in Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea’s National Joint Programme approved by UN-REDD Policy Board

Papua New Guinea's National Joint Programme approved by UN-REDD Policy Board. PHOTO: GreenpeaceLast week, the UN-REDD policy board approved almost US$6.4 million for Papua New Guinea’s National Joint Programme. However, in a letter to the co-chairs of the UN-REDD Policy Board, the PNG Ecoforestry Forum lists 16 conditions aimed at improving the National Joint Programme (posted below).

The NJP states that the 36 month programme starts in January 2011. By the end of 2013, if all goes according to plan, PNG will have “an operational Measurement, Reporting and Verification system”.

Three key documents have so far been produced on the NJP, available for download below (click on the images to download the pdf files):

UN-REDD National Joint Programme - pdf file 2.3 MB The National Joint Programme: “UN Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries Joint Programme Document”.
NJP Technical Review - pdf file 410 KB A technical review of the NJP, 19 October 2010.
Ecoforestry Forum's letter - pdf file 260 KB Ecoforestry Forum’s letter to the co-chairs of the UN-REDD policy board, 3 November 2010.

More documents from the 5th UN-REDD policy board meeting are available on the UN-REDD website, including a presentation by PNG’s Office of Climate Change and Development (somewhat bizarrely marked “Highly Confidential”). It is interesting to contrast the optimism of the OCCD presentation with the technical review and the 16 conditions listed by Ecoforestry Forum. To give just one example, the OCCD presentation claims that “PNG has made progress in the REDD readiness efforts with broad support from stakeholders.” The technical review, however notes that

No formal involvement of CSOs [Civil Society Organisations] or IP [Indigenous Peoples] reps appears to have been organised – which would constitute a breach of the Operational Guidance on Engagement of Indigenous Peoples and Other Forest Dependent Communities (25 June 2009). CSO participants attended REDD+TWG [Technical Working Group] meetings organized by OCCD on the NJP as observers only, and were invited at the eleventh hour (PNG EFF submission on NJP 28 Sep 2010).

What follows are the 16 conditions listed by Ecoforestry Forum. EFF explains in its letter to the UN-REDD co-chairs that conditions listed “high priority” are issues to be addressed within 6 to 12 months and “secondary priority” issues are to be addressed at the latest within two years. Clearly, there are still some crucially important issues for UN-REDD to address in Papua New Guinea.

