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Newsletter July 2020

Participants from key stakeholders at the first day training in Hotel Phoenix, Goroka. ©UNDP/K.Allen

Promoting renewable energy in Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea has set a goal to generate 100% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2050. To achieve this, it must encourage community participation in off-grid and energy efficient solutions.

Efforts to invest in renewable energy will improve community livelihoods while offering the country an alternative to yesterday’s fossil fuel technologies. With only approx. 15 per cent of the population having access to reliable electricity and more than 70 per cent of people living in rural areas, the majority of Papua New Guineans have limited or no access to energy.

From 13-16 July, UNDP in collaboration with the Climate Change and Development Authority and the University of Papua New Guinea’s Centre of Renewable Energy demonstrated the use of such technologies through a series of workshops in Eastern Highlands Province. The workshops presented guidance on proposal writing, drafting policies, planning and overseeing the implementation of renewable energy projects.

Participants attending the workshop at Gotomi Village in Lufa District. ©UNDP/K.Allen

The workshops brought together Provincial and District officials, community representatives, non-government organizations and private sector stakeholders to discuss investment plans and opportunities for communities to access renewable energy options. These discussions also mark the commencement of preparations for two mini-hydropower projects scheduled for Miruma village, Daulo District and Gotomi village, Lufa District.

This initiative is part of UNDP’s expanding renewable energy programme which is demonstrating the use of community mini-grids using hydro and solar resources for electricity generation to improve livelihoods in rural areas.

Mr. Dirk Wagener, UNDP Resident Representative in reiterating UNDP’s support said, “Papua New Guinea has huge potential in renewable energy and we need to invest through creative and innovative approaches. This initiative will support rural communities’ access to cheap, clean and sustainable sources of renewable energy including solar and hydro.”

This project will support Sustainable Development Goal 7 on affordable and clean energy. ©UNDP/K.Allen

The training in Eastern Highlands Province was supported by the Provincial Government, Daulo and Lufa District Development Authorities, the national Government, UNDP and the Global Environment Facility.

Successful launch of the Highlands Joint Programme

United Nations Resident Coordinator, Mr. Gianluca Rampolla, Secretary for the Department of National Planning and Monitoring Mr. Koney Samuel and UNDP Resident Representative, Dirk Wagener. ©UNDP/M.Wembi

July 14 saw the successful launch of the Highlands Joint Programme by the Government of Papua New Guinea and the United Nations.

The Highlands Joint Programme for Peace and Development 2020-2022 is a three-year programme jointly designed by various United Nations agencies. The Programme aims to support the creation of peaceful conditions that would enable the recognition of long overdue development dividends and the delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals in the highland’s region of Papua New Guinea. In launching the programme, Mr. Dirk Wagener said, “UNDP has taken a central role in developing this programme and will function as coordinating agency throughout implementation. We have worked closely with other United Nations agencies and the United Nations Resident Coordinator, who is providing strategic leadership for the programme.”

The Programme will initially target locations in Hela and Southern Highlands Provinces with the United Nations working to establish a field office in Mendi. The inaugural Committee meeting was co-chaired by Secretary for the Department of National Planning and Monitoring, Mr. Koney Samuel and the United Nations Resident Coordinator, Mr. Gianluca Rampolla.

Papua New Guinea progresses with its second iteration of its Nationally Determined Contributions under the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change

Papua New Guinea is one of over 150 countries to have signed the Paris Agreement expressing its commitment to address Climate Change.

Under this Agreement, the international community has committed to reduce Green House Gas emissions and pursue a range of adaptation measures, among them promoting ‘green’ energy. Consistent with this Agreement, Papua New Guinea is required to state how it will meet such targets. These are expressed as Nationally Determined Contributions or NDCs which are a list of actions that the country intends to pursue to achieve, adapt and mitigate against the impacts of climate change.

A Technical Working Committee (TWC), comprising representatives from UNDP, Climate Change and Development Authority experts and other development partners participated in a three-day session from 29 June to 1 July to review Papua New Guinea’s current NDCs.

Papua New Guinea’s NDC National Focal Point, Mr. Alfred Rungol, said, “This session was very timely. It has facilitated better coordination among Government and other other stakeholders to assist the Climate Change and Development Authority revise the NDCs and realign them with national development policies and the Sustainable Development Goals.

