‘Draw on nature-based solutions’

Papua New Guinea’s natural beauty is undeniable.

Home to lush tropical rainforests, magnificent mountains and pristine islands and seas, PNG is one of the world’s 17 megadiverse countries, accounting for about five percent of global biodiversity.

Climate change and unsustainable growth threaten these natural assets, ones that the people of Papua New Guinea have enjoyed for thousands of years.

Sipora Naraga, a resident of Aromot Island, an atoll off the coast of Umbol Island in the Vitiaz Strait of Morobe Province, laments about what has come to pass.

“Our island is smaller now than it was before,” she says, referring to rising sea levels. “The soil isn’t fertile like it used to be, we can’t grow anything here.”

Naraga’s story speaks directly to the impacts of climate change, deforestation and degradation of land and water, on lives, homes and livelihoods. Repeated resettlement is often part of this reality.

PNG’s abundant natural assets underpin its potential to manage and use these assets to generate an ‘ecosystem services’ economy – based on fisheries, tourism and renewable energy.

Yet, much of the country’s recent growth has been fueled by hydrocarbon-based industrialisation and the extractives industry.

The “Making Nature’s Value Visible: Valuing the Contribution of Nature to Papua New Guinea’s Economy and Livelihoods” report, recently published by the PNG Conservation and Environment Protection Authority (CEPA) and United Nations Development Programme, stresses on implementing the Protected Area Policy.

“Expanding the country’s Protected Area network to achieve PNG’s international targets under the Convention for Biological Diversity, will pay big dividends.

“With the right mix of foresight and planning to draw on nature-based solutions, Papua New Guinea can be a leader in the faster transition to a green and blue economy.”

Press release