|Overview : |
Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) has been one of the fastest growing economies globally this century with average growth rates above 6%. This rapid growth has been driven primarily by the expansion of foreign investment within the natural gas sector and high prices for PNG’s central exports many of which are transported to rapidly growing Asian economies. This growth has built on a long history of natural resources being at the centre of the PNG economy with exports and employment dominated by mining, natural gas, natural forest logging and agriculture. While this rapid growth has delivered significant changes in PNG’s main urban areas and those communities benefiting directly from foreign investment, the country still faces significant challenges in meeting the objectives of Vision 2050 and in providing development opportunities for all while also maintaining its natural environment.
Over 85% of the nation’s 7.3m population are based in rural areas and rely primarily on subsistence agriculture for survival and have limited access to health centres, education or broader development opportunities. Falling commodity prices since 2012 have also left the country facing significant economic challenges despite ongoing growth.
PNG has a significant area of intact tropical forest covering 77.8% of the country’s 46.9m ha of land. Together with the forest of West Papua (Island of New Guinea) they represent one of the largest areas of intact tropical forest in the world. These forests are critical to the livelihoods and economy of the country and a commercial logging industry has for a long period been a central part of the economy.
The Government of Papua New Guinea (GoPNG) has set ambitious goals for strengthening and changing the nature of this industry including:
- a ban on all round log exports by 2020 and
- the expansion of planted forests to cover 800,000ha by 2050
These are to be achieved while also increasing the contribution of commercial logging to the domestic economy. Efforts to achieve these targets will need to address significant challenges linked to the availability of land and the level of private sector interest in investing in either area.
At the same time the government of PNG, with support from the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility, implemented by Climate Change and Developed Authority with support of UNDP, has developed a National REDD+ Strategy to guide the country’s approach to addressing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from deforestation and forest degradation – over 75% of which historically come from commercial logging.
The current assignment is intended to work with the PNG Forest Authority (PNGFA) as well as key stakeholders in the private sector, land owning communities and civil society to identify how best to develop a pathway to a stronger forest industry in PNG in line with government targets while also helping to reduce deforestation and forest degradation.
For this purpose, FCPF REDD+ Readiness Project is seeking a team of consultants such as International Team Leader, National Forest Sector Specialist, International Scenario Analysis Consultant and National Private Sector Consultant to support PNGFA in the development of a short to medium term strategy to develop a sustainable low emissions forest sector that contributes effectively to GDP and delivers long term development benefits to communities and PNG more broadly.
It is anticipated that this objective will be achieved through effective engagement of government and private sector actors in identifying how best to attract and sustain long term private sector investment in PNG’s forest sector.
This Terms of Reference is developed for National Forest Sector Consultant who will provide the central link with government stakeholders within the forest sector as well as ensuring access to key documents and data held within the government bodies related to forest management.
 World Bank Data. Available at http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.MKTP.CD?locations=PG
 GoPG (2017) Forest Reference Emission Level Draft – submitted for technical review under the UNFCCC in January 2017