REDD goes on show in East New Britain

National, Normal

THE PNG Eco-Forestry Forum (PNG EFF) and the Office of Climate Change and Development (OCCD) collaboratively hosted the Climate Change and REDD (reduced emissions from deforestation and forest degradation) road show for the New Guinea Islands (NGI) region in East New Britain recently. 
The overall objective of the three-day event, running from Nov 2-4, was to provide a deeper understanding on the issues of climate change, in particular REDD, through presentations and open discussions among different stakeholders.
The forum saw more than 50 participants from the NGI provinces coming together.
Major stakeholders that were present included NGOs, CBOs, government agencies, development partners, forest and resource owners, Greenpeace, the environmental law centre, Forcert, PNG Forest Authority, National Research Institute and Japanese International Cooperation Agency.
Mainly focused on REDD+, the presentations and discussions aim to increase awareness of the rights and roles of landowners as well as to help them understand and appreciate the associated benefits and implications of REDD+.
It also provided an opportunity for the civil society to raise concerns and criticisms on implementation delivery and efficiency. 
Prof Phillip Siaguru, during his opening, said: “We are a nation of talkers with non-action and non-compliance.”
Apart from the road show presentations, the OCCD conducted a radio talk-back show in Tok Pisin and Kuanua about the vulnerability of the province towards natural disasters and the importance of quick disaster response.
In addition, there was a field visit to the Cocoa Coconut Institute to understand the current research and development on agricultural yield in lieu of climate change. 
As agreed by one of the participants who said: “I appreciate this tremendous effort by OCCD and PNG EFF as it has allowed me to realise that we do not have to cross continents to learn what other countries are doing.”