During his visit to the Varirata National Park on Friday, July 28, 323, His Excellency Emmanuel Macron, the French President, addressed the students of Sogeri School of Excellence in Central Province, emphasising the importance of rainforest conservation in generating employment opportunities.

President Macron highlighted the significance of preserving forests to foster job creation and recognise the efforts of those working tirelessly to combat deforestation while ensuring the sustainability of these natural resources. He stressed the need to establish a value chain that supports and compensates individuals dedicated to preserving the rainforests.

“Preserving forests creates value chains and jobs, fostering both environmental preservation and economic growth. This treasure must be conserved, not just for its biodiversity and carbon capture potential, but also to provide promising job prospects for our youth,” stated President Macron.

In response to the President’s visit, Prime Minister Hon. James Marape expressed his gratitude for the partnership between France and Papua New Guinea in rainforest conservation. He highlighted the importance of long-term sustainable management, in contrast to short-term practices like deforestation, which may deprive future generations of revenue from these invaluable resources.

“By managing our rainforests responsibly, we secure the future for our children and grandchildren, ensuring they continue to benefit from this precious natural heritage,” Prime Minister Marape stated. He further emphasised that sustainable rainforest management could lead to financial support for vital sectors such as education, road maintenance, and healthcare, reducing the country’s dependency on destructive practices for assistance.

The Prime Minister outlined a comprehensive strategy to preserve PNG’s rainforests, emphasising President Macron’s commitment to mobilising support not only from France but also from other nations. He commended TotalEnergies’ approach in PNG, promoting the use of gas as a transitional energy source for the next decade.

Highlighting the global importance of renewable energy, the Prime Minister urged for a collective effort in safeguarding the planet. “Whether you’re a Papua New Guinean or French, we share one planet, and its preservation remains paramount,” he added.

In conclusion, the visit of President Emmanuel Macron has reinforced the bilateral partnership between France and PNG, promising greater strides in rainforest conservation and sustainable development.