Track Record Pacific Island Projects has been supporting natural resource management initiatives since 2005. We're proud of our track record to-date, and pleased that one project nearly always leads to another.
Jul 1 2017


Governance_TekThe project management gratefully acknowledges the Government of Japan for its generous financial support, and the International Tropical Timber Organisation (ITTO), particularly Dr Hwan-Ok Ma, for their continuous encouragement, guidance and trust. We are also extremely grateful to the PNG Forest Authority (PNGFA) for their praiseworthy assistance and advice throughout the project duration.

We sincerely thank the many stakeholder representatives who participated in the various project activities, including the online survey, face-to-face interviews, national level workshops and provincial, district, local and REDD+ pilot level field consultations. The project consultations often took place at the busiest time of the year, and so all stakeholder contributions are very much appreciated. We would also like to recognize the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) for its logistic and in-kind support. We also thank Mr. Shushobhan Maraseni for his comments and edits on the initial draft.

Associate Professor Tek Maraseni, Project Leader, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Australia


Sustainable forest management needs good governance

Forest_2By stabilising the Earth's climate through carbon sequestration and storage, forests provide an ecosystem service that is critical for human survival. REDD+ is best understood as an initiative to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with forest clearing, which allows which allows 'avoided deforestation' to be included in environmental payments and possible future carbon trading mechanisms.

Poor governance, however, is likely to significantly undermine attempts to achieve optimal economic, social, and environmental outcomes for REDD+. Donors and Investors will be reluctant to engage with a host country or REDD+ project which - due to weak governance - cannot guarantee delivery of the final emission reductions. Beyond its climate dimension, tackling poor governance is a prerequisite for achieving investment in long-term forest management or any broader environment or development aims for the forestry sector.


How can we evaluate forest governance?


While all participants within the forest policy arena would agree that governance is central to sustainable forest management, it has been less easy to determine how best to evaluate forest governance.

A significant contribution in this regard has been the work of University of Southern Queensland (USQ) and Griffith University (GU) researchers. Building on the work of the 1992 UN Statement of Forest Principles, and using a hierarchical framework of principles, criteria and indicators (PC&I), they have developed a consistent approach to evaluating forest governance at the global, regional, national and local levels. Over the last six years, they have successfully applied this multi-stakeholder, multi-level and multi-stage approach, and developed quality of governance standards for the forestry sector in Nepal.

Quality of governance standards are expected to improve the REDD+ governance system in country, by making stakeholder participation in REDD+ meaningful, and deliberations (decision-making) more productive, thereby improving implementation.


Developing a quality of governance standard for PNG


The project has developed a voluntary standard that evaluates the quality of governance of forest management and associated emissions reduction activities in PNG. The standard may be used either informally for general assessment, or more formally, to determine compliance.  The standard was developed using a multi-stakeholder and multi-level participatory process (see section above) that involved 5 stakeholder consultation stages:

1. Online questionnaire survey
2. Key informant interviews
3. National stakeholder forum
4. Ground-testing and development of formal voluntary standard
5. Consultation of developed standard with national stakeholders


What were the consultation outcomes?

Governance_IARTThe Draft Quality of Governance Standard for PNG contains the 4 top ranked governance indicators (Inclusivenes, Accountablity, Resources and Tranparency) and their 18 top ranked verifiers. Stakeholders also developed the means of verifying compliance with the voluntary standard at national, provincial, district and local levels.

The consultation processes in the field revealed a high level of interest amongst stakeholders at the sub-national level for the ongoing development of quality of governance standards, particularly in terms of regularising communications between the different levels of government, and local communities. The feedback from stakeholders at the final national workshop in April 2017 was also extremely positive. Further, there were productive discussions between state and non-state actors present at the workshop, with NGOs requesting that the standard be applied in the context of the emerging community forest management arena.

In short, all stakeholders indicated a strong desire for the standard setting process to continue to move forward, in the context of both REDD+ and community-level forest management in PNG.


What next?

Governance_OutcomesDuring the final national workshop, key stakeholder indicated a strong desire for the standard setting process to continue to move forward, in the context of both REDD+ and community-level forest management. Since there is currently no formal arrangement in place for deploying the voluntary standard, the following members of the steering committee established at the start of the project are discussing an appropriate way forward:


Information, resources and papers

In addition to the development of the Draft Quality of Governance Standard for PNG, the project has delivered some important governance resources and journal papers. These files are listed below for public viewing and downloading.



Governance_Logo_2This project was financed by the International Tropical Timber Organisation (ITTO) with support from the PNG Forest Authority (PNGFA). 

Project activities were led by the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) and Griffith University (GU) with in-country support from the PNGFA and Pacific Island Projects (PIP)


Click here to send comments


 Project focus area: Forests, climate change and REDD (FCCREDD)