Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR)
A$2.3M over 4 years 2013-2017
In Papua New Guinea (PNG), forests cover 63% of the country and 97% of these forests are held in customary land ownership. About 80% of the population live in rural areas and they depend heavily on their forests. This project aims to identify how community forestry in PNG can be enhanced and scaled up to achieve better economic, social and environmental outcomes. Community forestry is developing in two main ways: ‘ecoforestry’ involving timber from clan forests being processed by the community; and ‘community-based reforestation’ of clan-owned grasslands. Research will focus on the Eastern Highlands, Ramu-Markham valleys and Madang region. It will analyse factors that influence successful community forestry, including biophysical and socio-economic aspects, value-adding opportunities, and policy and institutional systems. Various approaches to scaling up these community forestry systems will be trialled using participatory methods. Outputs will include training workshops and materials, and reports identifying gaps, interventions, lessons learned and recommendations for future community forestry activities.
The project commenced on 1 September 2013. We held a successful project inception workshop at Ramu Agri Industries Limited (RAIL) facilities on 1-2 October. The workshop was well attended and started the process of building linkages between project participants. Field research has commenced in exploring community dynamics and value-added opportunities related to native forest utilisation around Madang. We have also commenced project activities related to the scaling up of community-based reforestation of grasslands. Due largely to logistical issues, it has been decided that field trials will be largely focussed in the Ramu-Markham Valley and led and maintained by RAIL. Some further field trials are also likely to be established in the Goroka area, largely in conjunction with reforestation activities with Ona Ketu.