Forestry, Climate Change and Biodiversity
Forests and biodiversity in Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea consists of 78% of forests, the three quarters of which are visibly undisturbed by human activities such as forestry and subsistence agriculture. Forests are a vital source of food security for many communities, 85% of which live in rural areas, and they represent an essential part of the cultural, linguistic and spiritual fabric of the country. They are of a global strategic significance in terms of climate change and biodiversity.
In particular, the tropical forest of New Guinea, shared with Indonesia, is the world’s third largest rainforest after the Amazon and Congo forest basin. As such, PNG’s forests represent one of the most vital reserves of carbon and biodiversity in the world.
Contributing to forging a bond between forestry, climate change and biodiversity
The environmental protection of forests and the promotion of greener sources of economic and social development feature among the priorities of the Papua New Guinean government and many stakeholders in the country. As a partner for development, the European Union is prepared to support these efforts. In 2022, it decided to put in place a new major cooperation programme in Papua New Guinea: the “Forestry, Climate Change and Biodiversity” programme. It is one of the most ambitious forest programmes of the European Union in the world.
It is composed of three main lines of operation:
• The first one provides support at the national/institutional level in collaboration with the local/community level (€33.5m) and will be implemented by Expertise France.
• The second, to support a protected area in the Managalas region in the province of Oro (€18.2m), will be implemented by CIFOR, the Centre for International Forestry Research (which will provide appropriate co-funding).
• The third involves continued funding for the National Forest Inventory (€3m) and will be implemented by the FAO - the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation.
Bringing support at the national and institutional level in collaboration with the local/community level
Expertise France implements its actions to support the national and institutional levels through the following lines of operations:
Implementing effective evidence-based policies, governance and institutional frameworks for the Forestry, Climate Change and Biodiversity programme
The first line of the project aims to support governmental organisations in creating and implementing efficient strategies and public policies at the national and local levels in the forestry, climate change and biodiversity sectors. Special support will be provided on digitization and data-sharing.
Improving knowledge-sharing and collaboration regarding research
The second line of action aims to support the institutions working in the education and research sectors in Papua New Guinea in order to encourage the integration of the main issues of Forestry, Climate Change and Biodiversity in school and university programmes, to improve knowledge production, exchanges and collaboration regarding research on forests, climate change and biodiversity.
Helping to develop gender-responsive green growth to improve community inclusion
The third line of action aims to support communities in Papua New Guinea by encouraging small and medium-sized enterprises in the agriculture and forest sectors to make a sustainable use of land, to improve the income and means of subsistence of communities committed in the preservation of the environment and to develop green projects to attract public and private investors. Moreover, it contributes to support the creation and set up of energy policies in the country and the climate protection of communities.
The Forestry, Climate Change and Biodiversity Programme is implemented in a complex environment which will allow its beneficiaries to connect on environmental issues:
• Support to public actors: PNGFA - Papua New Guinea Forest Authority; CCDA - Climate Change and Development Authority; CEPA - Conservation & Environment Protection Authority; DAL - Department of Agriculture and Livestock; NEA - National Energy Authority; DHERST - Department of Higher Education, Research, Science & Technology; PNG STS - Science and Technology Secretariat
• Support to education and research actors
• Support to communities through civil society and the private sector.