Strengthening agricultural resilience in Western Province: Mapping place-based strengths and assets

Limited road access means many communities living along the Fly River in Western Province have to travel by both dug out canoes and fiberglass dingies.
Project code
AUD 268,047
Research program manager
Prof Ann Fleming
Project leader
Prof. Katherine Gibson, Western Sydney University
SEP 2021
JUN 2023
Project status
Legally committed/Active
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This project aims to map (conceptually and geographically) the place-based strengths and assets of Western Province, thus producing a knowledge base to inform agricultural resilience-building strategies.

This will be achieved by collating and interpreting available data and seeking insights from PNG experts and those with local knowledge. This work will produce maps of economic activity showing its diversity across the province. It will include an assessment of the biophysical resources at a sub-regional scale and the threats to their sustainability (past, current and under future climate change).

This scoping study seeks to draw on the lessons learnt from decades of development work in the Western Province. It takes a place-based approach by recognising the diverse geographic, ecological and socio-cultural contexts across Western Province. It also takes a strengths-based approach by seeking to build a wider understanding of local people’s current economic (largely artisanal) activities and their diverse livelihood assets across broad geographic and cultural contexts.

The research consists of one integrated project broken down into two small research projects (FIS/2021/122 and FIS/2021/113).

Project outcomes

  • Reviewing the existing documented social science and ecological knowledge base about Western Province with an in-depth focus on the South Fly District.
  • Identifying the conceptual and geographical contributions and gaps in this knowledge base using a strengths-based, place-based and gender-sensitive perspective.
  • Gathering insights from key individuals with place-specific knowledge of Western Province (including South Fly District) about local strengths and assets.
  • Identifying research priorities for strengthening diverse agricultural livelihoods and building resilience across the different ecological zones of Western Province.
Key partners
University of Canberra