Across Papua New Guinea, there are nearly a thousand languages spoken. In Wabumari most people speak English, the local language Lausaha, and at least one other. Some speak as many as six. No matter the language, the local community are united by their forest, and a common goal to protect it.
Like many coastal communities in the Pacific, Wabumari is already facing the effects of climate change. Flooding, El Niño and severe weather patterns are damaging natural sea defences like mangroves.
Concerned about encroaching deforestation, Wabumari asked Cool Earth to help address the poverty that often drives forest loss. Working with the community to create diverse income streams, Cool Earth is helping increase financial resilience and deviate pressure away from the forest.
Poor health in the community makes it much harder for people to earn a living. The nearest health centre is expensive, especially when people need to make regular visits due to poor health and sanitation.
Poverty often leaves little choice but to sell trees to loggers.
The local mangrove ecosystem has a high water table and human and animal waste often flood into gardens. Increased saltwater flooding from storms also doesn’t drain away easily, spoiling crops.
Avoiding fish-eating snakes. Taping up a leaking kayak. Interviewing in a monsoon. There are rarely two days the same when…Read More A Year in Photos: 2019 | Behind the lens with Cool Earth’s in-house photographer