The Context of REDD+ in Papua New Guinea: Drivers, agents, and institutions

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This report provides an overview of the context for REDD+ in Papua New Guinea. It describes the main drivers of deforestation and degradation, the institutional and political economic context within which REDD+ is being developed, and maps the evolution of a national REDD+ strategy and associated policy and legislation during 2008-2012. It highlights the opportunities and challenges of developing policies that can provide climate-effective, cost-efficient and equitable REDD+ outcomes for Papua New Guinea. Papua New Guinea's system of customary land tenure provides both enormous opportunities and challenges for REDD+. Gaining the free, prior and informed consent of customary landowners who own the forests that REDD+ initiatives are designed to protect and developing equitable benefit-sharing mechanisms will be a key challenge. Corruption and a lack of transparency and accountability within the government are significant problems for the country to overcome. Political instability and capacity constraints within the public service also pose challenges to the smooth and steady development and implementation of REDD+ policies. While there appears to be a growing national discourse around good governance and anti-corruption, a complex political economy has thwarted many previous attempts at forest policy reform in the country and REDD+ is likely to face significant opposition from those who currently benefit from the unsustainable exploitation of the country's forests. But the outlook for REDD+ in Papua New Guinea need not be pessimistic. Many different stakeholder groups including government agencies, civil society organisations, donors, private sector actors and research institutes support the concept of REDD+ in Papua New Guinea. Despite some early missteps in terms of broad stakeholder engagement and national ownership over the policy process, the government has shown genuine progress in developing a transparent and accountable governance structure that can, and is, incorporating the perspectives of multiple stakeholders. Occasional Papers contain research results that are significant to tropical forest issues. This content has been peer reviewed internally and externally. Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) CIFOR advances human well-being, environmental conservation and equity by conducting research to help shape policies and practices that affect forests in developing countries. CIFOR is a member of the CGIAR Consortium. Our headquarters are in Bogor, Indonesia, with offices in Asia, Africa and South America.

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