The 1995 PNG Forestry Authority Guidelines for Provincial Forest Plans (PFPs) were revised and validated on 13 December in Port Moresby by the PNG Forestry Authority (PNGFA), key government and NGO representatives, provincial administration forestry officers from the targeted provinces.

 

 Provincial participants listen in  Dr Turia welcome remarks
Photo: Dr Ruth Turia welomed participants at the validation meeting

 

The Guidelines were developed in 1995 to assist Provinces to develop their PFPs which is a requirement under the PNG Forestry Act 1991 (as amended), as they are a fundamental tool for planning of projects and programs directed towards development pathways in the areas of industrial, economic, environmental and social development of each province in PNG.

Dr Ruth Turia, Director for the Forest Policy and Planning Directorate of of the PNGFA, in her opening remarks noted that each provincial government has to have a PFP. 

“It is timely to have these Guidelines revised as there have been a lot of changes since 1995 when the Guidelines for PFPs were first developed, and having the Guidelines revised will also support the development of the National Forest Plan,” said Dr Turia.

The revision of Guidelines will result in new PFPs which will contribute immensely to Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation, Conservation, Sustainable Management of Forests and Carbon Stock Enhancement (REDD+). The Plans will help to safeguard all relevant forest and land use sectors and ensure that all provincial priorities are captured and will be effectively taken into account.

“The review of the PFP Guidelines is a good start to the implementation of the National REDD+ Strategy and will guide interested parties and landowners to efficiently plan and manage their forest resources,” said Mr. Mirzohaydar Isoev, Chief Technical Adviser of the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) project under the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). “It is a great honor for UNDP to be a key partner of the Government, and upscaling the PFPs throughout the country will significantly contribute to reduction of GHG emissions and development of green economic growth in PNG.”

The revised and updated Guidelines are a result of intense review work carried out by a National Technical Working Committee comprised of key Government agencies and NGO representatives, and inpartnership with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)/PNGFA project on the Forest Resource Information Management System (FRIMS). The UNDP / FCPF project has technically and financially supported through various inter-agency Technical Working Groups at the national and provincial levels and provided concrete recommendations to make the guidelines more practical.  Key stakeholders, including the PNGFA Area Managers, Forestry Officers, key representatives from Provincial Administrations and NGOs were also invited to contribute to the validation meeting.

Dr Turia thanked the UNDP/FCPF project and JICAfor their support to the revision process of the Guidelines and for assisting in ensuring the meeting took place.  She said, “I hope that at the end of today, we will all agree to the Guidelines which will eventually be used by all the provincial governments to establish a workable plan for their respective provinces in PNG.”

The guidelines have been trialed in West New Britain and revised based on the lessons learned and experiences gained. After validation of the PFP Guidelines, UNDP/FCPF will provide further support in the development of three PFPs in West New Britain, East New Britain and Madang. The Government of PNG will scale up PFP preparation throughout all provinces in 2020.