Newsletter August 2020

Papua New Guinea launches its Climate Action Roadmap to achieve SDG 13 by 2030

From left to right: CCDA Managing Director, Mr Ruel Yamuna, Minister Environment Conservation and Climate Change Hon. Mr Wera Mori, Hon. Prime Minister Mr. James Marape and UNDP Resident Representative Mr Dirk Wagener cut the ribbon to mark the launching of the SDG13 Roadmap. Image courtesy of CCDA Communications

The Government of Papua New Guinea has further strengthened its fight against climate change with the official launch of Papua New Guinea’s Sustainable Development Goal 13 Climate Response Roadmap 2020-2030.

This Roadmap consists of a set of 30 actions to be delivered by 2030 across a range of sectors, among them climate governance, energy, forestry, infrastructure, agriculture, minerals, health, biodiversity and tourism. These actions aim to better prepare Papua New Guinea for the impacts of climate change, many of which are already being felt across the country.

In launching the Road Map, the Prime Minister the Hon. James Marape congratulated the Minister for Environment Conservation and Climate Change, the Climate Change and Development Authority and UNDP for their tireless efforts to support climate change adaptation and mitigation across Papua New Guinea.

“Papua New Guinea is making progress on its commitments to tackle climate change, by taking steps to translate the ambitions articulated in the 2030 agenda into tangible outcomes for our people and by integrating the SDGs into our national vision and policies," he said.

UNDP's Resident Representative, Mr. Dirk Wagener, congratulated the Climate Change and Development Authority and the Government on the launch of the Roadmap.

“It is a culmination of months of hard work and it sets a benchmark. There are many countries in the world that have undertaken similar initiatives. Many countries are planning for, and are implementing, climate action. Few have however, sought to capture a commitment to the SDGs in this way. UNDP has been a proud and long-standing partner to Papua New Guinea and the SDG Roadmap is an expression of our commitment to support the Government and people of Papua New Guinea in their fight against climate change,” he said.

The Road Map was made possible with funding and technical assistance provided by UNDP. It’s drafting was led by the Climate Change and Development Authority and supported by a range of Government Departments, including the Department of National Planning and Monitoring as well as the private sector, civil society and other development partners.

Virtual launch of the SDG13 Climate Action Roadmap:


How to wear a mask safely

Part of the 'new normal' in Papua New Guinea. If you are out in public space, do not forget to take your mask with you.

Awareness poster courtesy of WHO Papua New Guinea.


Digital finance, a lifeline during COVID-19 crisis, can deliver long-term financing of the Sustainable Development Goals

Mobile banking is making it easier for rural farmers to sell their produce. Money can be transferred straight from the buyers account to the sellers account making it safer for farmers in these rural communities. Image courtesy of ©UNCDF.

Unleashing potential of digital finance could have transformational impacts on sustainable development says a group of financial, business, government and development leaders convened by the UN Secretary-General.

The unprecedented social and economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has put a spotlight on the role of digital finance in providing relief for millions around the world, supporting businesses and protecting jobs and livelihoods.

While the pandemic demonstrates the immediate benefits of digital finance, the disruptive potential of digitalization in transforming finance is immense. Mobile payment technologies have transformed mobile phones into financial tools for more than a billion people. Digitalization is supporting big data and artificial intelligence in advancing cryptocurrencies and crypto-assets, peer-to-peer lending, crowdfunding platforms and online marketplaces. Banks have invested over US$1 trillion in developing, integrating and acquiring emerging technologies. In 2018, ‘fintech’ investment reached US$120 billion, one third of global venture capital funding.

A new report, People’s Money: Harnessing Digitalization to Finance a Sustainable Future, issued by the UN Secretary-General’s Task Force on Digital Finance sets out an ambitious, practical Action Agenda. It spells out how digital finance can be harnessed in ways that empower citizens as tax-payers and investors in envisaging digital transformation at scale that better aligns people’s money with their needs, collectively expressed by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Task Force identifies five catalytic opportunities for harnessing digitalization in aligning financing with the SDGs. These are:

  • Aligning global capital markets with the SDGs.
  • Increasing the effectiveness and accountability of public finance.
  • Channeling digitally-aggregated domestic savings into long-term development finance.
  • Informing citizens how to link their consumer spending with the SDGs.
  • Accelerating financing for employment and income-generation.

This Call to Action has made to businesses, policy-makers and financial markets to deliver on these opportunities. It spells out not only the ‘what’ but also ‘how’ investments can be made in new capabilities and governance innovations can get the job done.


Socio-Economic Impact Assessment shows households and businesses heavily impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic

The UNDP-led socio-economic impact assessment has highlighted that households and Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs) have all been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over 6,000 households and 3,000 MSMEs were surveyed across all of Papua New Guinea’s 89 districts. The survey was designed to capture the first wave of impacts resulting from COVID-19.

