PNG Defense Force should improve readiness in response to climate change

Climate change is regarded globally as a major security challenge where frequency of the occurance of natural disasters will require military interventions. Papua New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF) was invited by the United States Army Pacific Command (USARPAC) to cohost the Indo-Pacific Army Chiefs Conference (IPACC) in Hawaii, USA, from 13 to15 September 2021. The topic of IPACC 2021 was “Environmental impacts on land and littoral operations”. Accordingly, PNGDF and PNG NRI collaborated and provided an overview of the security challenges amidst climate change from small developing countries perspective.

The report: Impacts of climate change on land and littoral operations: challenges and prospects for Papua New Guinea Defence Force, PNG NRI Spotlight Volume 14, Issue 17 by PNG NRI Senior Research Fellow, Dr Lindsay Kutan, emanated from the conference and provides the opportunities and challenges faced by the PNGDF regarding climate change in PNG.

In recent times, PNG Government has acknowledged the impact of climate change on security on the national, regional and global levels. However, the effect of climate change also overlaps with complex range of political, economic, environmental and social issues. These have to be considered in the overarching policy framework that encapsulates climate change, security and development which needs further research.

In a nutshell, the existing geographic and structural challenges experienced by the PNGDF indicates the deficiencies and the inability to be the ‘first responders’ to natural disasters. Therefore, it is imperative to improve the readiness of the PNGDF in its response to climate change.

The Publication and Media Release can be accessed on the PNG NRI website

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Authorised for release by:

Dr. Osborne Sanida
PNG NRI Acting Director

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