PNG: Workshop Generates Knowledge To Improve National Forest Monitoring Systems

PNG: Workshop Generates Knowledge To Improve National Forest Monitoring Systems

Port Moresby, 4 December 2018 –National Forest Monitoring Systems (NFMS), a key element of the Warsaw Framework under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), is a prerequisite for countries working to reduce emissions from deforestation, forest degradation and activities to enhance forest carbon stocks, or more commonly known as REDD+. The function of the NFMS is to monitor changes in a country’s forests, which will help improve forest policy making and planning.

Four technical officers from PNG Forest Authority (PNGFA) and Climate Change Development Authority (CCDA), joint collaborators of PNG NFMS, joined the other 31 forestry and Monitoring Reporting and Verification (MRV) experts in a five-day Asia-Pacific workshop hosted by Cambodia from 17-21 September 2018. Papua New Guinea (PNG) together with four other countries: Cambodia, Lao PDR, Nepal, and Vietnam, exchanged knowledge and experiences to effectively operationalize NFMS.

Photos: Top Left, Participants from Papua New Guinea. From L-R: Ms. Eunice Dus (CCDA), Mr. Paul Hasagama (CCDA), Ms. Elizabeth Kaidong (PNGFA) and Mr. Samuel Gibson (PNGFA) and, Top Right, Participants from the five countries who have attended the workshop (Photo Credit: FCPF Cambodia)

Paul Hasagama, Technical Officer from the CCDA’s MRV Division said, “We have gained fair knowledge about how different REDD+ countries in the region have set up their forest monitoring, reporting and verification of data systems.”

“What was significant was the familiarization of methods used to identify gaps in the systems through the use of appropriate technologies.”  Paul said that the way forward is for CCDA and PNGFA to continue to work closely to develop the dynamics of the system.

Elizabeth Kaidong, Policy Officer PNGFA who also participated at the workshop expressed, “In terms of preparedness and operationalizing NFMS for PNG, PNG is progressing well; however, there needs to be improvement in certain areas that are lacking. I would not compare with other countries as each country has its own challenges depending on their circumstances but mostly all countries have identified similar issues.”

One of key lessons learnt was the use of appropriate application to guide countries through the complex process of developing forest monitoring and MRV systems known as REDD compass – it provides a systematic workflow approach. “This experience is very useful to enable us to revisit and update PNG’s REDD compass application from 2017-2018,” said Elizabeth.

She said that the lessons learnt will not only help technical officers in PNG and other countries to identify appropriate sectors, data sources and personnel which are required in the NFMS, but also the gaps that need to be improved, while maintaining the sustainability of the system.

The four other countries that participated in the workshop are at different stages of their NFMS; from the initial stage of development, partial to the most advanced.

A successful establishment of the NFMS will provide transparent information on the status of forests in PNG. Its function to monitor changes in the country’s forests will help improve forest policy making and planning in the country, and serve as a tool to measure, report and verify PNG’s Green House Gas (GHG) emissions reductions from its forests. The Government of PNG will use the NFMS to report GHG emissions from the land use sector to the UNFCCC as an effortto address climate change and promote sustainable development through REDD+ efforts.