Preliminary findings on both the macro level, MSMEs and households suggests that all sectors have been heavily affected. Sectors that were worst affected inlcude travel and tourism (decline of 97% of business), labour-intensive manufacturing (90% layoffs), entertainment and sports (95% decline in business) and a 12% fall in agriculture from production and fresh food markets to food supply chains.

File photo: The tourism and hospitality sector was heavily impacted by the lockdown period. ©UNDP

The report highlights policy options for Government, the private sector and development partners including increasing social protection measures, offering greater insulation for Papua New Guinea’s most vulnerable, easing transaction costs for MSMEs, investing in job creation particularly for women and youth and investing more on basic services to improve social mobility.

Looking forward, the UN has committed to working with Government and other stakeholders on possible areas of assistance. These it is hoped will strengthen basic service delivery, increase social protections and stimulate economic diversification.


Strengthening conservation in the Adelbert Range

The Adelbert Mountain Range in Madang Province is home to the endemic fire-maned bowerbirds. These mystical birds are found only in this mountain range and sadly their habitat is being threatened by deforestation.

The Adelbert Mountain Range is listed in Papua New Guinea’s fourth national report to the Convention on Biological Diversity as a threatened lower montane forest. It was once an active biodiversity conservation area that is now being threatened by logging operations.

Following the repeal of logging concessions in the area, 20 land-owner groups have entered into a conservation agreement with the Almami Local Level Government. This is a first for the region.

This follows the Adelbert Cooperative Society’s successful efforts to secure funding for biodiversity conservation under the Global Environment Facility’s Small Grants Programme.

The Programme’s National Coordinator, Ms Tamalis Akus, explained that the award would be implemented over a period of 24 months and provide much needed support towards developing conservation incentives and reviewing management plans for conserving this very important forest habitat.

“Based on this project’s success, we will endeavor to support its replication across the remaining communities,” said Ms Akus.

There is currently approximately 60,000 hectares of habitat within this designated conservation area.


Leaders commit to addressing Gender-Based Violence

National efforts to eliminate violence against women have intensified as political leaders press for increased action to stop family, sexual and gender-based violence.

On August 24, a high-level meeting on Gender-Based Violence was held at the National Parliament's State Function room. Hosted by the Governors of National Capital District, Hon. Powes Parkop, Oro Province, Hon. Gary Juffa and East Sepik Province, Hon. Alan Bird, the meeting called for action to end gender-based violence across Papua New Guinea.

Oro Province Governor, Hon. Mr Gary Juffa, NCD Governor Hon. Mr Power Parkop and East Sepik Province Governor, Hon. Alan Bird led the discussion at the state function room. ©UNDP/C.Hawigen

Speaking on the issue, Governor for NCD, the Hon. Powes Parkop said, “This violence is a stain on Papua New Guinea. Women and girls face the threat of violence, harassment, bullying and sexual assault every day. We have neglected this issue for far too long. Government has underfunded services, efforts are poorly coordinated and often lack the expertise to support those impacted. Enough is enough, the time is now to end gender-based violence.”

Participants that attended the high level meeting on GBV. ©UNDP/C.Hawigen

Mr. Gianluca Rampolla, United Nations Resident Coordinator, said the United Nations affirms its commitment to work towards ending all forms of violence again women and girls in the country.

"Violence against women and girls is one of the most pervasive violations of human rights in the world. We encourage all Governors and people everywhere to follow this example of standing up against such violence,” said Mr Rampolla.

Journalist, Ms Hennah Joku, a survivor of GBV and an advocate, spoke about the importance of hearing first hand experience of women who have survived such violence. ©UNDP/C.Hawigen

The United Nations Development Programme has been proud to fund this event.


Supporting the response to Gender Based Violence in the country

Lae Family Support Center (FSC) at Angau received PPE assistance, which included alcohol-based hand sanitisers, paper towels, and disposable and reusable face masks. Femili PNG Lae Operations Director Ms Denga Ilave and Outreach Officer Corneleah Jajem pictured with FSC staff

UNDP continues to support Government partners in responding to Gender-Based Violence across the country.

The COVID-19 pandemic as seen an increase in Gender-Based Violence related cases. Limited and reduced basic services, combined with restrictions on business and movement and an increasing COVID-19 infection rate, has seen an escalation in violence amongst the vulnerable, especially women and girls.

The continued support to key Government partners such as the Royal PNG Constabulary through its Family Sexual Violence Unit is aimed at addressing these challenges.

The support includes assisting with safe houses, strengthening Family Support Centres and working closely with service providers on the Gender-Based Violence Referral Pathways.

“UNDP is supporting the Royal PNG Constabulary’s Family Sexual Violence Unit. Among this assistance, has been support to develop an Information Management System to register, track and monitor Gender-Based Violence cases. We are glad to be partnering with the United Nations Population Fund to provide this support,” said UNDP Assistant Resident Representative, Ms Bukikun.

The Acting Deputy Commissioner Ms. Joanne Clarkson and Chief Inspector Delilah Sandeka thanked UNDP for its continued and much needed support to the Police to enable FVUS operations to continue in these challenging times.

