USAID and PNG Forestry Partner on Climate Change and Forests

For Immediate Release

Friday, July 25, 2014
PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea, July 25, 2014 – Papua New Guinea’s forestry stakeholders met today on national-level forest-related policy and legislation. They want to improve land and forest management and facilitate implementation of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+). 
This meeting was coordinated by a United States Agency for International Development (USAID) project called Lowering Emissions in Asia’s Forests (LEAF) and the UN-REDD Program in collaboration with the Papua New Guinea Forest Authority (PNGFA), the Constitutional Law Reform Commission (CLRC), and the Papua New Guinea Office of Climate Change and Development (OCCD). 
Forestry and land use change account for approximately 95 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in Papua New Guinea, and forests continue to be harvested and cleared with little consideration for climate change impacts. Considerable potential exists to reduce emissions by improving implementation of existing laws, policies and regulations. Policy and legal reforms may also be necessary if the full green growth potential of PNG’s forests is to be harnessed.
The consultation focuses on these and other issues relevant to improving forest management. With growing international attention on forest conservation, sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks, the national consultation is a milestone in integrating climate change objectives into forest management in Papua New Guinea.
In his opening remarks, U.S. Ambassador to Papua New Guinea Walter North said, “I welcome the government’s commitment to communities and civil society to expand implementation of low emissions development initiatives. We need to move firmly and quickly to better manage the world’s forests.” 
USAID LEAF is a five-year cooperative agreement, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Regional Development Mission for Asia. USAID LEAF is being implemented in partnership with SNV – Netherlands Development Organization, Climate Focus, and RECOFTC - The Center for People and Forests. USAID LEAF employs a regional approach to produce meaningful and sustainable reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from the forest-land use sector across six focus countries: Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Thailand, and Vietnam.