PNG SHOULD MOVE AHEAD WITH REDD FRAMEWORK: MINISTER

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Climate change demands protecting forests

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Nov. 4, 2010) - A international reduced emission of degradation and deforestation (REDD) framework will allow Papua New Guinea to contribute to the global climate change efforts while ensuring that our trees and forests are valued more alive than dead.

Minister for Environment and Conservation Benny Allan said this while addressing the Aichi-Nagoya ministerial meeting of the REDD+ interim partnership in Nagoya, Japan, last week.

"PNG has put a lot of effort into advancing both the international debate on REDD+ while also ensuring significant progress domestically.

"Internationally, the REDD+ partnership has the potential to be the catalyst for finance and actions, but only if all partners are serious and willing to do more than just sharing experiences.

"Significant progress has been made in 2010 including a website and a database on domestic REDD+ actions.

"However, we also need to look forward and complete the work program for 2011-12 by Cancun to keep the momentum," Allan said.

He said domestically, PNG had undertaken a lot of readiness activities, although not all of them were being fully recognized by the international press and various stakeholders.

When giving a progress on what PNG had achieved over the last 10 months, Allan said preparing a country for REDD+ required a host of activities ranging from the initial strategy over the institutional set up to a comprehensive consultation effort and tangible demonstration projects.

"Firstly, the institutional set up, in March this year, cabinet created the new office of Climate Change and Development OCCD.

"Learning from our past mistakes, we have created a small coordinating office with only 20 officers.

"The national climate change committee has been created as the governance body to oversee and guide the work of the new office and is chaired by chief secretary to government.

"It includes senior civil servants of the country who are all heads of all relevant departments and authorities to ensure the alignment of our climate change strategy across all government entities," he said.

Second, was the strategy in which he said under the leadership of the Department of Environment and Conservation a draft strategy for climate compatible development and an interim action plan had been drafted.

He said the national consultation process, which was one of the first few tasks of the new office, was the broad domestic consultation of PNG’s climate change strategy.

"Over the past two months, our officers have organized a wide range of consultations.

"Joint teams including representatives from OCCD, other government departments, development partners and NGOs had visited several provinces to discuss our climate change strategy with local level governments and landowners," he said.

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