ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability
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Manus Province, Papua New Guinea
Manus Province is the smallest and most isolated province of Papua New Guinea. The 1,943 square kilometers of the province is mostly water with some small islands and atolls. Manus Island is the largest land mass of the province and home to the capital of Lorengau. Manus has a population of approximately 33,000 people.

Eighty percent of the people are subsistence farmers and fishers. Cash crops include cocoa, copra, fish and other marine products, and timber. The province is highly dependent on the import of a wide range of consumer goods and services.

The MCP was launched in Manus in October 1994. Over the next few months a province-wide stakeholder group was consolidated, LA 21 staff were appointed, a project proposal and a work plan were developed, seven community government areas were identified as pilots for the MCP, and a commitment was made to examine the potential inter-linking of the provincial government's Integrated Human Development (IHD) policy with LA 21.

In 1995, there was a restructuring and a reorganization of all levels of government by the national government. This was a move to centralization and led to the demise of the existing provincial government and its policies and plans. The restructuring of the province proved to be a complicated and difficult task which made it impossible to continue with the development of LA 21.

Despite the commitment and efforts of many government staff members and other individuals it was not possible to test the sustainable development planning framework under these conditions. Thus, while Manus continued to be a member of the MCP, and participated in international meetings and workshops, it was not able to implement the MCP as originally planned.

Nevertheless, many have a strong commitment to create an inclusive and democratic process for all residents of Manus. Discussion about sustainable development is not new in Manus-the IHD policy also raises this issue, and the province has hosted workshops on the subject for the different levels of government and community.