UNDP’s Resident Representative Mr. Dirk Wagener said, “UNDP has been a principle and longstanding development partner and will continue to support the Government of Papua New Guinea to build capacity to fight climate change.”

Such efforts are being supported under UNDP’s global Climate Promise initiative that is assisting countries review and revised their climate response efforts.

UNDP supports Femili PNG with funding to address Gender Based Violence

Mr. Dirk Wagener, UNDP Resident Representative and Ms. Daisy Plana, Femili PNG’s Chief Executive Officer at the signing of the agreement ©UNDP/K.Allen

Gender-based violence (GBV) and Family and Sexual Violence (FSV) continues to be a major challenge in Papua New Guinea. The global COVID-19 pandemic and its associated socio-economic impacts have further exacerbated this issue.

Earlier this month, Femili PNG and UNDP signed an agreement to support survivors of FSV and GBV. Totaling PGK 275,000 (approx. USD 80,000), this funding will increase access to safe accommodation, medical assistance, emergency supplies and the operation of safe houses for victims of such violence. This funding will also assist Femili PNG’s partners procure much needed Personal Protective Equipment to address the possible impacts from COVID-19.

Dirk Wagener, UNDP Resident Representative upon signing the agreement said, “Gender-based violence affects the very fabric of our society. It is a gross violation of human rights and a criminal act. UNDP stands in solidarity with its victims and we are proud to partner with Femili PNG.”

Daisy Plana, Femili PNG’s Chief Executive Officer in thanking UNDP said, “action requires all partners to address FSV, GBV and violence in all forms. This funding will support Femili PNG’s continuous efforts to address these challenges.”

UNDP has played a key role in supporting the establishment of the Government’s National Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender Based Violence, 2016-2025. The Strategy provides a roadmap to guide an inclusive government-led approach in implementing legislation, policies and programmes that address GBV and FSV.

This support has been made available through UNDP’s global Rapid Response Facility established to address the growing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

National Adaptation Plan project launched

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

The United Nations Development Programme is supporting the Government of Papua New Guinea to develop its first National Adaption Plan to fight the impacts of climate change.

Fifty-five participants from national, provincial and district levels attended a National Adaptation Plan (NAP) inception workshop in Port Moresby this week. The workshop aimed to present the project and review and validate proposed the project activities.

During one of the session. ©UNDP/C.Hawigen

The 18-month project aims to reduce Papua New Guinea’s vulnerability to the impacts of climate change. It achieves this by focusing on strengthening a mechanism for multi-sectoral coordination at various levels of government to integrate climate risks in development planning and establishing a financing framework for climate adaptation for the medium to long-term.

UNDP supports Government deliver innovative conservation financing solutions

Papua New Guinea’s biodiversity is unique. It faces however many challenges, among them, how to best ensure sustainable financing for conservation efforts.

Such efforts to address this have begun. UNDP, working in close partnership with Government’s Conservation and Environmental Protection Authority is rolling out a series of initiatives to achieve this. These include efforts to establish a sustainable national conservation financing mechanism to support protected areas.

As part of this initiative, UNDP and the Conservation and Environmental Protection Authority are working with a range of Provincial Governments. As a first step, work has commenced on developing Indigenous Peoples Plans, Gender Analysis and Action Plans and Social and Environmental Safeguards’ assessments.

This month, work continued in Madang where technical experts worked with the Madang Provincial Government, Local Governments, District Development Authorities, the private sector, not-for profit organisations and local communities in the proposed Wanang Community Conservation Area to map out sustainable financing options.

The UNDP Sustainable Financing team also met with the Madang Provincial Government and local communities along Project sites in the Bismark Range forest corridor. UNDP and Government are collaborating to extend the Government of Papua New Guinea’s ability to fulfill its protected area mandate and implement the national protected area policy, an initiative also proudly supported by UNDP.

Successful Launch of the Bougainville Post Referendum Process Support Project

File photo: During the referendum process. ©UNRCO/S.Aupong

Following the successful conduct of the 2019 Bougainville Referendum, UNDP has designed a new two-year Post Referendum Support Project to assist the National Government and the Autonomous Bougainville Government with continued implementation of the Bougainville Peace Agreement.

