The National – Friday, December 10, 2010
THE Office of Climate Change and Development has begun efforts in informing Papua New Guineans about climate change and what is being done to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
On Tuesday, the OCCD and the West New Britain government jointly hosted a day-long consultation workshop in Kimbe.
Upon his return to Port Moresby, OCCD acting executive director Dr Wari Iamo said the awareness on reducing emissions deforestation and degradation (Redd) + and mitigation in West New Britain was that PNG’s abatement potential lies in forestry and agriculture.
“Knowing that West New Britain is heavily involved in logging and agricultural activities, people have to be informed about the country’s climate change objectives, particularly the measures to reducing green housegas emissions,” Iamo said in a statement.
“These abatement levers or measures are highlighted in PNG’s interim action plan to review clearance of primary forest for large-scale agriculture development; agriculture leases to be under moratorium while a technical review takes place led by OCCD and key government departments like lands and physical planning, agriculture and livestock, the forest authority and environment and conservation; reduce in collateral damage and forest degradation via reduced impact logging; and increase yields in subsistence and smallholder agriculture through agriculture extension programmes in order to preserve forest cover,” he said.
He said unlike Milne Bay and Manus whose focus was on adapting to the impacts of climate change, West New Britain was concentrating on Redd+ and mitigation due to the high frequency of logging and agricultural activities.
“Forestry and agriculture are identified as the major drivers of greenhouse gas emission in developing countries, and PNG is no exception.”
More than 50 participants from the West New Britain government, PNG Forest Authority, non-governmental organisations and companies, local level governments and integrated land groups, co-operative societies and hotels and resorts actively discussed climate change and the sources of greenhouse gas emission, the abatement levers and REDD+ initiatives.
New Britain Palm Oil Ltd and The Nature Conservancy made presentations on their organisations’ bid in promoting environmentally-friendly activities.
Iamo said participants were also given the opportunity to identify local sources of greenhouse gas emissions and the possible abatement levers in the province.
He said concerns were also raised on the existing and new logging and agriculture developments now taking place in the province.
“The participants also raised concerns about the future well-being of their children, grand children and great grand children.”
Iamo said workshop facilitators were also reminded that Redd+ and mitigation activities would help address some of these issues and would only be effective if the resource owners work together and move issues forward.
A participant commented: “There is a need to understand the basics of climate change and where PNG is on the issue of reducing emissions, and this consultation workshop achieved that.”
The West New Britain workshop was the third of a series of consultation activities to be staged throughout the country.