Papua New Guinea

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Capital: Port Moresby
Land: 462,000 sq km
EEZ: 3.1 million sq km
Population: 5,190,786 (2000)
Language: English, Tok Pisin, Hiri Motu, local languages
Currency: Kina
Economy: Agriculture, fisheries, forestry and mining

Papua New Guinea (PNG) is a Pacific, tropical and mountainous island nation lying on the Eastern half of New Guinea Island. PNG is a country of exceptional ethnic and biological diversity. The population of approximately 6.3 million people speaks more than 840 distinct languages. The country harbors hundreds of endemic species over its 462,840 sq km mass. The indigenous population of PNG is one of the most heterogeneous in the world; several thousand separate communities and tribal groups live spread out over the country. 80% of this population lives a traditional rural subsistence lifestyle that is supported by the biological richness and diversity of the forests, inland waters and coastal seas. 85% of the country‘s labour force is absorbed by the agricultural sector. Major agricultural produce include coffee, cocoa, copra, palm kernels, tea, sugar, rubber, sweet potatoes, fruit, vegetables, vanilla, shell fish, poultry, and pork. In terms of the importance of different sectors to GDP, the agricultural sector accounts for 32.6% of GDP, with industries and the service sector accounting for 36.8% and 30.6%, respectively. Mineral deposits, including copper, gold, and oil account for nearly two-thirds of export earnings.

Source: Taken from Map No. 3974 Rev. 15 (Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific), United Nations, July 2007.

Source: ©SPC, 2013.

Date updated: March 2016

National Climate Change Priorities

Climate Change

Climate Change is one of eleven cross-cutting policies of the Papua New Guinea Development Strategic Plan 2010-2030.  The goal statement is ‘Adapt  to  the  domestic  impacts  of  climate  change  and  contribute  to  global  efforts  to abate greenhouse gas emissions’. The key strategic objectives that PNG will like to address under this goal by 2030 are:

  • Adequate level of resources available to address risk transfer and adaptation initiative;
  • Have more than 89 meteorological stations with at least one station in every district;
  • Increase investments in clean energy and contribute to reducing greenhouse gases;
  • There are twenty (20) tide monitoring stations to monitori sea level data to assist in planning efforts for adaptation and mitigation;
  • There is a well-resourced climate change research that improves understanding of the implications of climate change for PNG.
  • There are twenty (20) database systems of multi-temporal remote sensed satellite image coverage to enhance planning, monitoring and reporting systems including vulnerability, risk and cost benefit analysis
  • There are 50,000 seedlings amassed as part of a mangrove planting initiative.
  • Engaging effectively in global climate change negotiations. This would also give PNG the opportunity to highlight the value of natural and plantation forests for the storage of carbon and the value of investing in clean energy reserves.

Strategies, Policies and Legislation:

  • A  national  greenhouse  gas  emissions  tax  and  permits  incentive  can  serve  as  a  catalyst  to promote  the  development  of  a  low  carbon  society.  However  this  would  require  considerable expertise  and  capacity  to  administer  effectively.  Until  PNG  has  that  capacity,  the  more  cost-effective  approach  would  be  to  enforce  minimum  technology  and  maintenance  standards  for vehicles and other major sources of greenhouse gas emissions.
  • A measured  approach  to  policy  development  for  adaptation  and  mitigation  is  needed, guided  by  advancements  in  research  that  improves  understanding  of  the  consequences  of climate change.
  • PNG adopted a National Climate Change and Development Policy in 2014 and further passed a Legislation on Climate Change called the National Climate  Management Change Act in 2015.

Natural Disasters

The goal for natural disaster management is to manage the risk of natural disasters. The threat of natural disasters  a  community  of  tropical  islands  located along  a  fault  line,  PNG  faces   the  risk of  cyclones, tsunamis,  volcanoes  and  other  natural  disasters  such  as  drought.  These  events  will  occur from time to time and can be devastating in their effects on communities, on the economy and on the environment.

