February 20, 2015
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JICA and Papua New Guinea are working together to better manage the country's enormous forest resources and address climate change.
Papua New Guinea contains the largest tropical rainforest in the Pacific region. The forest contributes to the national economy through timber exports, is rich in biodiversity and mitigates climate change.
However, an alarming rate of loss and degradation of forest have been reported in recent decades, and the country lacked a robust forest monitoring system.
So between 2011 and 2014, JICA and Papua New Guinea completed a technical cooperation project — The Capacity Development on Forest Resource Monitoring for Addressing Climate Change in Papua New Guinea — that improved a “Nationwide Forest Base Map” and established a Forest Resource Information Management System (PNG‐FRIMS) based on a geographic information system (GIS) with remote sensing technology. Now, they have embarked on a follow-up project to improve the ability of the Papua New Guinea Forest Authority (PNGFA) to put that system to work to protect the forest.
That follow-up project — Capacity Development Project for Operationalization of PNG Forest Resource Information Management System for Addressing Climate Change — will involve improving the PNGFA’s capacity to update and manage forest coverage on the GIS, efficiently monitor the forest, improve inter-agency coordination and technical capacity for REDD+ (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation) reporting, and develop appropriate training programs. It began in August 2014 and is scheduled to last through July 2019.
One expected result of the follow-up project is carbon accounting, an indispensable element to address climate change issues in Papua New Guinea.