PNG’s price on biodiversity a win-win for people and planet

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The PNG Government has now begun addressing how best to account for the importance of biodiversity and ecosystem services in shaping Papua New Guinea’s economic and environmental future.

Supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with James Cook University, Australia, UNDP’s Resident Representative to Papua New Guinea Mr. Dirk Wagener said valuing and accounting for Papua New Guinea’s unique biodiversity is an important milestone for the country.

A team from the Cairns Institute at James Cook University will develop a methodology – applicable to the context of Papua New Guinea – to conduct for the first time a national assessment of the ecosystem services generated by the natural environment, identifying the interlinkages with economic sectors and livelihoods. The result of the analysis will demonstrate the value of investing in nature and that it is worth the return on investment for biodiversity protection.

The future sustainability of the PNG economy is largely dependent on nature. The country’s forestry, mining, agriculture, tourism, and fisheries sector all benefit directly from an intact and productive natural environment.

Valuing the contribution of biodiversity to Papua New Guinea’s economy and livelihoods can help protect nature, a win-win for people and planet.

Papua New Guinea is a natural resource-dependent country. About 87 percent of Papua New Guinea’s population live in rural communities and are reliant on subsistence agriculture, fishing, and hunting. Eight percent live within one kilometer of the sea and are reliant on the ocean for protein and livelihoods. Unsustainable land-use change and forest degradation from commercial and illegal logging have already led to reducing soil quality and fertility, reducing agricultural yields.

The importance of accounting for biodiversity and ecosystem services for future economic and environment sustainability is growing globally with Papua New Guinea now joining these efforts.

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