PNG failing its ocean program, ABG sets up committee to support SDGs

AT a recent United Nation Ocean conference on UN Sustainable Development Goal 14, in New York, PNG failed to register its commitments in protecting its ocean.

This was revealed by Dr Raphal Mana, biological science lecturer at the University of Papua New Guinea, last week.

“Out of 1372 commitments made by different countries and entities, PNG only registered two commitments, although our Government did many to protect our marine life,” said Dr Mana.

He said the failure of not reporting all the government commitments will result in no donor countries coming to our aid to further assist in achieving the UN SDG14.

UNSDG 14 is aimed at increasing the economic benefits to Small Island developing states and least developed countries from the sustainable use of marine resources, including through sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism by 2030.

Dr Mana said the governmental heads responsible in providing the reports o government commitments should make it their responsibility to publish a report on government commitments.

He said the other issue why the government fails to achieve its goals and objectives is not having the right mechanism to implement its policies.

“Academics, research institutions and other organisations have been great contributors to the development of countries polices but the government of the day would have to make sure those policies and goals are implemented,” said Dr Mana.

Meanwhile, in a historic move, the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) has established a Parliamentary Committee for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to support the universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all Bougainvillean’s (PNG) by 2030.

The ABG’s House of Representatives Committee for SDGs is the first of its kind in the Pacific and PNG and is designed to make the SDGs relevant to the Autonomous Region of Bougainville. The Committee was formed soon after an introductory presentation by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to the ABG in April 2017.

PNG is part of the 192 Member States of the United Nations that adopted the SDGs in 2015. The SDGs outline 17 Goals with 169 targets to be achieved in next 15 years and build on the Millennium Development Goals that ended in 2015.

To show its commitment, the ABG’s members are participating in a two-day workshop, held from 12-13 July 2017, at the Chamber of the Bougainville House of Representatives, supported by UNDP.

Julie Bukikun, Assistant Representative for UNDP said: “The Autonomous Bougainville Government should be commended for establishing this new parliamentary committee, it has demonstrated leadership and vision for the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030.”

“The ABG’s House of Representatives Committee will help to localise and contextualise the SDGs in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville so that we can achieve tangible development outcomes over the next 15 years. Now the ABG can set clear objectives and move forward with implementation,” said Bukikun.

Albert Punghau, Minister for Peace Agreement Implementation, Autonomous Bougainville Government said the SDGs are very important for the human development in Bougainville and in PNG.

“Through our committee, we believe to use Bougainville as a model to implement the SDGs to addressing issues of socio-economic and political stability.”

“It is important that we come together to understand the importance of the SDGs and how we can implement them and improve livelihoods and address gender and other crosscutting issues among our people,” Punghau said.