The Project has been designed in close consultation with the two governments and takes forward a range of decisions made by the Joint Ministerial Post Referendum Taskforce and the Joint Supervisory Body. The Project has three areas of focus, which are to support ongoing consultations, awareness raising and increasing participation of a range of processes and dialogues.

The Project’s inaugural Steering Committee meeting, co-chaired by representatives of the two governments and UNDP’s Resident Representative, Mr. Dirk Wagener, endorsed the Project’s design in late June. The Project currently enjoys the support of the Governments of the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the United Nations Peace Building Fund. The Project officially commenced in July 2020.

The United Nations has a long history in Bougainville dating back to the negotiation of the Bougainville Peace Agreement. It works with the two governments and key stakeholders to support the ongoing peace building process. In recent years, UNDP has supported the implementation of the Peace Agreement and the Bougainville Referendum through the Bougainville Referendum Support Project and the Sustaining Peace in Bougainville Project.

UNDP supports Registrar of Political Parties with call to increase women’s participation in elections

File photo: Practice parliament session training for women in 2017.

Female representation in parliamentary decision-making has decreased from two women Members of Parliament in the last Parliament to zero in the current Parliament. The need for women to be involved in decision making roles is as important now as it ever has been to ensure more equitable development for all Papua New Guineans.

In preparation for the 2022 National General Elections, UNDP in collaboration with the Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates Commission (IPPCC), is supporting the participation of women in elections by raising awareness on how they can participate in electoral processes. This support comes as part of a long-standing partnership between UNDP and the IPPCC that is promoting women’s leadership roles and working with political parties to create an enabling environment for women’s inclusion and involvement in political processes.

Mr. Dirk Wagener, UNDP Resident Representative when addressing the underrepresentation of women in leadership positions said, “Supporting women in leadership roles is not only important for representation but in ensuring they are involved in decision-making. Empowering women and promoting gender equality in political institutions is crucial to accelerating sustainable national development.”

Dr. Alphonse Gelu, the Registrar of Political Parties, and head of IPPCC added, “As the Registrar of Political Parties, I have been leading work on reforms to better organize political parties as important institutions to uphold democratic principles. The Call for intending women candidates to register with my office will enable us to engage with them well before the 2022 National elections.”

This work is in line with Papua New Guinea’s Constitution, its State obligations under the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the Sustainable Development Goals. These efforts will ensure support is provided to women to engage in the political life of the country through political parties.

This initiative is part of UNDP’s commitment to support local actions and initiatives to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment.

Advert calling on intending women candidates to register with the Registry of Political Parties.

An online registration form for those considering running as candidates can be accessed via “https://tiny.cc/IPPCCRegistration”.

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Indigenous knowledge essential for sustainable development

Ben Ruli (first from left) with some of the Indigenous People's Fellow recipients throughout the world.

Mr. Ben Ruli recently completed a year long Indigenous People’s Fellowship under the Global Environment Facility’s Small Grants Programme.

Under the Indigenous People’s Fellowship, a grant of USD 20,000 was awarded to support Mr Ruli in his endeavour to learn more about indigenous knowledge and how this can be used to further sustainable development efforts. Papua New Guinea was the first Pacific Island country to participate in this first year of the initiative.

Under the Fellowship, Mr. Ruli was able to undertake a work placement with the Small Grants Programme in Papua New Guinea. Mr. Ruli said, “The experience has expanded my knowledge of environmental and climate issues affecting local indigenous communities. Indigenous knowledge is important if we are to mitigate environmental impacts, implement programmes in indigenous communities and protect our culture. The opportunity has also enhanced my skills in researching, networking and communicating the importance of local knowledge for sustainable development.”

The fellowship aims to strengthen indigenous people’s skills in project development and management. The initiative also enables networking among relevant participants and supporting organisations who are committed to protecting indigenous cultures, knowledge and languages. Mr. Ruli has successfully completed his year-long fellowship and is currently undertaking a study program run jointly by Papua New Guinea’s University of Technology and the Binatang Research Centre to review the importance of integrating health services into tropical conservation projects worldwide.

CONTACT US: info.png@undp.org