  1. EFF and civil society in PNG view that the general management of the process that led to this NJP was isolated to key government agencies and much is at stake in terms of consultation, participation and full engagement. The whole process approach needs to be reviewed for sector wide input. (High Priority)
  2. EFF and civil society in PNG endorses the document only if and when the ownership of the NJP is clear that indigenous peoples are the major players in the REDD processes in order to build confidence and trust among stakeholders. (High Priority)
  3. EFF and civil society in PNG calls on the Government of PNG to clearly focus on the safeguards, capacity building, stakeholder engagement and awareness in PNG at local levels. There must be full and effective involvement and participation of indigenous people in REDD processes. (High Priority)
  4. EFF and civil society in PNG wants governance and transparency issues at stake must be clearly addressed. Good governance and transparency did not guide the development of the NJP document. A transparent process need to be adopted. (High Priority)
  5. EFF and civil society in PNG wants a clear framework for rights and responsibilities of different stakeholders and government agencies in REDD+ activities and their relative involvement with landowners and forest communities. (High Priority)
  6. EFF and civil society in PNG calls on the Government of PNG that stakeholder engagement and consultation are terms constantly used, but there is no clear indication of the process how they are being, or will be engaged and what specific contributions these stakeholders will be required to engage and contribute in the existing three tier government system (National, Provincial and Local level). We call for the specific ToR with clear mapping of the process for all stakeholders. (High Priority)
  7. EFF and civil society in PNG calls on the Government of PNG through the National Forestry Board to immediately impose a nationwide moratorium on ALL NEW logging concessions and including the non extension or renewal of expiring Timber Permits (TPs), Timber Rights Purchase (TRPs) and Forest Management Agreements (FMAs). (High Priority)
  8. EFF and civil society in PNG call for the Government of PNG to set up a broad based team for a judicial review on the EXISTING logging concessions throughout the country. (Secondary Priority)
  9. EFF and civil society calls for the exclusion of the abatement action of Reduced Impact Logging practices in any REDD processes until and unless satisfactory implementation, monitoring and enforcement guidelines and strategies are developed. (Secondary Priority)
  10. EFF and civil society in PNG demand the Government of PNG to halt the shifting and expansion of oil palm development and expansion of agro‐forestry activities in forested and/or degraded lands. (High Priority)
  11. EFF and civil society in PNG accept and endorse the NJP, but only when and if the Government of PNG nullify all existing agro‐forestry land leases totaling over 4 million hectares. (High Priority)
  12. EFF and civil society in PNG endorse the NJP only if and when the exclusive focus on MRVs is removed and emphasis placed on social and environmental safeguards. (High Priority)
  13. EFF and civil society in PNG demand a review of the MRVs and clear emphasis must be placed on methodologies for data collection and the design aspect of stakeholder engagement in the MRV data. (High Priority)
  14. EFF and civil society in PNG endorse the NJP only if and when the top‐down MRV approach clearly highlights the institutional capacities for a transparent MRV system. (High Priority)
  15. EFF and civil society in PNG endorse the NJP only if and when the ‘pass‐through’ texts adopted are removed so that funds managed through the ‘pooled approach’ by a Board/Committee chaired by the UN Resident Representative in PNG, rather than UN Agency HQs. (Secondary Priority)
  16. EFF and civil society in PNG calls on the Government of PNG to develop a National Landuse Management Plan under the UNREDD process, as there is clearly uncoordinated natural resources development projects all over the country without clear demarcation of boundaries thus, it a catalyst for major landownership disputes, while REDD+ has the potential to trigger social and developmental problems. (High Priority)


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  1. Excellent job, PNGEFF !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Keep them on their toes !

  2. Documenting illegality associated with the designation, allocation and implementation of land for conversion to palm oil or wood plantations in Papua New Guinea (and elsewhere) would be very useful.

    This sort of illegality (and the financing of mills) tends to be excluded from consideration by Verification of Legal Origin schemes and consultancy assignments. It remains to be seen whether FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreements will also serve to formally launder products associated with such illegality.

    Palm oil which derives from plantations on land which had been forest prior to 2005 can not be certified as sustainable under (current) RSPO rules. The cut-off date for FSC-certification, 1994, is more reasonable and should be adopted under government policy for the procurement of palm oil.

    The supply of unsustainable palm oil and wood-based products will soon be excluded not only from many markets but also from the supply chains of major intermediary corporate suppliers and processors (who account for a substantial share of the market in countries which import most of the palm oil).

    Those currently in power in Papua New Guinea (and Indonesia) are gambling that there will be a market for the output of the palm oil and wood plantations which might be cultivated on the forest land which (perhaps unconstitutionally) they arrange to be converted. Such conversion is inconsistent with the agreement of heads of state world-wide to ensure that global temperature does not rise more than two degrees Centigrade above pre-industrial levels. It is also economically unnecessary in a country which is already as rich as Papua New Guinea (although those in power do not maximise or equitably share the income which the Department of Treasury receives from the exploitation and export of the country’s resources).

  3. some png government departments cannot continue to work in isolation in this day and age. they should stop the cliches and hot air grandios in the international arena as apart from people seeing right through you, it is of bad taste and insulting to the intelligence of the ordinary citizens. come down from whereever you are and start working/living in the real world. Keep up the good work PNG EFF.

