For a mother in the village, who wakes up before the early light of dawn creeps in to start a new day, she knows the first thing to do from her everyday routine is to start a fire, made from collected woods from the very soil on which her ancestors had walked on, leaving the same knowledge, to which she now repeats.
Her ancestors knew that they had a role to play; to protect the woods that is taken from trees, trees that which form forests, who in turn shield them from the sun’s heat while at the same time providing every essential need for their survival – a relationship that can only continue, if they each played their part.
Today marks a day of celebration of the world’s forests, and the many ways that they sustain the earth.
According to Papua New Guinea’s Forest Authority, PNG has a total land area of 46.284 million hectares of which some 29.437 million hectares is estimated to contain forest cover.
With the modern trend of economic benefits, introducing logging into some of PNG’s untouched forests, the need for awareness on sustainable use of the forest is now also an important issue to consider.
This places International day of Forests as a platform for this task.
” International Day of Forests is particularly relevant in Papua New Guinea (PNG) because our forests have been ranked among the world’s most ecologically distinctive forest regions with many different types of plants and animals, some unique only to PNG.
Forests have ecological importance as they help to maintain access to water and protect biodiversity and agricultural land for PNG’s predominantly rural population. Forests also help protect key infrastructure, people and crops from flash flooding and landslides,” stated UNDP’s resident representative for PNG, Roy Trivedy.
While PNG may boast about its forest cover, it should also be brought to light that deforestation is reducing levels of forest cover, and degradation is changing the nature of a significant portion of the nation’s forests.
“Between 2000 and 2015 about 261,528 hectares of forest was cleared, resulting in average of over five million tonnes of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions per annum, according to PNG’s 2017 Forest Reference Level document, submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change,” stated Peter Katapa from UNDP’s REDD+ Readiness project.
Efforts on rehabilitation of forest areas in PNG
- UNDP is working with different government agencies of PNG, namely; the Climate Change and Development Authority (CCDA), and PNG Forest Authority, as well as other UN agencies and partners, through the REDD+ Readiness Project and Enhacing Adaptive Capacity of Communities to Climate Change.
- UNDP is assisting the Conservation and Environment Protection Authority (CEPA) to establish the national system of Protected Areas which led to the endorsement of the national policy on protected areas by the National Executive Council in 2014. In addition, UNDP directly supports more than 530,000 hectares in six provinces with demonstration sites to serve as models on protected area management and sustainable livelihoods, namely in the YUS Conservation Area, Torricelli Mountain Range, Varirata National Park and the Sogeri Platuea.
- UNDP is also focusing on implementing measures at a community level to cope with the increasing intensity and frequency of climate change hazards.
This year’s theme for International Day of Forests is “Forests and Wood Energy.”
Video Source: Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations