Protecting Food Security through Adaptation to Climate Change in Melanesia


Protecting Food Security through Adaptation to Climate Change in Melanesia


09 March 2012




Research and Development




USD 500,001 - USD 1,000,000


September 2010-November 2011

Live and Learn Environmental Education


Kastom Garden Association (KGA); Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment (SPREP)

Supporters / Donors

Australian Government's Overseas Aid Program (AusAID)

Description of Intervention

This project is seeking change in two areas:
1. Protecting local food supplies, assets and livelihoods against the effects of increasing weather variability and increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, including natural disasters and sea level rise.
2. Protecting ecosystems and strengthening the provision of environmental services (food).

This project will benefit 18 communities (estimated 24,000 people) in the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and PNG.

Target groups are smallholder farmers (both men and women) and ultimate beneficiaries are communities at large. The selection of target islands and local populations has been done in close consultation with the relevant government department in each of the three target countries and links in with the NAPA. The project will be implemented by a consortium of Live and Learn in Australia (lead agency), Live and Learn PNG, Live and Learn Solomon Islands and Live and Learn Vanuatu. The project has been designed by Live and Learn in close consultation with beneficiaries, and target groups, including relevant government departments and the Secretariat of Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP). This was done through two design workshops held in the target countries on August 22 and 23, 2009, and consultation meetings with government counterparts and the Food and Agriculture Organisation at the COP15 meeting in Copenhagen in December 2009. The purpose of these design workshops was to confirm relevance of activities and ensure full participation of target groups and stakeholders and set realistic goals and timeframes. Compared to other countries, most Melanesian have very small “carbon footprints” having contributed very little to global warming and climate change. Unfortunately, they will be among those most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change due to their high dependency on their immediate environment and close proximity to the coast. While the challenges ahead are enormous, farmers’ innovation can make a great starting point for strengthening food security in Melanesia.

Problems to be Addressed

Food Security; Poor farming practices


To document traditional and innovative farming technologies that can be used in Melanesia to strengthen food security in response to climate change


The specific objective is to produce a guide to provide traditional and innovative technologies that make a positive contribution to strengthen food security in Melanesia in response to climate change.

How It Fits into the EbA Concept

Restoration of ecosystems to provide services through best farming practices that enable people to adapt to the impacts of climate change, especially with regard to food security, building on the traditional knowledge and practices of indigenous people and local communities.

Results / Outputs

• Document new and improved traditional methods of using land more permanently;
• Document improved traditional methods and new ideas, developed by farmers on how trees are brought back into agriculture;
• Document best methods of improving soil pest management;
• Document traditional and new methods that allow households to have sources of food ready for times of stress; and
• Document farming methods suitable for atolls and coastal low lying areas.

Lessons Learned

Some lessons learnt from this project:
• The Farm Technology Manual was developed through a participatory process involving organised workshops with local farmers in Melanesia;
• Farmers really like the Manual because it is easy to understand and follow (in terms of putting into practice);
• One of the activities of the project workshops was to provide hands-on experience to participating farmers by actually demonstrating one of the methods described in the Manual;
• Taking the Manual back to the project sites and going through it with the farmers in the form of a workshop is a good way of gaining feedback especially with regard to the success of the project; and
• Use of pilot sites to test the Manual is an excellent idea. In addition to the original pilot site at Uta village in Santa Cruz, four new sites (2 on Maliata, 1 on Choiseul, and 1 on Guadalcanal) have been earmarked for follow-up pilot projects.

Upscaling / Outreach Activities

• Education and awareness materials/resources produced;
• Build on local strengths, leadership and ownership, and support and strengthen existing systems and structures;
• Promote an inclusive society through inclusive, equitable implementation;
• Build relationships, accountability and engagement between governments and smallholder farmers;
• Deliver visible results in rural areas in the short term; • Avoid over-engineering, set realistic timeframes, ensure predictability;
• Develop and promote programmatic approaches and ensure that the activity is fully embedded in national NAPA;
• Promote mutual accountability, disciplined and responsible partners; and
• Promote coordination and harmonisation with other funded programs in the Pacific.

Contact Details

Live and Learn Environmental Education (Solomon Islands)
DSE Building, Lombi Crescent Street,
New China Town, Honiara, Solomon Islands
Tel: +677 236 97
Fax: +677 244 53

Kastom Gaden Association
PO Box 742, Honiara, Solomon Islands
Tel: +677 391 38
Fax: +677 308 40

Relevent Publications

Farm Technology is a guide providing a range of traditional and innovative technologies that make a positive contribution to strengthening food security in Melanesia in response to climate change.