Between  1997  and  2002,  4.1  million  people  were  affected  by  a  total  of  63  major  calamities. Over  this  period,  there  were  22  major  landslides  and  floods.  Half-a-million  people  were affected  at  an  estimated  cost  of  almost  K15  million.  Likewise,  over  that  same  period,  almost 3.2 million people suffered from drought and frost events, at an estimated cost of K85 million. Tsunami events are another concern.  The Aitape / Sissano tsunami alone claimed 3,210  lives and cost K31 million. Further,  volcanic  eruptions  and  earthquakes  are  a  threat  in  some  regions.  Rabaul  volcano erupted  in  1994  and  has  since  been  emitting  ash  fall  all  over  the  town  of  Rabaul  and  the neighbouring communities. This is imposing an enormous economic burden including health costs and relocation costs.

Risk management strategies in response to the threat of natural disasters

There  are  a  number  of  strategies  that  will  enhance  PNG‟s  capacity  to  mitigate  the  impact  of natural disasters:

  • implement  and  enforce  building  standards  for  the  construction  of  infrastructure  in disaster prone areas;
  • promote  awareness  of  the  risk  of  disasters  and  how  best  to  respond  when  disasters threaten, so that communities are well prepared;
  • establish  an  effective  emergency  line  operating  24  hours  a  day,  7  days  a  week throughout PNG for the timely reporting of emergencies;
  • improve  the  capacity  of  monitoring  and  evaluation  mechanisms  to  predict  geophysical threats in order to raise the scope for early warning;
  • create  a  policy  and  legal  framework  for  the  rapid  deployment  of  defence  forces  in emergencies;
  • ensure  that  disaster  management  and  operation  agencies  are  well  coordinated  and adequately  resourced  to  ensure  a  timely  and  appropriate  response  in  the  event  of natural disasters;
  • increase  civil-military  cooperation  to  instill  the  confidence  and  coordination  required for working together in disaster situations. This will include joint exercises and training in disaster management and disaster response;
  • provide adequate training to disaster management agencies; and train and work with the  UN, the US, Australia  and  other nation‟s disaster relief teams in order  to  gain  experience.  This  will  include  sending  PNG  teams  to  provide  disaster relief assistance to other countries.

Date updated: March 2016


The Government of Papua New Guinea developed and adopted a Climate-Compatible Development Strategy (CCDS), and with it the necessary organizational and governance structure to implement the CCDS in 2010.  This includes the National Climate Change Committee (NCCC) and the then Office of Climate Change and Development (OCCD). The NCCC is fully responsible for climate change and environmental sustainability while the OCCD is the lead coordinating institution.  The NCCC was then reporting directly to PNG’s Prime Minister through the then OCCD and included departmental heads of all government departments and authorities concerned with climate change issues including but not limited to Forestry, Agriculture, Environment and Conservation Finance, National Planning and Monitoring.

In 2012 to 2013 there was a robust national consultation and policy dialogue which led to the development of the National Climate Change Management Policy 2014. This policy further explores the broad implementation of the Climate Compatible Development Strategy (CCDS), which compelled all the stakeholders in Papua New Guinea to implement the programs which have been identified under the CCDS.  This further led to the development and passing of the Climate Change Management Act in 2015. The passing of the climate change legislation in Papua New Guinea now sees an institutional transition within the former Office of Climate Change and Development (OCCD) to the Climate Change and Development Authority (CCDA). This also includes additional responsibility to develop and implement climate change regulations.

Capacity building is still a strategic need for the Climate Change and Development Authority (OCCD) and other line agencies and departments to effectively address climate change. These include key agencies such as the National Disaster Centre (NDC), Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC), Department of Agriculture and Livestock (DAL) and other research and academic institutions in order to effectively coordinate and implement climate and disaster risk reduction measures. Further to that, the CCDA is also advocating sub-national coordination and capacity building to improve the role of the provinces who are leading implementation at the sub-national levels and communities.

