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Pitch

Empowering forest owners in Natural Resource Management (NRM) and forest conservation to avoid unsustainable land use and deforestation.


Description

Summary

For best practices in forest conservation and natural resource management, initiatives must be internationally, regionally and nationally led and guided but most importantly, be locally driven. Furthermore, according to a UNDP study, 80% of mitigation will occur at the subnational levels (Rio Branco Declaration and INDCs, 2015) where most forested areas in developing countries are occupied by indigenous land owners. Hence, building/enhancing the capacity of local indigenous forest owners in natural resource management and further informing them of their rights to inform and take part in, the development of land use planning and forest management strategies is very important.

This proposal will look at firstly understanding land tenure systems in respective forested areas. It will then look at understanding livelihood activities of natural forest resource owners and further identify their assets through research and assessments. The research will also look at causes of deforestation and land degradation. The findings of the research and further outcomes of the assessment will then advise the development of sustainable land use plans that will also be developed in consultation with indigenous forest resource owners.

This proposal also supports and emphasizes the use of Department For International Development's Sustainable Livelihoods Framework Assessment for Sustainable NRM practices and effective forest conservation in the efforts to stop deforestation and land degradation. 

The forest conservation and land use plans will seek to address the causes of land degradation and main drivers of deforestation of natural forests. The sustainable land use and forest management plans will be implemented by provincial and local level governments in close collaboration with local communities and furthermore, in partnership with Non-Governmental Organizations, Civil Society Organizations and Development Partners. 


What actions do you propose?

The main actions proposed include;

1.    Improvement of land tenure system to include land rights of indigenous peoples. It will be important to understand the land tenure system of the respective area and further ensure that the land rights of indigenous peoples are taken into consideration in the land tenure systems. 

2. Doing research on immediate livelihood activities and natural resource management practices of respective local communities. Drivers of deforestation within these areas can also be identified.

3.    Develop integrated sustainable land use plans for each respective  province and district or local level government in consultation with local communities and indigenous landowners. The integrated sustainable land use plan will include;

- Improving livestock and agricultural farming techniques/practices that support sustainable land use practices;

-Developing ways to improve income earning opportunities and diversify livelihoods of local landowners dependent on forest products.

- Alot of the project will include training and capacity building for enhancing forest communities to achieve the first two points.

- Training and capacity building to enhance local knowledge of sustainable development principles by informing local landowners of responsible consumption, conservation and enhancing assets for future generations. This will be more interactive as there is a lot of local knowledge already with indigenous people. It will be a matter of knowledge sharing and identifying best practices. this will create ownership and responsibility starting at the local levels for sustainable land use and conservation.

4.    Develop a comprehensive integrated and sustainable land use and forestry management plan that feeds into the national REDD+ Strategy. The plan should be fully costed so as to solicit support, both financially and technically from development partners and stakeholders.

This project is proposed to take five (5) years to implement in order to full realize

The first year will compose the following activities;

1.    Seeking approval from all levels of government and respective local land owners of the proposed project to take place. This includes awareness and advocacy climate change and natural resource management for sustainable development.

2.    Identifying through mapping, the land and resource boundaries of the respected area.

3.    Identifying through mapping, the forest carbon inventory within the land area.

4.    Social mapping to take place to identify landowner groups for equity in the sharing of benefits.

5.    Assessment of the communities’ livelihood assets (Natural Capital, Social Capital, Human Capital, Financial Capital and Physical Capital)

6.    Further identify the land use practices and, drivers of deforestation and degradation within the respective area.

7.    Develop the integrated sustainable land use plan which will include forest conservation. Developing plans will involve local communities to identify solutions for identified challenges outlined in the outcome of the livelihoods assessment, unsustainable land use practices and deforestation activities.

8.    Information identified and solutions should also feed into the National REDD+ Strategy and Sustainable Forest Management Plans.

9.    All stakeholders will also identify and abide by credible monitoring and reporting standards on the improvements in biodiversity/forest conservation and land use best practices.

This proposal also supports and emphasizes the use of DFID’s Sustainable Livelihoods Frameworks Assessments for effective NRM and forest conservation in local forest communities. this will address deforestation and unsustainable land use practices.

All the activities highlighted above are the preliminary work that is needed before taking part in the carbon market. All the above activities will cost approximately PGK2 million.

