Papua New Guinea is rapidly losing its forested land to tropical timber exports. This project protects land that had been previously slated to be industrially logged.
The project expects to generate over 55 million tons of CO2 emissions reductions across the 30 year project lifetime. 1.5 million tons have already been recorded during its first monitoring period.
Preserving and promoting forests, biodiversity and opportunity
The project supports crucial forest habitat in a region that is home to some 5% of the world’s biodiversity. It also supports local communities with conservation-centered economic opportunities that provide an alternative to the timber industry.
A REDD+ project
The project meets REDD+ (Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) standards to stop the destruction of forests while also providing positive social and economic co-benefits.
Papua New Guinea is the world’s largest exporter of tropical timber wood. Every year, the region loses approximately 1.4% of its forested land, and with it, critical habitat to some 5% of the world’s biodiversity. Much of the tropical wood exports are, in fact, illegal (The Guardian: Bulk of timber exports from Papua New Guinea won’t pass legal test). The forests of Papua New Guinea are, if allowed to exist, a massive global carbon sink. This makes Papua New Guinea a key area for intervention. The project proponent, NIHT Inc., is in a unique position to make a global stance against unsustainable timber harvesting and become a key conservation leader in the country.
NIHT has partnered with the traditional landowners of the Papua New Guinea islands of New Ireland and East New Britain to reduce deforestation initiated by industrial logging in the region. The preservation of these rainforests is essential to not only the carbon and biodiversity benefits mentioned above, but also the wellbeing and prosperity of the people of New Ireland. The project is located in the forested area of New Ireland and East New Britain and has evolved based on the input from, and needs expressed by, persons living in the region.
Since the forests within the project region contain significant biodiversity, the benefits of protecting these forests extend beyond carbon storage and sequestration. However, the project area was not protected from industrial logging prior to the project initiation and was slated to be commercially and un-sustainably logged.
The project has generated the majority of its emissions reductions through the avoidance of the initial planned industrial timber operations, and during this first monitoring period it has maintained the integrity of the forest through forest monitoring, inventories, and community engagement. The project aims to alleviate pressures on the forests through financial support of clans in the area. By also providing an alternative livelihood and income source via carbon finance, the project makes it possible to avoid conducting industrial scale commercial timber harvesting in the area, and instead provide revenues to communities through conservation and sustainable management initiatives.
This project activity, beyond protecting local forests and biodiversity, contributes to social and economic development in one of the poorest and most isolated areas of Papua New Guinea. Through the avoidance of carrying out exploitative industrial commercial timber harvesting in the protected area, and the cascading deforestation that follows, the project expects to generate over 55 million tons of CO2 emissions reductions across the 30 year project lifetime. This figure assumes future additions of new project areas over the project lifetime, and during the first monitoring period, in which the project has added one new project area, it has already generated net emissions reductions of 1,680,306 tCO2e.