Papua New Guinea builds REDD technical capacity Featured

Port Moresby, March 29, 2016 – National stakeholders receive expert training to enhance their understanding of REDD+ in mitigating climate change and the critical role of REDD+ in promoting

sustainable development in Papua New Guinea. The ‘REDD+ Expert Training Event,’ organized by the Climate Change and Development Authority (CCDA), within the framework of the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility REDD+ readiness project and with the support of UNDP was held in Kimbe, West New Britain on 22-24 March 2016. 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 is for developing countries to implement a REDD+ initiative to reduce carbon emissions into the atmosphere as a consequence of deforestation and forest degradation. PNG, as an active member of the UNFCCC and Rainforest Coalition, has been making its contribution to reducing global emissions by taking important steps towards developing a national REDD+ initiative.

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+ policy 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. This work will help the country to effectively develop a national strategy/action plan, national forest monitoring system, safeguards information system and forest reference emission levels system.

“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 Tim Boyle and Joel Scriven, the REDD+ support team from UNDP Regional Hub in Bangkok, covered issues 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 and New Britain Palm Oil Limited plantations, logging sites and biogas plant. This provided participants with an opportunity to see first-hand practices that 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: “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”, he said.