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Papua New Guinea: Improving transparency reporting

6 June 2022 - Papua New Guinea will soon be publishing its second Biennial Update Report (BUR) as part of its United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) reporting requirements. Alfred Rungol and Jason Paniu from the country’s Climate Change and Development Authority (CCDA) explain how Papua New Guinea has been meeting its UNFCCC related reporting requirements; and their new greenhouse gas inventory archiving system.

BACKGROUND

Papua New Guinea has been at the forefront of  reporting processes under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to draft, adopt, ratify, and operationalize the Paris Agreement.

In March 2016, it became the first country to submit National Determined Contributions (NDCs). Currently, PNG is drafting its third National Communication and is about to finalize its second Biennial Update Report.

Despite its strong commitment to fulfilling these reporting requirements, the country faces several challenges in autonomously preparing these reports - in particular the greenhouse gas inventory (GHGI). The GHGI  provides crucial data on GHG emissions and removals resulting from the main economic sectors.

Furthermore, each greenhouse gas inventory (GHGI) cycle presents an opportunity to improve the overall inventory process. To achieve this, all information should be managed and stored in such a way that ensures:

  • adequate archiving;
  • accessibility to data; and
  • the overall sustainability of the processes.

This case study focuses on the main challenges and steps in designing and putting GHGI archiving procedures into action.

MAIN CHALLENGES

Papua New Guinea's main challenges included:

  • Data collection: a lack of formal arrangements and a methodology for all sectors resulting in uncertainty and data format discrepancies.
  • Data management: there was no common format for preparing and saving estimation files.
  • Team organization: Archiving responsibilities were not clearly delineated.

THE APPROACH

A “learning by doing” approach was used. The FAO team provided regular support through online meetings every two weeks and continuous guidance in between meetings.

An initial workshop was held to present the Climate Change and Development Authority (CCDA) team with the work plan and modalities of the activities, to raise awareness on the importance of having common GHGI archiving procedures for all sectors and to agree upon roles and tasks. 

After identifying the main gaps in organizing and archiving data in each sector, an archiving structure for folders and files was designed according to the country’s needs and data usage needs. The structure aims to support the management and rigorous archiving of data and the information including:

  • data sources;
  • institutional arrangements;
  • methods;
  • assumptions;
  • uncertainties;
  • emissions estimates; and
  • other useful information.

Guidance with detailed instructions on how to fill out this structure, as well as a set of good practices for creating transparent GHG estimates files using Excel, were developed.

KEY SUCCESS FACTORS

Key factors for success included:

  • a long-term commitment
  • working with the right people
  • an institutionalised system for managing information

OUTCOMES

Team capacity was improved: recurring meetings gave the sectoral team leaders and other national experts the opportunity to sit together, assess the current state of their respective data management systems, and agree on a harmonized archiving system procedures. The team acquired skills to use, improve and update the structure throughout future GHGI cycles.

Archiving structure was set up: an archiving structure was designed, approved and populated with data by the GHGI team. The structure is currently being replicated on an online cloud platform providing a unique and safer storage location. 

Guidance documents were prepared: A document with instructions on how to fill in the archiving structure, and another document on good practices in compiling the estimation files in a transparent and standard way, were developed. These two documents were aimed at GHGI compilers, as well as managers and data providers. 

CONCLUSION

Although the archiving procedures and guidance documents were tailored to Papua New Guinea’s specific needs, they will be useful for other countries seeking practical support in setting up GHGI archiving systems. 

Countries wanting to replicate this approach should ensure:

  • managerial willingness and cooperation;
  • sufficient expertise and commitment among those involved in carrying out the activity;
  • clear definitions of roles and responsibilities within the national GHGI team in order to maintain the quality and sustainability of the archiving procedures; 
  • good communication between GHGI teams to avoid the duplication of work among sectors; and
  • alignment of procedures to fit each country’s specific needs.

Papua New Guinea team

National GHGI compilers and experts from the Climate Change and Development Authority (CCDA). In particular:

  • the national GHGI coordinator who acted as the archive Manager/Coordinator (Data and Document);
  • the head of each GHGI sector, namely Energy, Waste, Industrial Processes and Product Use (IPPU), Agriculture and Land Use Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) who organized the archiving of data and documents at the sectorial level; and
  • national IT specialists who set up the archiving system on a cloud platform.

FAO team

GHGI experts, from the Global CBIT-AFOLU Project, who provided specific technical support in collaboration with the FAO Papua New Guinea team.