Valuing the Contribution of Biodiversity to Papua New Guinea’s Economy and Livelihoods

    UNDP Papua New Guinea, together with the national government, is partnering with James Cook University to account for the importance of biodiversity and ecosystem services in shaping Papua New Guinea’s economic and environmental future.  Project Manager Dr Jennifer Gabriel is pleased to be continuing her work with the UNDP and the PNG Conservation Department on planning for protected areas and sustainable livelihoods. The multidisclipinary team, which involves a collaboration between James Cook University, the University of Tasmania and the Australian National University, includes Assoc. Prof. Taha Cheiechi (Project Leader), Dr Michael Wood, Dr Dugald Tinch (UTas) and Assoc. Prof. Colin Filer (ANU).

    The partnership will see the team develop a methodology, applicable to the context of PNG, to conduct a national assessment of the ecosystem services generated by the natural environment, identifying the interlinkages with economic sectors and livelihoods. The result of the analysis will demonstrate the value of investing in nature and that it is worth the return on investment for biodiversity protection. UNDP Papua New Guinea Chief Technical Advisor, Dr Andrew Rylance said this is a milestone for the country in terms of valuing the country’s unique biodiversity.

    Papua New Guinea is a natural resource-dependent country. About 87 percent of PNG’s population live in rural settlements and are reliant on subsistence agriculture, fishing and hunting (World Bank, 2019). Eight percent live within one kilometer of the sea and are dependent on the ocean for protein and livelihoods (CEPA & Sprep, in press). Unsustainable land-use change and forest degradation from commercial and illegal logging have already led to reducing soil quality, reducing agricultural yields.

    The future sustainability of the Papua New Guinea economy is largely dependent on nature. It’s forestry, mining, agriculture, tourism and fisheries sector all benefit directly from an intact and productive natural environment. “The benefits derived from biodiversity and ecosystem services in Papua New Guinea are significant but are systematically undervalued. Part of the reason for this undervaluation is that they have not been assessed.  This assessment aims to directly address this gap and contribute to national decision-making on its long-term economic prosperity”, said Dr Rylance.  Globally the costs of inaction are clear and alarming. Between 1997 and 2011, the world lost an estimated USD 4-20 trillion per year in ecosystem services owing to land-cover change and USD 6-11 trillion per year from land degradation (OECD, 2020).

    Professor Stephen Boyle, Dean, College of Business, Law and Governance said ”This is an important project that can make a real and positive impact on the livelihoods of a significant percentage of the PNG population in both the near and long term”.

    The Director of The Cairns Institute at James Cook University, Distinguished Professor Stewart Lockie, is proud to be partnering with UNDP, together with the Government of Papua New Guinea.  

    Project leader, A/Prof Taha Chaiechi, Australia Director for Center of International Trade and Business in Asia (CITBA) at James Cook University, said, “Determining the economic value of nature is a starting point to protect it. “she added, “Our principal focus will be on developing a PNG-specific framework that demonstrates the importance and contribution of biodiversity services to the country’s economy”.  

    Featured photograph: by Dr Jennifer Gabriel taken in 2019 at Manginuna (Pomio District) East New Britain, PNG

    Back to List


    More News


    Introducing Ellie Bock

    Introducing Ellie Bock

    Ellie Bock is undertaking a Master of Philosophy (Society and Culture), and in April presented her pre-completion seminar: Prescient Custodians: Biocultural Ecological Economics and Res...

    Read More

    Pacific Women’s Political Empowerment

    Pacific Women’s Political Empowerment

    On 8 March 2022, Teddy Winn joined a small group of distinguished women scholars in Australia and PNG via zoom to discuss issues related to political and socio-economic empowerment of w...

    Read More

    Ed Johnson’s visit to Cairns

    Ed Johnson’s visit to Cairns

    Ed Johnson visited The Cairns Institute in February to explore research opportunities after recently completing his PhD at the University of Sydney. The collaborative and meaningful nature&n...

    Read More

    The myth of non-interference: Chinese foreign policy in Cambodia

    The myth of non-interference: Chinese foreign policy in Cambodia

    On 13 April 2022, The Cairns Institute’s Research Fellow Dr Kearrin Sims and Griffiths University PhD Candidate Sovinda Po delivered a joint presentation to The Australian National Uni...

    Read More

    UN International Decade for Indigenous Languages

    UN International Decade for Indigenous Languages

    On 15 March 2022, the Cairns Institute Adjunct Professor Craig Volker joined colleagues from Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Germany in an online panel discussion at the Lowy Institute Austr...

    Read More

    Unpacking interregional migration

    Unpacking interregional migration

    Diana Castorina is currently completing her PhD in economics in the area of interregional migration in Australia where her overall research objective seeks to understand what makes people wa...

    Read More

    Developing Northern Australia 2022

    Developing Northern Australia 2022

    Professor Allan Dale will chair the Developing Northern Australia (DNA) Conference for the eighth time in 2022. The conference will be held from 6 to 8 July 2022 at the Mackay Entertainment&...

    Read More

    New addition to the QSEC Board

    New addition to the QSEC Board

    Dr Narayan Gopalkrishnan has been appointed to the Board of Directors of the Queensland Social Enterprise Council (QSEC), the peak body for social enterprise in Queensland.Dr Gopalkrishnan, ...

    Read More

    Top

    © 2022 The Cairns Institute | Site Map | Site by OracleStudio | Design by LeoSchoepflin