This project is designed to support PNG’s commitment by helping to put into place critical points of departure for operationalizing the PNG Policy for Protected Areas as well as support the transitions from the former Department of Environment and Conservation to Conservation and Environment Protection Authority (CEPA). Furthermore, the project will strengthen the links between central government’s policy and institutional systems with newly established decentralized Protected Area (PA) governance and management structures and ‘bottom up’ conservation initiatives that are being established by community landowners and conservation partners in key biodiversity areas throughout the country.
Under component 1 of the project, the focus is on supporting management capabilities of the PNG State to oversee Protected Area Management. Supporting the transition from DEC to CEPA, implementing the CEPA Act of May 2014, as well as the operationalization and implementation of the PNG Policy on Protected Areas (PNG PPA). Component 1 focuses on four outputs: (i) Policies relating to PA Management and Biodiversity Conservation strengthened; (ii) Capacity of CEPA emplaced for effective management of the National PA System, (iii) Training Programs targeting PA managers institutionalized and (iv) Effective management of Varirata National Park (VNP) and its integration into the broader Sogeri Plains Landscape. The VNP will be established as a national best practice example for PA management under CEPA leadership, and used as a testing ground for relevant implementation instruments for PA management. The expansion of the VNP to link into the larger Sogeri Plateau complex will be initiated, establishing a sizable protected area with visible ecosystem service protection. Sedimentation and siltation rates of key water reservoirs supplying the capital Port Moresby will be improved. Additionally livelihoods improvements for local land owners will be achieved and benefit sharing opportunities and mechanisms as set out in the PNG PPA will be tested at this site.
Component 2 directly supports two conservation areas, one of which is already fully gazetted and registered (YUS CA), and the other (Torricelli CA) is already in the process of finalizing their application as official CA (Torricelli). The intended outputs are (i) the expansion to the landscape level and effective management of the YUS Conservation Area, (ii) community livelihood assistance in the YUS landscape with a focus on Conservation Coffee and Cocoa; (iii) the formal gazettal and effective management of the Torricelli Mountain Range (TMR), and (iv) community livelihood assistance in the TMR landscape proposed CA. Alternative protein, focusing on rabbits, fish farming, home gardens and alterative cooking practices are explored. Notably, under the new PNG Policy on PAs, a change in PA classification is intended and the new category will be as Community Conservation Area (CCA) – which will be a Regional Protected area. The change will bring with it new opportunities in terms of positioning the two CAs as critical learning examples for how to operationalize the new Policy. This project will implement strategic activities to link the local conservation work with the overall governance framework, positioning the two as examples for other Regional PAs in PNG to follow. The Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program (TKCP) and the Tenkile Conservation Alliance (TCA), two national NGOs, serve as Implementing Partners (IPs) in the implementation of Component 2.
Overall US$ 10,929,358 (K30,000,000) has been approved from the Global Environment Facility Trust Fund from the Biodiversity and Land Degradation Focal Areas, which will end in 2020 (2015-2020).