From the second year to the fourth year, this program will need another PGK2 million for Monitoring, Reporting and Verification purposes. It will look at implementing the integrated sustainable land use and conservation practices/activities outlined in the plan and furthermore, get involved with the carbon markets.

The forested area in and forest communities in question cover twenty (20) square kilometers of forests (2000 Hectares). Outcomes of the evaluation of this program can be up scaled or tailored and used in other similar settings.

It is proposed that for the second year of the program each hectare of tropical forest will offset 5.5 metric tons of CO2 equivalent per year for four years. If the selling price is USD50 per metric ton of CO2 equivalent then the program baseline income from forests offsets should be USD 550,000 per year. This is currently excluding other sustainable land use and green growth practices. Thus at the end of four years, the program should make USD 2.2 million.

With regards to the market strategy, initial funding support and opportunities from REDD+ and the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility Readiness Fund and other support will be sought to implement the activities of the first year. From the second year onwards, after the forest carbon inventory and the outcomes of land use change and livelihoods assessment, funding assistance will be sought based on the results based approach in which payments are given upon verifiable results from improvements in sustainable land use and forest/biodiversity conservation.

The Government of Papua New Guinea (PNG) is a signatory to and has ratified a lot of Multilateral Environment Agreements, including the UNFCCC. PNG is also at the forefront of benefiting from the REDD+ mechanism. PNG is also a member of the Coalition of Rainforest Nations and has always championed the importance of rainforests. In addition, PNG has recently developed its Strategy for Sustainable Responsible Development (StaRS) (http://www.planning.gov.pg/images/dnpm/pdf/StaRS.pdf) which underpins the PNGs Constitution for using its resources wisely for the benefit of current and future generations.

The StaRS looks at a paradigm shift in development from historical business as usual, irresponsible development to a more green economic development focus that is also socially sound. Though these paradigm shifts in development thinking and practice have been realized in theory at the national level, linking and implementing these sustainable development practices at the provincial and local level has yet to be realized as more than 80% of PNG’s population live in the rural areas. Hence, this program is significant as it is proposed to empower local and rural people to achieve sustainable development outcomes and will be very much supported by the Government of PNG. PNG is able to support this program through its Public Investment Program support. PNG has also developed its National Climate Change Management Policy and the Climate Change (Management) Act, 2015 and is determined to address climate change and especially achieve its responsible sustainable development goals. 


Who will take these actions?

National Government, Provincial Government, District and Local Level Governments – Government bodies responsible for land use planning, climate change development planning, environment, finance, agriculture development and research. The National Government makes sure that there are strong laws to protect indigenous people’s rights and further provide the enabling environment for the development of sustainable land use plans. National government also solicit funds from its budget and also from development partners for the successful implementation of sustainable land use planning and forest conservation initiatives at the local levels. They also provide advice and capacity building in improving agricultural practices.

Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) – CSOs are able to ensure transparency, accountability and safeguards are in place in the development of plans/strategies making sure that voices of the indigenous peoples are heard and respected.

Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) – NGOs have a lot of experience and technical expertise with strengthening local natural resource management practices and also have the most experience at the subnational levels with the delivery of goods and services and further capacity building of local communities.

Development Partners – through multilateral and bilateral support, development partners are able to provide funding assistance as well as technical advice and assistance according the needs of Government.

Landowner Groups including community members – Indigenous landowner groups and community members are key in order to identify baselines in natural resource management practices, livelihoods assets as well as main drivers of deforestation. Their input into sustainable forest and natural resource management strategies and plans will be needed. Working in partnership with the other stakeholders highlighted here to address deforestation and unsustainable land use practices. 


Where will these actions be taken?

This action will take place initially in Papua New Guinea at selected local forest communities and then will be scaled up throughout the country and may be further applicable to other tropical rain-forest developing countries. 


How much will emissions be reduced or sequestered vs. business as usual levels?

In Papua New Guinea (PNG), emissions from land use change and unsustainable forestry practices is seen as a major contributor to GHG emissions and this is where the primary mitigation efforts  of PNG is focused (http://unfccc.int/files/focus/ndc_registry/application/pdf/png_indc_to_the_unfccc.pdf). According to the World Resource Institute, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) makes up 86.25% of total Green House Gas (GHG) emissions for PNG (http://cait.wri.org/profile/Papua%20New%20Guinea). Future projections of GHG emissions for PNG are somewhat undefined due to uncertainties in developments across various sectors. Despite this, it is hoped that addressing LULUCF in a more strategic and holistic approach will better curb the currently largest GHG emitting sector which is land use change and forestry. Addressing this will not only meet PNG’s commitment to its international partners to abate GHG emissions but will also increase its natural resource base and further reduce poverty. 