UNDP’s partnership with Femili PNG, has also seen Safe Houses in Lae and Port Moresby supported with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE’s), emergency food/supply items and COVID-19 awareness material.

This support was made possible through UNDP’s global Rapid Response Facility (RRF) on COVID-19, aimed at assisting countries in their efforts to address such issues.


Junior Ranger Programme strengthens conservation

Situated in the remote Huon Peninsula region of Morobe Province is the 162,683 hactare Yopno-Urua-Som (YUS) Conservation Area. The YUS Conservation Area is championing the ‘Junior Ranger Programme’ aimed to strengthen biodiversity conservation. The programme empowers children to become future conservation leaders by encouraging active stewardship of their natural resources from pre-school to teenage years.

The United Nations Development Programme is working with the Conservation Environment Protection Authority, Tree Kangaroo Conservation Programme and Tenkile Conservation Alliance to support this initiative.

Take a look at the UNDP photo essay which explains the initiative and how it supports more than 420 YUS Junior Rangers participating in 34 classes across all four YUS zones.


Sustainable biodiversity financing in Papua New Guinea

A new landmark study was recently published in the journal Nature announcing that 68% of the plants in New Guinea were found to be endemic to the island, meaning more than two thirds of its plants cannot be found anywhere else on Earth.

Biodiversity provides Papua New Guineans with multiple benefits such as food security, clean water, protection from natural disasters and building materials. Yet, nature is often undervalued because these benefits are mostly provided without any monetary cost. As a result, financing is necessary to ensure that the services provided by nature continue and biodiversity thrives.

Biodiversity financing is the practice of raising and managing capital and using financial incentives to support sustainable biodiversity management. It includes private and public financial resources used to conserve biodiversity as well as investments in commercial activities that produce positive biodiversity outcomes.

UNDP is supporting the development of sustainable financing mechanisms to ensure that biodiversity in protected areas continues to thrive for future generations.


UNDP supports the Government of Papua New Guinea to enhance its climate ambitions

SDG13 Climate Action ©UNDP

UNDP, as a longstanding partner to the Government of Papua New Guinea, has been providing support to harmonise Papua New Guinea’s national climate policies and strengthen institutional capacities to tackle climate change.

UNDP has also played a leading role in coordinating development partner assistance to fight climate change under various initiatives in support of the Climate Change and Development Authority. One of these initiatives is UNDP’s Climate Promise which aims to support and increase national climate ambitions to reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions.

During the UN Secretary General's Climate Action  convened by the UN Secretary General in September 2019, the Government of Papua New Guinea committed to revise its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to enhance climate ambitions towards setting reduction targets for the biggest greenhouse gas emitting sectors, Energy and Forestry.

As a result of extensive consultations with development partners and stakeholders, a zero draft of these NDCs has been produced by the Climate Change and Development Authority with the support of UNDP. These will serve as a basis for ongoing revisions with the aim of submitting a final draft by the end of 2020 as part of Papua New Guinea’s commitments under the 2015 Paris Agreement


Post Referendum Process Support Project

File photo: ABG President, Hon. John Momis and PNG Prime Minister, Hon. James Marape posing with the signed copies of the JSB resolution on the 12th March, 2020 Photo provided by ABG Media.

UNDP is continuing its work to support both the National Government and the Autonomous Bougainville Government on the post referendum dialogue following the successful commissioning of the Post Referendum Process Support Project.

This Project aims, among other things, to support ongoing outreach for maintaining peace and stability. This assistance includes the provision of technical and logistical support, capacity building, establishing a Post Referendum Secretariat, support for the referendum ratification process and continued awareness within Papua New Guinea and Bougainville on the importance of inclusive and meaningful participation.

This Project is being supported by the Governments of the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Japan, Australia and New Zealand and will conclude in June 2020.


Inception workshop on building resilience to climate change completed

Participants during at the inception workshop. ©UNDP/C.Hawigen

The Building Resilience to Climate Change Inception workshop was held at the Lamana Hotel from August 24 to 25 to formally kick-start the Project’s implementation.

The Project supports efforts to improve the access of target communities to resources and knowledge that will assist them build their resilience to climate change with fit-for-purpose adaptation measures. These measures will not only aim to build disaster preparedness, they will also support efforts to improve food and water security, as well as the general health and wellbeing of communities.

The workshop was opened by Mr. Jacob Ekinye CCDA’s Director Adaptation Division and Mr. Edward Vrkic, UNDP’s Deputy Resident Representative.

In opening the workshop, Mr. Vrkic said, ‘this work brings together UNDP, Government and the Asian Development Bank. Under this Project, we will be delivering practical and timely assistance to help communities adapt to the impacts of climate change which are already being felt across Papua New Guinea. It is a small, but very important step in helping some of the country’s most isolated communities.”

The Building Resilience to Climate Change Project targets 24 island and atoll communities in East New Britain, Milne Bay, Morobe and Manus as well as the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.


Contact: info.png@undp.org