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.
Financing flows and institutions receiving funds committed for REDD+ activities in PNG:
As of 2012, the PNG REDD+ finance chain is fairly straightforward, with first recipients of REDD+ funding directly utilizing all funds. The lack of funding transfers from first to second recipients should not be seen as a failure to implement REDD+ activities in PNG, as recipients may commit funding directly to local communities or households for payments for environmental services (PES) or implement the activities directly themselves instead of passing funding to other organizations. A clearer picture will emerge as additional REDDX data collection continues.
A breakdown of annual funding committed to first recipients shows a steady increase from 2009 through 2011, with only one small additional commitment being made in 2012. Funding commitments increased by 39% from 2009 to 2010, and by 104% from 2010 to 2011. More than half (54%) of all commitments were made in 2011.
Initial commitments in 2009 targeted domestic NGOs and a public-private consortium. However, in 2010 and 2011, donors increasingly directed larger commitments to the Government of PNG, including the PNG Forest Authority and the Office of Climate Change and Development.