The CCDA through the then OCCD has translated PNG’s constitutional priorities and long term development goals into tangible actions.  Climate Change is addressed under The Vision 2050, Pillar 5: Environmental Sustainability and Climate Change.  The strategic objectives are outlined under the Development Strategic Plan 2010-2050 and the Medium Term Development Plan, 2011-2015.  In particular, PNG’s climate compatible development strategy (CCDS) has identified the country’s mitigation and adaptation priorities, which have been translated into tangible actions in the Interim Action Plan (IAP)

For more information, please visit: (note the website is currently under transition development from an Office to an Authority) and the official facebook webpage. Search Facebook with the key phrase 'climate change and development authority’.

Date updated: March 2016


Papua New Guinea’s adaptation strategies outlined in the implementation framework of the National Climate Compatible Development Management Policy is outlined under the themes of Risk Management and Adaptive Governance.  The activities of which are led by OCCD and supported by all relevant stakeholders with the view to implement from 2014-2016.  These are summarised in the below table:

Policy / Strategy



Adaptation Policy

Adaptive Measures

Build resilience of people and sectors to the impacts of climate change through the implementation of appropriate adaptation measures, incorporating use of a risk management approach.

Risk Management

Quantifying & Prioritizing Hazards

Identify communities and sectors most at risk to climate change impacts (e.g., coastal and inland flooding, landslides, marine ecosystem health, agricultural yield change, vector-borne diseases) by conducting  national  and  subnational  vulnerability  assessments  of  human,  environmental and socio-economic systems (e.g., Kimbe Bay Method). Develop baseline indicators for relevant criteria


Identifying  &  Selecting  Interventions

In conjunction with relevant sectoral stakeholders, analyse potential losses and benefits and examine feasibility of available adaptation measures (e.g., coastal early warning system, community based mangrove  planting,  coastal  engineering protection, human settlements  and  migration) including  identifying  barriers and necessary actions.


Monitoring & Evaluation

Review and measurement of intervention outcomes relative to baseline information. Based on evaluation results, identify lessons learned and apply to successive interventions.

Adaptive Governance

Sectoral Coordination

Promote coordination, integration and facilitation among sectors such as  but  not  restricted  to  agriculturefisheries, forestry, water resources, transport, climate induced migration, human settlement and infrastructure to ensure a holistic approach to climate change adaptation including ecosystem friendly measures.


Institutional  Strengthening

Support the strengthening  and  maintenance  of  key  institutions  that  have  an  important  role  in  providing scientific data including climate modelling and forecasting to formulate and implement adaptation measures


Data  Management

Establish  an  integrated system to manage and store important data for adaptation including information on vulnerability  assessment,  potential  losses  and  damages, traditional  knowledge  and  appropriate  technologies to evaluate, report and enhance implementation  of  strategies  and  subsequent  measures

For more information, visit the following websites: (note the website is currently under development) and the official facebook webpage. Search Facebook with the key phrase ‘office of climate change and development’.

Date updated: March 2016

Current Climate

Annual and half-year air temperatures at Port Moresby and Kavieng (an island to the north east) have been warming since 1943 and 1962 respectively. Minimum air temperature trends are stronger than maximum air temperature trends.  Warm temperature extremes have increased and cool temperature extremes have decreased at both sites. All temperature trends are consistent with global warming.

At Kavieng, there has been a decrease in the number of days with rainfall since 1957. The remaining annual, half-year and extreme rainfall trends show little change at Kavieng and Port Moresby.  Tropical cyclones affect the Southern Hemisphere portion of Papua New Guinea, mainly between November and April. An average of 15 cyclones per decade developed within or crossed the Papua New Guinea Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) between the 1969/70 and 2010/11 seasons. Eleven of the 43 tropical cyclones (26%) between the 1981/82 and 2010/11 seasons were severe events (Category 3 or stronger) in the Papua New Guinea EEZ. Available data are not suitable for assessing long-term trends.

