Papua New Guinea builds technical capacity for REDD+ implementation Featured

National stakeholders received expert training to enhance their understanding of REDD+ as a climate change mitigation strategy and learned about 

the potential role for REDD+ to promote sustainable development in Papua New Guinea.

The ‘REDD+ Expert Training Event’ with an emphasis on policies and measures to implement REDD+ was organized in Kimbe, West New Britain by the Climate Change and Development Authority (CCDA), with support of the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility REDD+ readiness project and UNDP. Thirty-seven participants from the Government, civil society groups and private sector attended the workshop.

Effectively addressing the problem of climate change is one of the many complex challenges facing the global community today. Part of the global response has been to encourage developing countries to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, known as REDD+.  PNG, as an active member of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Coalition for Rainforest Nations, has been making its contribution to reducing global emissions by taking steps towards developing a national REDD+ strategy.

Terence Barambi, the CCDA REDD+ Manager explained the purpose of the training, “We are bringing together stakeholders to increase their understanding of REDD+ and build their confidence. This will help ensure the REDD+ Strategy is in line with national priorities in each sector.”

The workshop in Kimbe is part of a series of ongoing initiatives that began in 2015 which enables the country take necessary steps towards establishing capacities for efficient management of REDD+ and the National REDD+ Strategy.

“We want to build a pool of experts who understand what the REDD+ initiative is and how it can be implemented in Papua New Guinea,” said Peter Katapa, Project Manager for FCPF - REDD+ readiness project.

The training, led by Joel Scriven and Timothy Boyle, the REDD+ support team from UN-REDD/UNDP Regional Hub in Bangkok, covered issues including the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation, the key steps for designing REDD+ policies and measures as well as important planning considerations for the implementation of REDD+.

As part of the training, participants visited Stettin Bay Lumber Company logging sites and New Britain Palm Oil Limited plantations and biogas plant. This provided participants with an opportunity to see first-hand practices that both act as drivers of deforestation but that can also contribute to sustainable conservation and management of forests in PNG. Participants also learned how these companies address and reduce the impact of their operations on the environment.

The last day of the workshop involved detailed discussion among participants on policies and measures that would be appropriate for PNG to adopt in order to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation while conserving forests and encouraging more sustainable economic development.

“One of the main agents driving deforestation and forest degradation is our people practicing shifting agriculture. A well thought-out national plan on how people use land will help address this problem,” said Roy Banka, Project Coordinator for the National Forest Inventory project.

Kwaipo Vali, Policy advisor for the Prime Minister’s Department found the training beneficial said, “It was good to get specific training on climate change policy issues like REDD+. In my capacity as policy advisor it’s important to understand policies and measures as well as their enforcement.”

Since PNG intends to have a draft national REDD+ strategy by the end of 2016, the next REDD+ Expert Training event in August 2016 will encourage full participation of relevant stakeholders in formulation of this strategy.