Monthly Archives: August 2012

Official Climate Challenger Voyage Launching

The people of Manus and all honorary guests gathered together yesterday on the 29th August at Lorengau town’s NBC Beach to farewell and wish us well before our long and risky journey around the Pacific.

Climate Challenger and crew leaving. Photo: Kat Gawlik (from video)

It started out as a fine and sunny morning with a mix of traditional and contemporary entertainment. 2 Degrees, an electronic 6 piece band played upbeat island style reggae, the Mix Mates String Band played their acoustic guitars, and traditional dance team Green Frog, a mixture of young men and women danced to the traditional garamut drum beat.

Green Frog Traditional Dance Team. Photo: Noah Jiwaibae

We decorated our canoe, raised the Win Neisen flag and sailed in to the beach where everyone was waiting. There we were welcomed and heard speeches from Piwen Langarap of MECCN (Manus Environment Community Conservation Network), Theresa Kas and Robyn James from The Nature Conservancy and The Governor of Manus; the Honorary Charlie Benjamin.

The Governor of Manus. Photo: Noah Jiwaibae

During the speeches, although the rain came, support for the crew did not waver. All of the speakers and people gathered showed their utmost support and gave their blessings to us for our voyage before Governor Charlie Benjamin officially cut the ribbon signifying the beginning of the voyage.

Woman from Pere village farewells the crew. Photo: Kat Gawlik (from video)

The honorary guests were taken for a short sail on the Climate Challenger before being returned to the beach before we set off. The wind picked up, and even blew the guest’s tent down – a good omen. We’ll be seeing all you Pacific brothers soon!

Climate Challenger Crew

Guest’s tent blowing down in the gust of wind that picked up as Climate Challenger was leaving. Photo: Kat Gawlik

Captain and skipper of Climate Challenger, Manuai Matawai waves goodbye to supporters, friends and relatives at Lorengau, Manus Island. Photo: Kat Gawlik (from video)

 

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Dry Stone Wall Workshop [Video]

Yesterday we the Climate Challenger crew, attended a dry stone walling workshop with the international non-government organisation ‘Wildlife Conservation Society’ (WCS) at Loniu Passage between Los Negros Island, home of the Momote airport and mainland Manus Island. Building a dry stone wall is a possible adaptation to sea level rise and beach erosion, and it is hoped that we can share this knowledge with other low-lying Pacific island communities who are also affected by climate change. It is a low cost method that only requires the stone that is usually readily accessible and labour.

Ahus Island off the north coast of Manus Island showing severe coastal erosion

Charles Daniel and Ben Lian, from WCS took us through the process of building a dry stone wall which must first take into account choosing the site. For example it cannot be constructed where there are strong currents and waves, and it must be in shallow water where there is no underwater shelf which may cause the wall to collapse in the future.
The wall must be built upon a solid foundation, and using heavy stones that will not collapse. Placing the stones by fitting them together tightly like a jigsaw and on a wider base ensures stability.

There are many coastal communities in Manus that are now using dry stone wall techniques to try and stop or at least slow down the encroaching sea from washing away their land.

The Climate Challenger crew at Loniu Passage, Manus Island and the dry stone wall built for the WCS workshop. Photo: Manuai Matawai

The following video shows how to build a dry stone wall as explained by Charles Daniel from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Manus. Enjoy!

 

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