What are other key benefits?

Desired outcomes would include improved and sustainable natural resource management practices and further prevention of land degradation and deforestation. This will be done through implementation of the sustainable land use plan, sustainable forestry and REDD+ strategy. Implementation of these plan and strategy should result in overall conservation of forests and biodiversity while still improving livelihoods of local people and further protecting and enhancing their current assets. By defining assets, we will use the Department for International Development (DFID, 2002) Sustainable Livelihoods Framework (SLF) livelihoods guidance sheet to categorize and measure rural livelihoods. These come in five asset/capital categories that will be clearly defined when undertaking the assessment. They are; Natural Capital, Social Capital, Human Capital, Financial Capital and Physical Capital. The indigenous local communities will also receive equitable benefits from forest conservation programs.


What are the proposal’s costs?

Initiating and implementing the activities outlined in this project will need approximately PGK 4 million (Approximately US$ 1, 200,000). PGK 2 million for the first year and PGK2 million for the succeeding four years for Monitoring, Reporting and Verification purposes.

There will be different phases to make sure key outputs/activities are achieved. There is the prepatory and administration phase, the training and fieldwork phase, the data processing and data dissemination phase, and the comprehensive consultations phase. Each phase has its respective component.

The likelihood of conflict and/or negative side effects are very low as this project seeks to enhance the livelihoods of local forest dwellers and natural resource dependent communities. 

The forested area in and forest communities in question cover twenty (20) square kilometers of forests (2000 Hectares). Outcomes of the evaluation of this program can be up scaled or tailored and used in other similar settings.

It is proposed that for the second year of the program each hectare of tropical forest will offset 5.5 metric tons of CO2 equivalent per year for four years. If the selling price is USD50 per metric ton of CO2 equivalent then the program baseline income from forests offsets should be USD 550,000 per year. This is currently excluding other sustainable land use and green growth practices. Thus at the end of four years, the program should make USD 2.2 million.

With regards to the market strategy, initial funding support and opportunities from REDD+ and the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility Readiness Fund and other support will be sought to implement the activities of the first year. From the second year onwards, after the forest carbon inventory and the outcomes of land use change and livelihoods assessment, funding assistance will be sought based on the results based approach in which payments are given upon verifiable results from improvements in sustainable land use and forest/biodiversity conservation. 

 

 


Time line

During the short term, significant amount of investment both from government and assistance from development partners will be needed. There will be pilot tests for a selected number of forest communities. Research will be done to evaluation current assets of selected forest communities and their livelihood activities. The integrated sustainable land use plans will be developed as per the outcomes of the research/assessment. The implemented of the plan will be within this time that must comply with the identified customary land tenure and indigenous land rights system. This is also the period of intensive capacity building for local communities and landowners.

In the medium to long term, it is hoped that program activities of initial pilot forest communities are able to sustain themselves through their gained knowledge and experience. The initiative should then move to other communities.  Evaluative research for further enhancement and improved development practice in this area should further improve the way we do policies, plans, strategies and programming and the local level for indigenous forest and natural resource owners. 


Related proposals

 

 


References

Announcements on forests at the 2014 UN Secretary-General’s Climate Summit: Action Statements and Plans. United Nations 2014 New York Declaration on Forests.

Governors’ Climate and Forests Fund. 2015. Rio Branco Declaration and INDCs: Stimulating Early Action and Closing the Emissions Gap.

http://www.eldis.org/vfile/upload/1/document/0901/section2.pdf  

http://unfccc.int/files/focus/ndc_registry/application/pdf/png_indc_to_the_unfccc.pdf

http://theredddesk.org/countries/papua-new-guinea

http://www.pacificclimatechange.net/sites/default/files/documents/National_Climate_Change_Policy1.pdf

http://cait.wri.org/profile/Papua%20New%20Guinea

IPCC. 2007a. Climate Change 2007: Working Group III: Mitigation of Climate Change, Chapter 9: Forestry

United Nations, Sustainable Development Goals 2015.

World Bank, Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF).

World Resources Institute, Global Forest Watch Map 2014