National Forest Monitoring

Forests and Innovation

Spotlight on Papua New Guinea

Ms. Elizabeth Kaidong and members of the Papua New Guinea Forest Authority (PNGFA) and the National Forest Inventory (NFI) comb through data using the Open Foris platform at the NFI Lab in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.

With just one click, Rabbie is able to verify whether a deforested patch of land is the result of commercial logging or agriculture, quantify the amount of tree cover loss, and identify which of the 12 vegetation types and plantations it falls under. All from the comfort of his office chair.

While it sounds like magic, it’s science. Over the past decade, cutting-edge technology and innovation have transformed countries’ abilities to monitor, report and manage their forests - resulting in better forest protection, restoration and sustainable land use.

“In Papua New Guinea, it is very difficult to monitor our forests because there are lots of inaccessible remote areas without road access. And the size of our forests is enormous, so it is a huge undertaking. Satellite technology helps us to overcome this,” said Rabbie Inzing Lalo, Manager of Forest Acquisition at the PNG Forest Authority (PNGFA).

The Island of New Guinea contains the world’s third largest rainforest after the Amazon and Congo Basin. Papua New Guinea (PNG) comprises the island’s eastern portion and West Papua, which is part of Indonesia, comprises its western portion. As the major lungs of our planet, it provides a huge carbon sink.

“When you understand that PNG’s rainforests house over 7% of world's biodiversity, you understand why working in this location is of paramount importance not just for PNG, but for the whole world,” said European Union Ambassador to Papua New Guinea Jacques Fradin. 

With funding of 54.7 million Euros, the recently-launched European Union funded Forestry-Climate Change-Biodiversity Nexus (EU-FCCB) Support Programme for PNG is the EU's most ambitious forest-related programs anywhere in the world.