The island of New Guinea, divided between Indonesia and Papua New Guinea (PNG), contains the third largest tract of tropical rainforest on the planet, smaller only than the Amazon and Congo Basins. Papua New Guinea’s forests cover 28-30 million hectares, or approximately 65% of the country’s total surface area. The country’s current national deforestation rate is estimated to be around 1.5%. This combination of extensive but threatened forests makes PNG a high international priority country for forest conservation and REDD+ development activities.
Papua New Guinea was among the earliest global advocates for REDD+, having joined with Costa Rica at the 11th Conference of the Parties (COP11) in proposing the concept of a REDD+ mechanism for inclusion within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The Government of PNG committed in 2010 to reduce its GHG emissions by 30% by 2030, and intends to achieve these reductions primarily from changes in land use and forest management. PNG has made significant progress in national level REDD+ policy development, proceeding in 2011 beyond the development phase to the implementation phase of the UN-REDD Programme.
PNG’s REDD+ financing landscape is set out below:
Donors to REDD+ activities in Papua New Guinea can be categorized into three sectors, with donor governments representing the majority of commitments. One multilateral institution (UN-REDD) and one private foundation (Skoll Foundation) are also included among the donors.
Recipients represent a more diverse array of sectors, and include the Government of PNG, a consortium of NGOs and PNG governmental agencies, as well as both international and domestic NGOs. Donor governments contributed to each of these four recipient categories, while the UN-REDD funding is directed entirely to the PNG Government.
The majority (76%) of REDD+ funding commitments to Papua New Guinea have been made by donor governments, with Japan, Germany, and Australia each having committed between US$5 million and US$8 million. Multilateral funding through the UN-REDD Programme was also significant, representing nearly one quarter of all commitments.
The Government of Papua New Guinea was the primary recipient of REDD+ funding commitments, with the PNG Forest Authority and the Office of Climate Change and Development together receiving 80% of all commitments. Other primary recipients include the Wildlife Conservation Society of PNG, and a public-private consortium of PNG government agencies and NGOs, both of which are entirely funded by commitments from the Government of Australia.
REDD+ commitments increased steadily between 2009 and 2011, more than doubling in each of those years, but remained stagnant in 2012. Disbursement rates of REDD+ funds to PNG have remained low, ranging from 3% to 8% of total commitments.