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.
Aug 1 2018

Welcome from the project leader


Welcome to our project "Enhancing Value Added Wood Processing in Papua New Guinea" which is funded by the Australian Centre for International Agriculture Research (ACIAR). We are very pleased to share with you our work on the project which aims to increase the contribution that utilisation of forest resources makes to national and local economies, including landowners and processors, through the development of domestic value added wood processing methods.

The project is closely aligned with the PNG Development Strategic Plan 2010-2030 which has a target to increase the level of domestic processing of log harvest from 20% to 80% by 2030. There are many research and structural challenges, constraints and opportunities (at Government, industry, community, and landowner levels) which need to be addressed to support the development of competitive value-added wood industries. The project team will address some of these challenges through research and development activities, such as building capacity in wood science and wood processing technologies, developing a database on PNG timbers through testing wood properties and processing characteristics, trialling options to support increased value adding, and improving knowledge on the potential impacts associated with implementation of this policy.

I am looking forward to sharing with you the achievements of our work.

Prof. Barbara Ozarska, School of Ecosystem and Forest Sciences, Faculty of Science, The University of Melbourne, Australia


Affordable wood products for PNG

WPP_Affordable_productsThe forest is a common source of building materials for many rural Papua New Guineans. For most, they can only afford to chop the tree down and use as is for post and house frame. Some Papua New Guineans living in the urban centres can afford to buy a house that has been built with treated timber post (or steel) and furnished with finished forest products.

Still, what is challenging for Papua New Guinea (PNG) is the fact that while the country is endowed with natural forest resources, the prices of sawn timber and finished forest products appear to be well above an average person's salary; hence creating a situation where they opt to buy cheap, imported timber products rather than PNG made products from the urban centres. For the rural folks, they continue to use what the forest provides in its simplest form (post and house frame).

As the country coordinator of this ACIAR funded project, I look forward to the project outcome that envisages some good quality timber products being created using wood processing technologies, and which will be affordable to many Papua New Guineans.

Dr. Ruth Turia, Director Forest Policy and Planning, PNG Forest Authority, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea


Forestry sector plans

LogsPapua New Guinea (PNG) has abundant natural forest resources. More than 60% of the total land mass is forested and owned by customary landowners. Closed forest covers 29 million hectares of which 10 million hectares have been allocated under timber permits for commercial development. Although processed exports bring much greater returns than log exports, currently, only a small fraction of forestry export is wood processed in-country through value-adding enterprises.

The PNG Government has formulated and endorsed the PNG Development Strategic Plan (2010-2030) to foster and bring about economic and social advancement in PNG. Forestry is expected to increase the level of domestic processing of the annual log harvest from 20% to 80% by 2030, thereby building a sector that is sustainable and highly profitable. 


How will the project help?

There is an urgent need for research and technology that supports commercially sustainable log supply chains, knowledge and capacity in wood science and processing technologies, as well as the processing structures which assist successful domestic value-adding wood processing enterprises. Project research activities focus on overcoming the technical, policy and capacity impediments that are hindering the development of value-added products and transitioning the PNG wood sector to a successful domestic wood processing industry.

Machine_2The overall aim of the project is to increase the contribution that the utilisation of forest resources makes to national and local economies, including landowners and processors, through the development of domestic value added wood processing methods. The specific objectives are:

  1. To enhance the knowledge of wood properties and processing characteristics of PNG timbers.

  2. To identify, pilot and evaluate interventions for enhanced value-added processing systems.

  3. To estimate the potential contribution and distribution of economic impacts to national and local economies from enhanced value added wood processing.

  4. To enhance the capacity of Government, institutional support bodies, industry partners and landowners to implement value added wood processing policies, strategies and practices.


What are the expected outcomes?

Economic outcomes

  • TableLocal and regional employment opportunities will increase significantly (450,000 m3 of logs processed domestically would result in 2,250 more jobs);
  • Landowner and processor incomes will also increase through better wood recovery and more collaborative wood processing operations;
  • Local and regional infrastructure and services will expand to support increased domestic production;
  • Well-being of communities will be enhanced through increased wealth generation based on sustainable forest industries.  

Social outcomes

  • Involvement of village communities in the forest industry will increase through production of wooden carvings and handicraft components from low quality timber and off-cuts;
  • Investment in public facilities such as schools, health services, infrastructure, and religious amenities will increase;
  • Organisational health & safety procedures will improve through strong focus on ensuring a significantly safer environment for logging operations and factory workers;
  • Skills and capacity will be developed across professions in response to increased domestic manufacturing activities;

Environmental outcomes

  • Adoption and demonstration of sustainable forest management practices will increase through stronger incentives from global markets for value added wood products;
  • Opportunities will increase for promoting products made from PNG lesser known species from secondary and plantation forests as eco-friendly products.


Who is collaborating on this project?

WPP_Partner_LogosThe project is financed by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) with support from the PNG Forest Authority (PNGFA). Project activities are led by the University of Melbourne with in-country support from the PNGFA in Port Moresby and the Forest Research Institute (FRI) in Lae.

Project activities are implemented in collaboration with another ACIAR project: "Development of durable engineered wood products in PNG and Australia" (led by the Queensland Government's Department of Agriculture and Fisheries).  Both projects are guided by a single Project Steering Committee, which includes the following partner organisations:

For more information, please contact the project leader This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and/or the project comunication manager This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Or read more about the project's multidisciplinary Research Team.


How can we communicate with you?

The project communications strategy involves targeted meetings, seminars and workshops with timber industry stakeholders in Lae and Port Moresby, together with broadscale information dissemination activities that link up directly with wood processors, public sector service providers, domestic and overseas markets. This website provides open access to the communication products listed below.

Project newsWPP_Logo

Subscibe to our Wood Processors News Updates and Alerts

Project presentations

Project pamphlets

Project publications

Project reports

Reference materials

Wood processors tool-kit

The project will be developing a set of resources for wood processors (e.g. timber promotional database and pamphlets, operational guidelines, and research reports). These resources will be freely available from the Wood Processors Tool Kit that is hosted on the Resources section of this website.


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 Following a successful application to the Crawford Fund, nine project members from PNG have recently undertaken an intensive training course in Australia on advanced wood value-added processes.


In April 2017, the project research team presented and discussed their achievements to-date at the Gateway Hotel in Port Moresby


 The Forest Research Institute's new solar kiln, autoclave and experimental kiln dryer (left to tight)


Project monitoring and evaluation workshop participants

Project focus area: Communication, learning and knowledge building (CLKB)