“CHALLENGES AND EXPECTATIONS IN IMPLEMENTING REDUCE EMISSIONS FROM DEFORESTATION AND FOREST DEGRADATION (REDD) IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA.” Paper presented at the “Challenges to the National Implementation of Activities to REDD” Seminar – Innovations Theatre, Australian National University, Canberra, 18th June, 2008. By: Goodwill Tony Amos Manager Forest Planning and Co-ordinator Forest and Climate Change, Papua New Guinea Forest Authority. Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
1.0 INTRODUCTION • Climate Change issues (especially REDD) are high on Government policy agenda. • Addressing climate change issues is a priority of the Government of PNG at the highest level. In particular, our Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare has reiterated at international level, including during the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 13th Conference of the Parties (COP) in Bali in December 2007, the country’s intention to be a front runner in addressing Climate Change issues (REDD). • Currently the Government has four (4) main priorities in 2008 in order to translate its international commitments into policies and actions at the national level. These include:- 1) Establishing an Office of Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability (OCCESS); 2) Preparing Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) Program Framework for PNG;
3) Preparing whole of government, national climate change policy and action plan and; 4) Establishing and strengthening a fully operational DNA (Designated National Authority) under CDM (Clean Development Mechanism). • I will briefly highlight priorities (1), (3) and (4) but will focus my attention on priority (2) at this seminar. 2.0 OFFICE OF CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY • Office established in April, 2008 • Recruitment process currently in progress.
3.0 WHOLE OF GOVERNMENT APPROACH CLIMATE CHANGE POLICY AND ACTION PLAN - Due to the complex nature of the climate change agenda and the involvement of multiple stakeholders, the Government has taken a whole of government approach in developing its climate change policies and programs. - This approach is in line with best practice at the international level. - Experience in other countries shows that climate change, disaster risk reduction, Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) and REDD are best addressed when they are mainstreamed in development plans and budgets, and implemented through the key sector agencies involved in resource management such as (energy, agriculture, fisheries, forestry and land). - This requires in PNG like in other countries, efficient coordination mechanisms and direct involvement of sector agencies, so that any policies or programs are fully owned by the responsible agencies. - Some Departments and agencies have already started to develop their thinking in terms of specific sector strategies and actions that could provide some building blocks for a government strategy on climate change. - One such organization is the PNG Forest Authority, who is currently working on a draft Forestry and Climate Change Framework for Action to address REDD and other climate change initiatives.
4.0 FULLY OPERATIONAL DESIGNATED NATIONAL AUTHORITY (DNA) • Currently the DNA is appropriately positioned at the Department of Environment and Conservation. 5.0 REDUCED EMISSIONS FROM DEFORESTATION AND FOREST DEGRADATION (REDD) PROGRAM FRAMEWORK FOR PNG 5.1 PURPOSE • The initial focus of the Program is on identifying the key activities necessary for development of an effective enabling environment for the REDD initiative. The activities outlined here cover the period 2008-2009.
5.2 CONTEXT • The REDD initiative arose in response to recognition of the high level of carbon emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries, approximately 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and the lack of financial incentives for developing countries to address the problem. • Development of the REDD Program Framework follows the adoption of the Bali Action Plan by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at the 13th Conference of Parties held in Bali, Indonesia in December 2007 at which the REDD issue was formally included in negotiations for the post-2012 arrangements. • Within PNG, REDD is a component of the Government’s Environmentally Sustainable Economic Growth (ESEG) policy initiative which aims to identify development options which are environmentally and economically sustainable, and could provide long term income generation opportunities for landowners and revenue streams for Government.
REDD has the potential to be one of the key components of the ESEG initiative and a major driver of sustainable development, providing alternative livelihoods, financial resources, and mechanisms for improving the sustainable management of forests and increasing forest protection. • PNG anticipates being an active and full participant in international carbon trading markets being proposed for the post-2012 UNFCCC framework and has committed to developing a National REDD Strategy to ensure it compliance with the global framework. • Adopting a national approach has major implications for the design of the REDD Program Framework and specific activities, in particular the need to address issues of permanence, leakage and additionality. • The immediate and short term emphasis of the REDD Program Framework is on: :- reviewing the existing policy, legal and planning frameworks within which decisions affecting forests are made and assessing it for consistency with the needs of a National REDD Strategy; and :- development of the scientific framework for REDD, in particular an accurate baseline carbon emissions profile for PNG, and National Carbon Assessment and Monitoring System.
