Govt told to protect land

National, Normal

The National, Tuesday 10th January 2012

OF the 4.6 million hectares of land in Papua New Guinea marked as protected areas under the convention on biodiversity, only 1.29 million hectares are protected.
PNG is a signatory to the convention through the Department of Environment and Conservation.
NRI fellow researcher Nalau Bingedin said this was only 2.8% of the land area in the country.
Bingeding said the government had not done enough to acquire more customary land for the protection and sustainability of ecosystem services.
He said this was because there was little incentive for the protection and sustainability of ecosystems.
He said the payment of ecosystem services was the way forward to conserve more natural environment areas while providing economic incentives to sustain the livelihoods of farmers and landowners.          
“PES is an important environment management tool and is becoming a popular method for paying farmers and landowners for the ecosystem services their private or communal land provides.”
Bingeding said to use the system, the country had to:
lSelect the eco-service systems it would like to consider;
lMeasure the provision of ecosystem services and their values;
lCreate a market or economic incentive for the ecosystem services; andlDesign monitoring systems to ensure the ecosystem services were delivered.
He said the system helped carbon sequestration at the international level and the conservation of forests plus other watershed initiatives at the national level.