Fire and Sustainable Agricultural and Forestry Development
This report stems from a simple observation: that since Independence in 1975, Papua New Guinea’s economic and social development outcomes have not matched people’s aspirations or government promises. Indeed, despite the abundance of its riches, PNG lags behind its Pacific neighbours on many important development indicators.
This Forestry Sector Outlook Study for PNG has been prepared in response to the initiative by the Asia Pacific Forestry Commission (APFC) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). It is intended to update the last study that was concluded in 1998 by all member countries and in doing so assess the probable scenarios for forests and forestry to the year 2020.
The Island of New Guinea is the largest tropical island in the world and contains the third largest tropical rainforest after Amazon Basin and Congo basin. Papua New Guinea (PNG) is a well-known centre for biological endemism and diversification. Most forests in PNG are under customary ownership and play an important role in sustaining the traditional subsistence livelihoods of most of the population. Currently PNG’s forests are relatively intact. PNG’s forest covers 80% of the country’s land area and 60% of the forest are undisturbed.
FAO has been monitoring the world's forests at 5 to 10 year intervals since 1946.
The Global Forest Resources Assessments (FRA) are now produced every five years in an attempt to provide a consistent approach to describing the world's forests and how they are changing. The Assessment is based on two primary sources of data: Country Reports prepared by National Correspondents and remote sensing that is conducted by FAO together with national focal points and regional partners.
PNG has a total of about 46.9 million hectare of which 77.8% is forested with 13 natural forest
types and forest plantations with various species planted. The second major land
use in PNG is cropland, which covers 11.0% of the total land area. Grassland covers 5.3% and
wetland comprised 4.8% of the total land mass. Other Land including bare soil and rock covers
0.2% of the total land area. Settlements including villages and cities cover 0.9% of the land area.
Source: Papua New Guinea’s National REDD+ Forest Reference Level 2017
Official website of the PNG Forest Industry Association (Inc)
With 3.8 million cubic meters of tropical wood exported in 2014, primarily to China, Papua New Guinea (PNG)has become the world’s largest exporter of tropical wood, surpassing Malaysia, which had held the top spot for the
past several decades.
This paper focuses on the environmental challenges of sustainable development issues with particular attention to natural resource management, environment and climate change in the food and agriculture sector (including crops, livestock, fisheries and forestry).