China Assists Papua New Guinea Wind Power Project

The Duke of York Islands in East New Britain, one of a group of islands in Papua New Guinea facing the threat of a rise in the sea level because of global warming, is practising what most just preach.

The islanders, with the help of their MP and Treasurer Sir Rabbie Namaliu and China, will seek power from an alternate source – wind turbines.

Sir Rabbie was in Duke of York to open three new projects that are jointly funded by China and Papua New Guinea government. They are a double classroom, a new school library and a pilot wind farm project.

The wind energy project is jointly funded by the Chinese and the national government. "This could not be better timed. Today there is a worldwide focus on the impact of climate change and what can be done to reduce and manage its impact on daily lives."

He said the APEC [Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum] meeting in Vietnam and the Melbourne meeting of treasurers and finance ministers had the issue of global warming high on the agenda.

"This community already knows what one of the impacts of global warming and climate change is – rising sea levels. We can play a part by focusing on environmentally friendly energy sources and few are more environmentally friendly than wind power."

Sir Rabbie praised China’s bilateral aid to PNG, adding that all of the aid projects and programmes China had funded have had strong practical value. "The majority are in rural communities, some are in agriculture, while others are in areas such as education and health care."

Papua New Guinea occupies the eastern half of the island of New Guinea, just north of Australia, and many outlying islands. The Indonesian province of West Papua (Irian Jaya) is to the west. To the north and east are the islands of Manus, New Britain, New Ireland, and Bougainville, all part of Papua New Guinea.

About one-tenth larger than California, its mountainous interior has only recently been explored. Two major rivers, the Sepik and the Fly, are navigable for shallow-draft vessels. Land area: 174,849 sq mi (452,860 sq km); Population (2010 est.): 6,064,515.