Forest protection in Melanesia

Geographical location:

Asia/Pacific > Pacific Ocean > Papua New Guinea

Landscape view of forest in Western Papua New Guinea.
© WWF / Albrecht G. SCHAEFER

Summary

The forests and biodiversity of Melanesia, including Papua New Guinea, are under threat from unregulated logging, overhunting and wildlife exploitation. WWF is working in the region with national and local authorities to reduce the rate of forest degradation and increase the extent of forest under sustainable management.

In particular, WWF is helping to improve forest conservation policies and advocacy, and developing strategies that support community-based forestry practices. Well-designed and implemented forest management not only helps to maintain biodiversity and conserve the natural functions of a forest, it also provides incomes for rural communities.

Objectives

1) Develop and implement a common strategic plan and action programme for Melanesian forest conservation, involving WWF, partner agencies and other stakeholders.

2) Review all existing logging licenses in Papua New Guinea (PNG) to ensure that proper procedures are followed, logging practices are not carried out unsustainably and landowners get their fair share of benefits.

3) Develop an effective extension service facilitating sustainable forestry, forest conservation and rural livelihoods by PNG forest stakeholders.

4) Recognize and support the community forestry sector. Develop industry strategies and national policies and regulations guiding and supporting community-based forestry practices.

5) Develop an industry strategy for a non-timber forest product (NTFP) in PNG.

6) Demonstrate a successful eco-enterprise in key forest locations.

7) Protect Melanesia's high conservation value forests through support for appropriate national legal mechanisms, and strengthening of community, district and provincial land use planning.

Solution

The project focuses on forest conservation policy, advocacy, information and improved local forest management skills at national, provincial and local levels. WWF is promoting the extension and mainstreaming of successful initiatives in forest conservation and sustainable use in Melanesia.

The project is also communicating the state of forests and forest management to target audiences both in the Melanesian countries and internationally. The strategy involves monitoring the state of Melanesian forests and forestry, sharing lessons from field projects, promoting sustainable use and protection of forest resources, and communicating the issues and values of Melanesia's forests.

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