Posts Tagged With: Manus


The First Official Climate Challenger Voyage Film HD 10.30mins

This is the first official video (10.30min) of the Climate Challenger Voyage, and it is ready to watch online now! We will also be entering it into the Rare and The Nature Conservancy’s sponsored Solution Search competition. Please show your support by voting for us on the Solution Search website. We hope you all enjoy reliving our journey!

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Tears of Joy as Climate Challenger Returns Home

AFTER A THREE MONTH epic canoe voyage, Climate Challenger has finally returned home.
It was around 8am 5th of December, making a steady 10 knots with our sails well set, that we returned to Pere, our home, after a sometimes hazardous voyage that had taken us from Manus to the Solomon Islands and back to PNG again, hurrying north just ahead of the cyclone season.

Climate Challenger flying the Solomon Island flag, cruises into Pere village after their 3 month long distance voyage. (photo: taken as a still from video)

Climate Challenger flying the Solomon Island flag, cruises into Pere village after their 3 month long distance voyage. (photo: taken as a still from video)

On Pere we could see a crowd of waiting friends, families and loved ones who had flocked to the shore. Echoes of the steady rhythm of the garamut filtered to our ears as we sailed in through the reef. Nearby, four canoes decorated with sago palms waited to escort us to the beach front. They were the proud seafaring canoes performing a guard of honor. We, the crew of Climate Challenger, were also dressed in our traditional attire and danced to the beat of the garamut as we sailed in. I kept my video camera rolling, filming every action, it will be a big celebration, I thought to myself.

Villagers of Pere village wait on shore for the Climate Challenger and crew. (photo: still from video)

Villagers of Pere village wait on shore for the Climate Challenger and crew. (photo: still from video)

The garamut rocked Pere as traditional dancers danced in to meet us as the guard of honour escorted us ashore. The flower girls put wreaths around our neck and we proceeded to meet the village chiefs, councillors and church elders who had lined up to receive us. In every corner we could hear people shouting and cheering. Everyone was so proud and happy to see us back safe and sound. The crew members were rounded up by their immediate families – shaking hands, chatting, crying. I could see tears of joy everywhere. It was a proud moment of my life and indeed a relief to be on Pere, finally home and reunited with our families.

Pere villagers happy to see the Climate Challenger crew return home safely. (photo: still taken from video)

Pere villagers happy to see the Climate Challenger crew return home safely. (photo: still taken from video)

The challenges, the sleepless nights and stressful times were over but the voyage is not. There is far to go in making our Pacific an environmentally secure place.

Climate Challenger Voyage Documentary

I am in Brisbane Australia now working on editing all of our video footage with film maker, Kat Gawlik. We expect to complete the documentary about the voyage by early April, 2013.

Climate Challenger will commence its journey early next year once funding is secured. This year, the crews planned to build a bigger canoe where it will join Climate Challenger on the next epic voyage where the crews planned to sail from Manus to Palau then to Marshall Islands. Open Member for Manus Hon. Ronny Knight has already pledged his support to build the new canoe.

Thank you all for joining us and we hope to update you all soon on the progress of our preparation and what is forthcoming in regards to our fundraising and our Pacific voyage.

Captain Manuai Matawai

Manuai Matawai, Climate Challenger Captain

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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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Climate Challenger Test Run

Climate Challenger test run to Pere, carrying over 20 passengers. Photo: Manuai Matawai

Hello there! Work on the Climate Challenger is complete and so we took it out for a test run over the weekend from Lorengau town to Pere which is about a 25km trip.  Along the way we encountered a 3metre sea swell but the canoe went smoothly despite some minor problem on the outrigger. It was fixed the next day. Work on Mbuke Islands’ canoe ‘Mbuke’ is progressing well. The crews are very excited and looking forward to the trip.


The outboard motor was used due to a headwind. Photo: Manuai Matawai


Climate Challenger anchored at Pere Village, Manus Island, Papua New Guinea. Photo: Manuai Matawai

In Pere we interviewed some elderly people, the Chief, youth and women about the voyage. We also interviewed the wives of the crew members to get their thoughts on the trip. All are very supportive and wished all crews to return safely. It is not long to go now – we leave for the Pacific voyage on the 24th August, Manus Provincial Day.



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Living with Changes [Video]

“Living with Changes” or “Sindaun Wantaim Senis” in the local tok pisin language, is a short documentary, planned, shot and edited by the people of Ahus Island, off the north coast of Manus Island. Participatory video is the name given to the video or videos produced by a group or community where participation from all members of the community including the elderly and youth is encouraged therefore representing the views of the whole community.

Ahus Island is a very low lying sand island severely affected by climate change,  storms and coastal erosion. On top of that their population is ever increasing and fish numbers are rapidly declining. This video was made during a 4 week participatory video activity supported by The Nature Conservancy’s climate adaptation program and funded by Australia-Aid.

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