Productive Landscapes: Prioritizing Investments in Land-Based Climate Mitigation in Papua New Guinea
In Papua New Guinea, the agriculture, forestry, and other land use sectors are responsible for nearly three quarters of all national greenhouse gas emissions. The three most important processes that result in those land-based emissions are (1) degradation of tropical rainforest via logging; (2) conversion of tropical rainforest to agriculture; and (3) peat conversion and drainage for agriculture or infrastructure. Although the limited available data on emissions from peat loss and degradation prevent accurate estimations of overall impact, large peat stocks in areas of projected future road construction make it likely that peat will be an important future source of emissions if the status quo continues. The logging sector presents the largest single opportunity for climate mitigation in PNG. At present, timber harvest levels are higher than is sustainable. Improving practices in the national logging sector and ensuring that a larger share of its economic benefits stay within the country has potential both to reduce GHG emissions and to improve the well-being of the people of PNG.