Papua New Guinea

IGES Summary

Papua New Guinea (PNG) is one of over 40 countries now preparing their national REDD+ systems with international support. In the international arena, PNG has been a leading proponent of REDD+ and has voluntarily pledged itself to a national emissions reduction target. Back at home, however, PNG’s rich forest resource is under serious threat from logging operations, large-scale clearance, ostensibly for commercial agriculture, and shifting cultivation. While there are no recent quantitative assessments of forest cover change to support the contention that forest loss is accelerating, in the past few years there has been a sudden and dramatic increase in the area of land under special purpose agricultural and business leases, which are now posing a serious threat to PNG’s forests.

While PNG does not have a national REDD+ strategy, what can be viewed as elements of a strategy are in place. REDD+ project guidelines have been finalised by the OCCD, documents on free prior informed consent (FPIC) and benefit sharing and distribution system (BSDS) are under development, and studies on deforestation drivers, legal framework for REDD+, etc. are planned. The Japan International Co-operation Agency and UN-REDD are the two largest funders of PNG’s REDD+ readiness, and are concentrating their efforts on the Reference Emissions Level (REL) and MRV. In addition to capacity building, investment is being directed at building data sets and techniques to use remote sensing and ground-based monitoring for the REL and MRV. A number of demonstration activities are under development, with the Forestry Authority (PNGFA) playing a key role and NGOs undertaking a number of initiatives with customary landowners.

REDD+ readiness in any country that must deal with fundamental governance issues in order to manage forest resources sustainably is going to be slow and difficult. REDD+ readiness cannot be rushed. Interagency collaboration, policy coordination, public consultations and stakeholder engagement are all required. Institutional and technical capacity must be built. Transparency and accountability must be part and parcel of all processes. When these elements are lacking, problems invariably arise and remedial actions are required.

Follow the link below for the IGES report on REDD+ readiness in PNG.