Wind-waves around Papua New Guinea are typically not large, with markedly different behaviour on the north and south coasts. Waves are seasonally influenced by the trade winds, the West Pacific Monsoon (WPM) and location of the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), and display variability on inter annual time scales with the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Available data are not suitable for assessing long-term trends.

Future Climate

For the period to 2100, the Global Climate Model Projections and climate science findings for Papua New Guinea indicate:

  • El Niño and La Niña events will continue to occur in the future (very high confidence), but there is little consensus on whether these events will change in intensity or frequency;
  • Annual mean temperatures and extremely high daily temperatures will continue to rise (very high confidence);
  • Average rainfall is projected to increase in most areas (medium confidence), along with more extreme rain events (high confidence);
  • Droughts are projected to decline in frequency (medium confidence);
  • Ocean acidification is expected to continue (very high confidence);
  • The risk of coral bleaching will increase in the future (very high confidence);
  • Sea level will continue to rise (very high confidence); and
  • No changes in waves along the Coral Sea coast of Papua New Guinea are projected (low confidence). On the northern coasts, December–March wave heights and periods are projected to decrease (low confidence)

Date updated: March 2016

Knowledge Management & Education

One of Papua New Guinea’s national climate change policy enabling strategies is Climate Understanding and Capacity Enhancement.  This component aims to enable PNG to respond to climate change through education and awareness, media advocacy, capacity building, research and technology.  Specifically, the policy calls for education and coordinated information resources for planners, the community and for decision makers at all three levels of government (national, provincial and local). It calls for support the updating and planning of school curricula to specifically address and prepare students in Papua New Guinea for new approaches to planning associated with climate change adaptation and mitigation. This will include the support and encouragement updates to primary and secondary curricula to educate and the next generation residents; planners and decision makers.

Papua New Guinea also promotes training and education of home owners particularly in the area of climate change mitigation.  For example, in the Incentives for the Small Scale Use of renewable Energy Systems policy guidance, it calls for establishing incentives to encourage installation of renewable energy systems by homeowners and small business operators including the training and education of homeowners.

For more information, refer to Table 1 – specific national, sectoral and provincial policies of the National Climate Compatible Development Management Policy

Date updated: March 2016


Papua New Guinea holds significant and potential renewable energy sources that contribute to reduction in GHG emissions and include hydropower, geothermal, and fuel ethanol. Even a large PV or wind energy programme would provide only modest GHG reductions. A number of programs to mitigating GHG emissions  in PNG are summarised below.

PNG is one of the member countries of the UN-REDD programme. The United Nations Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (UN-REDD) is the United Nations collaborative initiative on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) in developing countries. The Programme was launched in 2008 and builds on the convening role and technical expertise of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The UN-REDD Programme supports nationally-led REDD+ processes and promotes the informed and meaningful involvement of all stakeholders, including indigenous peoples and other forest-dependent communities, in national and international REDD+ implementation.

PNG has one of the most significant areas of largely-intact tropical forest in the world, although these forests appear to be facing acute and imminent threats. Forests are also a vital resource for the local population particularly in the remote rural areas of PNG, providing food, fibre, building materials, and support a variety of wildlife and ecosystem services. The Papua New Guinea Forest Authority estimates that approximately 60% of the total area of the country is covered by natural forests, of which 52% are considered production forests (for timber and other products), and 48% are for conservation (not for timber extraction due to inaccessibility or ecological constraints).

PNG has been a leading proponent of REDD+ at the international level, and was one of the original UN-REDD "pilot" countries. UN-REDD activities to date have focused on supporting effective stakeholder engagement, including through the development of guidelines for Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) and on developing technical elements of the country's national forest monitoring system. In 2013, UN-REDD will provide technical input to the methodological design of the country's first national forest inventory, in collaboration with PNG Forest Authority; as well as support the operationalization of PNG's satellite forest monitoring system, with the Office for Climate Change and Development.

