Bialla, West New Britain, 03 June 2019 – Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) forests play a vital role in the economy and wellbeing of the country. They significantly contribute to the fight against climate change acting as a lung for the planet. Improving how this resource is sustainably managed, however, requires ongoing investment.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with the support from the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partership Facility is partnering with the Government of PNG to achieve this. Working with a range of stakeholders, UNDP is supporting the Government to reduce emissions from deforestration and forest degradation (REDD+). It is doing this by developing robust strategies and investment plans that encourage greater transparency and sustainability. These efforts will also help the Government to achieve its national climate change goals. This work is being closely coordinated with other development parterns such as the Japan’s International Cooperation Agency who are working to improve PNG’s forest resource information management system (NFRIMS) and the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) to improve forest monitoring systems in the country.

  

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To improve the efficiency of forestry planning, UNDP is supporting the PNG Forest Authority to review National Guidelines on developing Provincial Forestry Plans. This support will also include trialing the development of specific Provincial Forestry Plans.

A provincial technical working committee workshop, supported by the West New Britain Provincial Administration and facilitated by the PNG’s Forest Authority, will be held in Biala on 3-5 June 2019. This event aims to bring technical experts together to review the Province’s proposed Provincial Forest Plan and contribute to the drafting of associated guidelines.

A technical working committee comprised of divisional experts from the Provincial Administration, the private sector and civil society was established and endorsed by the Provincial Administrator to run this Event.

Dr. Ruth Turia, Director for Policy and Planning of PNG’s Forest Authority welcomed all participants and acknowledged the support of all development partners, particularly UNDP for strengthening the efficiency of forestry sector in the country.

“We all have a role to play in management of forest resources and the review of PNG’s Guidelines on Provincial Forest Plans is a key milestone to meet the current and emerging demands of our country, our economy and our people,” said Dr Turia. Mr. Dirk Wagener UNDP’s Resident Representative, thanked the Provincial Government and PNG’s Forest Authority for their continued efforts towards achieving more sustainable forestry management.

“As a key partner of Government, UNDP has been providing technical and financial support to help PNG achieve its national development aspirations. This includes how best to respond to the impacts of climate change. Today’s workshop is an example of joint efforts with subnational technical experts to improve forestry planning for the wellbeing of landowners,” said Mr. Wagener.

It is anticipated that once the West New Britain Forest Plan is finalized, National Forest Plan Guidelines will be revisited drawing on lessons learned from this and scaled up across all provinces of the country.


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