Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID)
Helping communities to plan for resettlement
Samantha Vallance recently completed a two year placement as a Resettlement Adviser with the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG).
Samantha worked with the ABG on the Atolls Resettlement Program. Her job was to ensure that the needs of people on the atolls were identified and addressed properly to avoid problems during the Carteret’s resettlement exercise.
These communities live on remote low-lying islands and are in urgent need of resettlement due to slow-onset changes to their environment, including sea water inundation, soil salination, erosion, land loss, food insecurity, and increased vulnerability to natural disasters and climate variability.
'I recently spent three weeks in the Carteret Islands with our local field team who were interviewing families and conducting workshops to collect data. It was very valuable to see first-hand the challenges people face.
'While I was there, I had the opportunity to meet President Momis during his first trip to the Carteret Islands. We discussed Atolls development and the resettlement program so he could see for himself the damaging effects of environmental change.'