The learning obtained through implementing REDD Program activities will support PNG’s negotiations on the post-2012 UNFCCC framework and assist in creating the institutional, policy, legal, financial and scientific framework necessary for PNG to implement the REDD domestically. • The REDD Program Framework is designed to be flexible in its implementation and to allow for regular reviews and updating. This design aspect is critical as negotiations through the UNFCCC process on the REDD initiative are ongoing and the final rules and guidelines for how REDD will be incorporated into the post-2012 UNFCCC framework are not yet fully developed. 5.3 OBJECTIVES • The objectives of the REDD Program are to: • Create an effective enabling environment (policy, legal, planning and scientific) for the REDD initiative within PNG; • Provide support to international negotiations for inclusion of REDD in the post-2012 UNFCCC framework; • Increase awareness for communities and industry about the REDD; • Ensure PNG is able to take advantage of the emerging international funding opportunities for REDD, initially through Overseas Development Assistance (ODA), and ultimately through market mechanisms; and • Significantly increase human capacity within the PNG Government for managing REDD issues.
5.4 ROLES AND RESPONSIBLITIES • The Office of Climate Change and Environment Sustainability (OCC&ES) will be responsible for coordinating the development and implementation of the REDD Program Framework and National REDD Strategy. • The OCC&ES will partner with other key Government Agencies on specific aspects of the REDD. For example, the Department of National Planning and Monitoring will be the key partner for engagement with development partners, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Immigration for international REDD issues, and the PNG Forest Authority and Department of Agriculture and Lands will be key partners on carbon assessment and monitoring. • The formal institutional arrangements for co-ordinating implementation of the REDD Program will be determined during the process of establishing the OCC&ES. This process will also address the issue of effective coordination and engagement with development partners and external stakeholders. 5.5 REDD PROGRAM DESCRIPTION • PNG’s REDD Program has five work streams, which are detailed below. The five work streams represent the major areas within which work is needed to develop an effective enabling environment for the REDD initiative. They are not listed in chronological order or priority, but divide the REDD Program into distinct, yet connected, areas of work.
5.5.1 Carbon Assessment and Monitoring • PNG’s participation in the international carbon market for REDD will be dependent on successfully addressing a number of issues, in particular ensuring reduced deforestation and degradation activities will be compatible with future internationally recognized carbon trading systems. The full details of these rules will be determined through UNFCCC negotiations over the next several years, however some basic principles have been agreed. These include that a national carbon assessment and monitoring system will need to be established capable of undertaking annual assessments of carbon emissions and which addresses issues of permanence, additionality and leakage. • Forest change in PNG is a complex mix of deforestation (eg; conversion of forest to oil palm) and degradation (eg; commercial logging, rural subsistence agriculture). Whilst methods for assessing carbon emissions from deforestation are highly advanced this is not the case for forest degradation. Developing methods for addressing forest degradation issues will be a high priority for REDD Program activities. • PNG will work progressively towards development of a national carbon assessment and monitoring system, with the immediate and short term focus on: • Developing data standards for the national system, auditing existing datasets to assess compliance with the standards, and determining future data capture needs; • Undertaking a preliminary assessment of carbon emissions using existing datasets to support an economic analysis of potential financial benefits from REDD;
Design of the National Carbon Assessment and Monitoring System, including the short and medium term actions necessary to develop an operational system prior to 2012; • Designing and procuring the Information Technology (IT) system to underpin carbon accounting. The IT system being designed will also need to support a number of other key national Government functions including: Stat of the Environment Reporting, integrated land-use planning and risk and vulnerability assessments for climate change adaptation work; and 5.5.2 Policy, Legal and Planning 22.214.171.124 National • This work stream will focus on developing the policy, legal and financial framework, and land-use planning processes required for integrating the REDD into Government decision making processes. For REDD to be effective it will need to be fully integrated into sectoral policies and plans of land related agencies and will require highly coordinated land-use decision making processes in place implemented in a partnership between National and provincial Governments. • The priority program activities for this work stream include: :- A legal review to establish the ownership of carbon and options for regulating the process of developing, managing and monitoring carbon trading agreements. The legal review will have a strong emphasis on ensuring that regulatory options focus on cost effectiveness aspects;
:- A preliminary economic analysis of the potential benefits and costs of REDD; :- Review of policies, laws and land-use decision making processes to ensure they effectively take into account carbon and other environmental values in development decisions and sustainable development plans. These review will be undertaken through the broader sectoral assessments being implemented as part of implementing the Millennium Development Goal 7: Environmental Sustainability initiative; :- Assessment of benefit distribution options and payment mechanisms, in particular landowner benefits. This review will take into account eh experience of other development sectors (eg; mining, agriculture, forestry) in identifying cost effective and robust mechanisms for benefit distribution; and :- Assessment of mechanisms for engaging with international carbon markets and for managing REDD funds. 126.96.36.199 International • The activities being undertaken through the REDD Program will also help inform the Government of PNG’s strategy for engagement in negotiations on REDD in the UNFCCC, participant committee discussions in the World Bank’s Forest Carbon partnership Facility, and other multilateral environmental agreements and forums. PNG will continue to be a leader in ensuring the REDD negotiations deliver practical, equitable and sustainable outcomes for PNG, the Coalition of Rainforest Nations, all forested developing nations and forested communities.
