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 2019



Welcome from the project leader

TS_Tony_2bIt is with great pleasure that I welcome you to the ACIAR teak and sandalwood project (FST/2014/069).

This project is an important partnership between smallholder farmers and our research and development providers. Planting trees is the foundation for smallholders to re-establish once abundant commercial tree resources on customary land. Conceptually this is a very simple process but there are social, knowledge, technical and economic factors that need to be addressed simultaneously. The foundation of our project is the relationships between the key stakeholders that helps us to understand the particular constraints that smallholders face when planting trees. Through these relationships and targeted research the project provides smallholder relevant interventions to help landowners with their tree planting aspirations.

Watch this space for further updates and the PIP website and Youtube channel for new resources and content.

Dr. Tony Page, University of the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore, Queensland, Australia


Tree growing opportunities

PossibilitiesThe biodiversity of PNG’s natural forests is well-known. These forests also provide many of the products and services that sustain the livelihoods of the people of PNG. Strong international demand for many forest products has resulted in the substantial depletion of natural sources across many areas of PNG. With demand for such products expected to rise in the future, there is an opportunity to establish smallholder-based planted resources to service these markets.

Many parts of lowland PNG with a high rural population have few timber resources remaining, as these areas were the first to be commercially logged due to their accessibility.  There is considerable interest among smallholders in these areas to establish a planted timber resource to meet their own needs, as well as providing an income through the sale of high-value forest products.  While these farmers have a strong desire to pursue such opportunities, they are often constrained by the basic requirement of access to seed/seedlings and knowledge on appropriate production regimes. 

How does the project help?

OISCA_stumpsThe project aims to advance the development of germplasm sources and smallholder-friendly silviculture systems for teak (in PNG) and sandalwood (in PNG and Australia). This includes developing PNG capacity to maintain an ongoing genetic improvement program for sandalwood, as well as communicating and disseminating project research outputs to improve uptake and impact.

The project is establishing improved genetic resources (landraces) of sandalwood in PNG (Central/Morobe Provinces) and further developing existing teak and sandalwood resources in PNG (East New Britain Province) and Australia (Cape York Peninsula) respectively. This will enhance smallholder access to high quality teak germplasm and reduce the risks of losing existing genetic diversity. The project is also supporting the supply of improved teak germplasm through partnerships with the commercial nursery sector.  The genetic development of these valuable species will follow a proven approach of forest tree improvement, which includes:

  • Profiling genetic variation in wild stands (sandalwood);
  • Establishment of provenance/progeny trials;
  • Development of seed orchards for the supply of genetically improved seed;
  • Identification and clonal propagation of plus trees;
  • Implementation of commercial propagation for distribution of material to growers. 

What are the expected outcomes?

Economic outcomes

  • Increased sales of high quality seedlings.Timber_sales
  • Increased sales of high quality forest products from smallholders to their local markets.
  • Increased domestic value-adding through processing and export.

Social outcomes

  • Enhanced household financial security.
  • Increased business opportunities (e.g. community woodlots).
  • Increased opportunities for women (e.g. nursery enterprises).

Environmental outcomes

  • Revived natural sandalwood populations with reduced ‘threatened’ status.
  • Increased utilisation and/or restoration of logged-over forests, as well as marginal, idle or degraded agricultural landscapes.
  • Reduced natural forest logging, due to the increased availability of strategically located planted forests.
  • Improved diversity of agroforestry systems and enhanced landscape connectivity.


Who is collaborating on this project?

Agency_logosThe project is financed by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) with support from the PNG Forest Authority (PNGFA).

The project is collaborating with the following implementing agencies:


How can we communicate with you?

The project team is working directly with selected tree growers and nursery operators through participatory workshops, community meetings and on-the-job training sessions.  Multi-media extension materials (e.g. techncial notes, pamphlets and training videos) are also being developed to faciltate wider post-project adoption of nursery production, tree planting and silviculture operations within PNG. The project outputs listed below are freely available for viewing and downloading.

Project information


Resources for tree growers

Technical notes for field workers
Pamphlets for sandalwood growers
Pamphlets for teak growers

Tree growers tool kit

The multi-media resources develped by the project (inlcuding those listed above) will soon be freely available from the Tree Growers Tool Kit that is hosted on the Resources section of this website.

Tree growers news

  • Access the Tree Growers Tool Kit on This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
  • Access the Tree Growers Tool Kit on This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
  • Access the Tree Growers Videos on YouTube
  • Follow the Tree Growers Took Kit on Facebook
  • Subscribe to the Tree Growers News Updates and Alerts

Photo gallery


Visiting the Sandalwood magregorii host trials in Central province.


Carrying out a low pruning exericise at the Forest Research Institute's 6-year old teak provenance trial in Madang province with help from the local women and children.


Exploring constraints and training needs for women to participate in small-scale forestry through group discussions and site visits at the Organisation for Industrial, Spiritual & Cultural Advancement's training centre In East New Britain province.


Project partners visiting the teak clonal stockplant garden (left) and clonal nursery (centre) at the University for Natural Resources & Environment, as well as the community teak woodlots (right) in East New Britain province.


Project partners having a lunch break during their visit to the University for Natural Resources & Environment's teak improvement operations in East New Britain province.


Setting-up the School Resource Pack at the project's target schools in East New Britain Province to promote the benefits of trees and forests to the next generation of landowners through the learning areas of science, culture and community.


Collecting baseline data from landowners in East New Britain Province who are interested to plant trees on their land (e.g. location, status, gender, trees planted, reasons for planting, extension services received, constraints encountered, and preferred extension methods).


Introducing the Tree Growers Tool Kit to the project's target communities in East New Britain Province


Establishing teak germplasm trials and seed orchards in East New Britain Province


Establishing satellite community nurseries in East New Britain Province


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Project focus area: Communication, learning and knowledge building (CLKB), Community driven development (CDD), Forests, climate change and REDD (FCCREDD)