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Papua New Guinea (PNG) is a global leader in promoting and advancing REDD+ under the UNFCCC, and one of the original nine UN-REDD Programme pilot countries to implement their REDD+ readiness phase with the Programme’s support. Led by PNG’s Office of Climate Change and Development and the PNG Forest Authority, the UN-REDD National Programme in PNG focused on five outcomes: (1) REDD+ readiness management arrangements, (2) Developing a national monitoring, reporting and verification system, (3) Identifying historical drivers of deforestation, (4) monitoring of abatement concepts, and (5) Engaging stakeholders in the REDD+ readiness process.

On 4-5 November 2015, a two-day National REDD+ Lessons Learned and Closing Workshop was organized in PNG to review progress achieved towards REDD+ readiness, and to take stock of what is left to be done before taking further actions and developments of future implementation of REDD+ in next phase .

A report of lessons learned in PNG will be available in February 2016. It will present key lessons structured in the context of the four REDD+ design elements under the UNFCCC Warsaw Framework for REDD+.  The following are highlights of the key lessons learned related to processes of consultation, engagement and development of communications and knowledge products for awareness raising and dissemination.

  • A wider awareness raising activity plan. Awareness raising activities should be more organized and effective.  Awareness was raised successfully among some stakeholders. However, more needs to be done to reach and engage more diverse and relevant key stakeholders, particularly as PNG develops its REDD+ national strategy together with identification of REDD+ policies and measures.
  • Strengthening of cross-sectoral coordination and engagement. Cross-sectoral coordination was identified as one aspect that is weak and that has resulted in the lack of involvement in Technical Working Groups.  It was suggested that increasing the number of Technical Working Group meetings, in addition to more consultation, would have been preferable during any policy development.  In particular, engagement with private sectors including the palm oil industry, mining, forest and petroleum or oil companies was weak.
  • Enhancement of the quality and quantity of communications materials and information dissemination.  A set of common communications materials and products, and access to information must be developed.An online PNG REDD+ resource (as part of a national REDD+ website) is needed and all materials should be available for access by all interested stakeholders.  The complexity of REDD+ terminology is also an issue.  It was suggested that materials should be designed or tailored to specific audiences or target groups. 

  • Lack of international guidelines. It was highlighted that without international guidance it is hard for PNG to decide on what are the best options with which to move forward.  A comprehensive understanding about the options, through knowledge sharing, is important to enable effective engagement and decision-making by the country. It was suggested that this knowledge should include clear guidance for the country, together with experiences from other countries, and that this should be framed around the four design elements of the UNFCCC Warsaw Framework for REDD+.

More information about REDD+ in Papua New Guinea is available here.