Last 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):
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.
- 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)
- 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)
- 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)
- 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)
- 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)
- 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)
- 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)
- 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)
- 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)
- 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)
- 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)
- 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)
- 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)
- 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)
- 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)
- 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)