Behind the Lens: First-Hand Images and Videos Collected by Communities That Document the Impact of Climate Change in Milne Bay, PNG

David K. Mitchell and George R. Aigoma


Island peoples of Milne Bay Province, Eastern Papua New Guinea are subsistence farmers and artisanal fishers. Their livelihoods depend on their environment and this is reliant upon the seasons and patterns of wind, rain and sun. Environmental indicators and social activities are linked together; people in these communities having an in-depth local understanding of their environment and are attuned to change. Traditionally an oral culture, knowledge of the environment was passed along through stories and legends, however today, many of these stories are not told. Young people tend to fill their days with learning through a formal education system, and time after school is sometimes spent watching video clips on mobile phones or taking pictures to show friends. The challenge is how to blend traditional customs with formal learning and technology to reinvigorate local learning for local people.

One answer to this challenge is to put a small camera, the size of a mobile phone, into community members’ hands and facilitate them to document their environment and the climate change impacts they see around them. This initiative set out to see at what level coastal island communities would take on this idea. This paper is a description of this process.

D.K. Mitchell (H) • G.R. Aigoma

Conservation International, Alotau, Papua New Guinea

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W. Leal Filho (ed.), Climate Change Adaptation in Pacific Countries, Climate Change Management, DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-50094-2_18

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