeholders assess and manage fisheries sustainably. It strives to ensure economic sustainability and intergenerational equity in Papua New Guinea, while conserving the cultural significance of fisheries. The project will help Papua New Guinea meet its international conservation obligation and ensure biosecurity in the region.

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