5.5.3 COMMUNICATION, EDUCATION AND AWARENESS (CE&A) • Successful design and implementation of the REDD initiative will require the involvement of all levels of Government in PNG, the private sector, academic institutions, and most importantly landowners. Effective engagement of all these stakeholders in the REDD initiative will require a large and tightly focussed effort to be put into CE&A activities. • The OCC&ES approach to CE&A involves four inter-related activities, three of which will be implemented during 2008. They are: :- Preparation of an information package and holding of information sessions on REDD for distribution to key national stakeholders, including politicians, senior bureaucrats, private sector, academic institutions and non-Government organizations; :- A national REDD workshop for key national stakeholders; and :- A series of Provincial REDD workshops to be held during 2008 and 2009. • The final key activity is development of a broadly based communications strategy, with sub-strategies tailored to particular stakeholder groups. The communications strategy will be developed by mid-2009. 5.5.4 CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT • Design and implementation of effective strategies for institutional and human capacity development is the key to ensuring PNG develops an effective enabling environment for REDD and is able to implement it. The REDD initiative and climate change issues more broadly are poorly understood by most stakeholders including key decision makers within Government.
The process of capacityassessment and design and implementation of capacity development plans will need to address the needs of all stakeholders, be on-going and address needs at all levels: systemic, institutional and individual. • The initial focus for capacity development will be the OCC&ES and its staff, and will focus on development of cure skills required by all staff members (eg; procurement procedures, financial management, program design and implementation) and specific job related skills (eg; legal and economic aspects of REDD, integrated land-use planning). Strengthening capacity will occur through a mix of mentoring and on-the-job training, formal training programs and potentially secondments to agencies overseas for specific work experience opportunities. • A formal skill needs analysis will be undertaken as an immediate priority for the OCC&ES. The broader systemic and institutional capacity needs assessments will await the outcomes of the policy, legal and planning reviews which will form the basis for the design of longer term institutional arrangements for REDD and the broader environmental sustainability policy initiatives.
5.5.5 DEMONSTRATION ACTIVITIES • Demonstration activities will commence following completion of the policy, legal and planning reviews and initial baseline carbon assessment outlined in the REDD Program. Areas to be targeted for demonstration activities will be selected through a formal process of site selection. The purpose of the demonstration site selection process is to ensure that demonstration activities occur in areas which together represents the range of land-use, environmental and socio-economic contexts for REDD implementation in PNG. • These activities are likely to be large in scale (either a large project area, or potentially encompassing a district, or a province), and will trial incentive mechanisms, payment distribution systems, forest carbon monitoring systems and the overall viability of REDD. The activities will inform the future implementation of country-wide REDD in PNG, and the international negotiations and technical discussions on REDD.
5.6 PROGRAM MONITORING ANDEVALUATION • A monitoring and evaluation regime will be developed during the establishment phase of the OCC&ES. The M&E regime will be signed to assess all aspects of the REDD Program, and provide lessons learned to improve implementation as the Program moves forward. Parties to the monitoring and evaluation will include all key stakeholders (government agencies, forest communities, and development partners). 5.7 COORDINATION WITH OTHER PROGRAMS • The REDD Program will be developed and implemented in an integrated manner and in conjunction with other Programs administered by the OCC&ES. 6.0 CHALLENGES AND EXPECTATIONS • Tropical forests of PNG are one of the world’s most complex natural resource management challenges. • PNG society and land tenure is also complex. • Ownership of carbon needs to be clarified from the start • Good governance in implementing REDD will be a major challenge.
A national approach is required to develop effective policy and legal mechanisms and governance structures to deal with three key risks – leakage, permanence and additionality. • With reference to expectations, various stakeholders including landowners look forward to maintaining their forest cover, the environment in general and receiving positive incentives for implementing REDD projects. 7.0 FINAL REMARKS AND MATTERS FOR DISCUSSION • Impacts of climate change on communities in PNG is causing the Government and local people to seriously look at increasing the forest cover through planting trees (woodlots and tree plantations) applying SFM principles and conserving forests. • REDD and other global initiatives on climate change compliments domestic efforts and are geared towards enhancing sustainable forest management which in turn contribute to sustainable development in PNG. • Government needs to have a National Land-use Plan in place to avoid competing use of land and unscrupulous forest clearance to minimise deforestation and forest degradation. • A National Land-use Plan will also provide and add security to REDD development initiatives that we develop in collaboration with our foreign development partners.