  4. The kind of argument given by EFF is rather cheap then being constructive. EFF should very well know that it is a partner NGO organization of Office of Climate Change and Development (OCCD) together with other state agencies, NGO groups and Development Partners and private institutions/business houses and has first hand information of all the working documents on REDD+ Readiness programme undertaken by the National Government through the REDD+ Technical Working Group which is chaired and coordinated by the OCCD as the mandated body tasked to bring together all stakeholders to work on the PNG’s REDD readiness programme as well as to corrdinate all stakeholders approach to addressing the impacts of climate change through its Adaptation technical Working Group.

    The National Government do take into consideration that EFF has its democratic right to speech and representation and above all support a transparent and accountable process in setting-up PNG’s REDD readiness programme. Rather EFF should give its utmost positive and constructive support to help the government move forward in its REDD preparedness programme than coming out to publish such arguments that only tarnish the work of the REDD+ TWG and so the government of PNG. Being a member of the REDD+ TWG, EFF has the previlage to first hand information and discussions that are carried out by the REDD+ TWG. More importantly EFF is part of these discussions and above all, most of the arguments highlighted above by EFF are actually some of the important issues identified by the REDD+ Technical Working Group and the TWG are actually working towards achieving those in order to prepare PNG for our REDD+ initiatives.

  5. FYI Dante Thomas PNG does not support REDD or REDD+ regardless…….

    First hand information? about what?

    The National Government does not have any authority over the Incorporated Land Groups forests ,97% of PNG land is owned by the people.
    The REDD or REDD+ safeguards that Kevin Conrad promotes with his recent cop16 climate compatible development plan submission with the human and enviromental rights exclusions has put the writing on the wall in PNG and the world.
    EFT over the years in PNG has worked hard for the people and represented them against PNG Ombudsman disqualficated Dr Wari Iamo and RH amongst others.
    You sir are barking up the wrong tree.

  6. K5m compo demand on Somare … Dante Thomas is this the PNG National Government you are trying to talk about.

    By Simon Eroro

    * Chief offers pigs and K20,000
    * Yangorus reject offer
    * Waranaka’s ‘Kandres’ demands K5 million

    EAST Sepik Governor Peter Wararu Waranaka’s relatives are demanding K5 million in compensation from the Somare family following an attempted shooting of the Yangoru –Saussia MP on Saturday.
    A senior police officer in Wewak confirmed last night that one of the Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare Grand Chief’s sons (named) is alleged to have drawn a shot gun on Governor Waranaka and was about to shoot when East Sepik Administrator Samson Torovi struck the arm holding the gun and the bullets missed Mr Waranaka.
    And yesterday Sir Michael initiated peace by personally going to the Governor’s house on Wewak hill with two pigs and K20,000 in cash. Reports from Wewak said the Chief’s offer was rejected and Governor Waranaka’s people were demanding K5 million instead. They also demanded that the Chief’s son be arrested and charged by police
    In the normal Yangoru custom, such compensation demands would be spearheaded by maternal uncles of the aggrieved person who were referred to in Tok Pisin as “ol kandre”.
    Peace negotiations were still continuing late last night.
    Police in Wewak confirmed the incident yesterday and said they were investigating. Police Commissioner’s office in Port Moresby said they were awaiting a report from Regional Police commander Assistant Commissioner Liosi Gabi before he could comment.
    Asked how the incident occurred, the Wewak police officer said an argument erupted over a range of issues from politics to administration.
    This policeman confirmed a firearm was discharged in the process by the Chief’s son.
    Attempts also to contact Governor Wararu was unsuccessful, however, a public servant (named) said while the entire province was disappointed with the incident, they were angry over the family member for bringing shame to Sir Michael.
    This public servant described Sir Michael as a good man whose reputation was being tainted by people close to him and those entrusted to work for him.
    “The Saturday incident is another burden on the old man. Things have gone wrong and he needs prayers and support not only from the people of East Sepik but the country as a whole and for more problems to bombard him during this time is completely terrible,” he said.