Prime Minister Hon. James Marape Emphasises Papua New Guinea’s Commitment as a “Forest Nation”

Prime Minister Hon. James Marape today reinforced Papua New Guinea’s global identity as a “forest nation” during the official launch of the K210 million European Union-funded Forestry, Climate Change and Biodiversity (EU-FCCB) Programme.

Prime Minister Marape extended his heartfelt gratitude to the European Union for this, and various other projects, including the K340 million PNG-EU-STREIT programme for smallholder farmers in East and West Sepik, which he launched in 2019 upon taking office.

“Thank you very much to the European Union, and Papua New Guinea eagerly anticipates this partnership, which will play a pivotal role in safeguarding our rainforests for the benefit of our future generations,” he said.

The EU-FCCB, operational from 2023 to 2027, aligns with Papua New Guinea’s commitment to ensure the sustainable management of its natural resources and transition towards a green, carbon-neutral economy. The programme’s scope encompasses the Managalas Conservation Area in Northern (Oro), East and West Sepik, as well as Port Moresby and the National Capital District.

This initiative will advocate for a development model that harmonises climate change mitigation, environmental conservation, and biodiversity preservation with sustainable, inclusive, and gender-responsive green growth and job creation. It will engage various stakeholders, including national, sub-national, and pilot community and conservation area levels, as well as institutional, scientific, academic, civil society, and private actors, to facilitate long-term sustainable impact.

Prime Minister Marape reiterated his appreciation for the EU’s support, stating, “Our country should be better recognised as a ‘forest nation’. While we possess other valuable resources, it is imperative that we promote ourselves as a ‘forest nation’ on the global stage.”

He attributed the EU’s support to his discussions with French President H.E. Emmanuel Macron in Gabon in March, Port Moresby in July and Paris in September. He noted that France, as a prominent leader in the European Union, played a pivotal role in securing this support.

Prime Minister Marape praised the EU’s dedication to the 2015 Paris Agreement, emphasising that Papua New Guinea’s forests house between 6 to 7 percent of the world’s biodiversity, representing global assets of great significance.

Prime Minister Marape further underscored that the EU-FCCB would directly benefit communities in areas like the Managalas Conservation Area, enabling them to conserve their forests and biodiversity. He encouraged communities in other forested regions across the country to register through their provincial governments to benefit from similar programmes.