Multi-purpose National Forest Inventory

PNG launched a first-ever Multipurpose National Forest Inventory (NFI) in March 2016, along with the PNG Climate Change and Forest Monitoring Web-portal which has received national attention as the official endorsement was done by the Prime Minister of PNG. These initiatives aimed to enhanced the accuracy of GHG emissions estimation from forest and land use change meeting the requirements of Tier 3 emission factors (as prescribed by the IPCC for REDD+ Measurement, Reporting and Verification (MRV).

The NFI’s methodology and approach was built on the methods and capacity developed within the PNGFA over a number of years. It was anticipated that the data generated by the NFI would significantly improve the accuracy of GHG estimations in the LULUCF sector and provide essential information related to the REDD+ (environmental and social) safeguards in PNG. The GoPNG and the EU had been financing this work with technical support from FAO. This program ended in 2019 with the main deficiencies observed in a number of areas related to the collection of flora and fauna biodiversity information and the development of detailed emission factors for different forest types as well as for different levels of forest degradation.

Multi-purpose National Forest Inventory (source: PNGFA)

Multi-purpose National Forest Inventory (source: PNGFA)

So far, only initial data has been derived from the total area earmarked. Information availability on land use and land use change will be a major step forward and a milestone achievement for the country. Based on this forest inventory and via input obtained from respective stakeholders, certain important measures relating to REDD+ such as the National Sustainable Land Use Policy (NSLUP), were developed which is a major advantage for the country.

The capacity on forest monitoring of PNG using remote sensing technology has improved significantly in recent years. However, a large information gap still remains. National scale information on carbon stock in the diverse forests subject to different disturbances is poorly known. Previous studies were too scattered and the estimation of average carbon stock in PNG forests were often contradictory. With the data derived from the NFI these deficiencies will be greatly improved in subsequent reporting periods.