Appreciation of traditional knowledge will help PNG

Posted: March 16, 2012 in Culture and traditions
Tags: , , ,

ImageIt has been a long time since humanitypaid attention to mother nature and the world is collapsing bit by bit in all corners. In the Pacific it is becoming an everyday worry.

It seems human beings have run out of solutions that the only one left is large sums of money for unsustainable solutions. How can money fix a world that is falling to pieces? Would alternative energy do it? Would REDD do it?

Mother nature is not asking for money, instead it is screaming for a change in the way human beings are doing things. Only the willingness of human beings to make some really big sacrifices will save this earth and the already impacted populations.

Interesting is a lot of talk about best ways to help but almost all of them call for huge sums of money yet the simple solutions are in the south where traditional indigenous knowledge have been consistently applied in many rural communities in the Pacific and other nations in the south. For instance in Papua New Guinea many are relying on fresh organic food they access only a few steps away from their houses. No fuel burnt to bring in these food and no chemicals to grow those food.

Off course some people ask, how can we recreate a relationship with nature? In the world today there are about 370 million indigenous people who get by, most of them without a kina (dollar). In Papua New Guinea, a country of 6.2 million people, about 80% of this population just live on their natural environment. Now how’s that for survival?

As the climate change impacts become more pressing, many people are looking for money based solutions, that often require more disruptions to the natural systems. It is time human beings stopped wanting more, stopped burning more and stopped digging up more. It is time people stopped looking elsewhere for solutions and start looking within.

The changes Papua New Guinea is experiencing today came around some 12,000 years ago and it is making its round again. Surely the people at that time found ways to live and to this day some of these knowledge and skills are still present in some local communities.

A few months from now in June, Papua New Guinea will join large delegations who will convene in Rio, Mexico and this will be an opportunity for humanity to decide in favour of mother nature. The disappointments of Copenhagen and Durban should not be repeated.

In terms of ways forward in PNG it is not clear when the PNG government will come up with a clear direction as the country continues to see more floods, more landslips, more broken roads, moredisrupted schools and more. Imported solutions may help however, the calls are urgent and it would help to unpack some skills and knowledge already presentthat are being stepped on and pushed to the side.

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