PNG is a participating member of the Pacific Islands Greenhouse Gas Abatement through Renewable Energy Project (PIGGAREP).  This is a regional project is aimed at reducing the growth rate of GHG emissions from fossil fuel use in the Pacific Island Countries (PICs) through the widespread and cost effective use of their renewable energy (RE) resources. It consists of various activities whose outputs will contribute to the removal of the major barriers to the widespread utilization of RE technologies (RETs). The project is expected to bring about in the PICs: (1) Increased number of successful commercial RE applications; (2) Expanded market for RET applications; (3) Enhanced institutional capacity to design, implement and monitor RE projects; (4) Availability and accessibility of financing to existing and new RE projects; (5) Strengthened legal and regulatory structures in the energy and environmental sectors; and, (6) Increased awareness and knowledge on RE and RETs among key stakeholders.

The PIGGAREP activities identified for PNG will build on 2 key initiatives: (1) the Government of Italy and PIC cooperation programme, and (2) the PNG Sustainable Energy Ltd's renewable energy developments. These are summarised below.

Government of Italy and PIC Cooperation Programme

The communiqué has been signed and 8 proposals has been drafted and submitted. The PNG University of Technologies is taking the lead in developing proposals to be funded by the Italian government. They include the following:

  1. Baiteta solar PV project (Madang Province): ATCDI was granted K6,000.00 (US$1,968). ATCDI will submit a proposal to the Italian to cover the solar modules, batteries, regulator, cables, light fittings, and battery enclosure.
  2. The Biodiesel project (Unitech, Lae): ATCDI will submit a proposal to the Italian to cover a Personalized Biodiesel Production System, Diesel Engine for Testing Fuel, Dynameter plus accessories, Exhaust Gas Analyzer, Engine Performance Analyzer, Wear Particle Analyzer (Model 56), Oxygen Bomb Calorimeter and an expendable supplies & services (including coconut oil).
  3. The Bogo MHP project rehabilitation (Simbu):  For this project ATCDI will submit a project proposal to the Italian to cover the following Turbine/generator, uPVC pipes and fitting, cement, timber, angle iron and steel bars.
  4. Buakap solar PV project (Huon, Morobe):  This is a new project. A new Aidpost building has been built funded by the Rotary Club. For this project ATCDI will submit a project proposal to the Italian to cover solar modules, batteries, regulator, cables, light fittings, battery enclosure and module security frame.
  5. The gasifier project (Asaro, EHP):  The gasifier itself was funded by GEF/SGP with a grant of US$3929. The gasifier will be transported to site and installed. For this project ATCDI will submit project proposals for co-financing from the Italian.
  6. Solar PV and micro hydropower training: The training will be conducted in the four regions. For this project ATCDI will submit a proposal to the Italian to cover the local transport, resource materials, copying & printing of lecture materials, refreshments, Certificates and contingencies.
  7. ATCDI staff development: This is a project to develop capacity of ATCDI staff by visiting/attachment to two RE organisations abroad for 2 weeks. Organisations selected are CASE in Perth and Rainbow Power Company (RPC) in Nimbin NSW. For the staff development training ATCDI will submit project proposals for support by the Italian.
  8. Bago solar PV project (Pomio, ENB): This is a new project located in the New Guinea Islands region. For this project ATCDI will submit a project proposal to the Italian to cover solar modules, batteries, regulator, cables, light fittings, battery enclosures, and a module security frame.

PNG Sustainable Energy Ltd (PNGSEL)

PNGSEL is keen to develop rural power supply using straight coconut oil/biodiesel to provide power supply to remote rural communities, where the cost of petroleum diesel is very high. PNGSEL has an initial budget of K1.7 million to start the production of biodiesel and coconut oil for local generation of power supply to remote villages (Pomio Coconut and Biodiesel Rural Electrification Project). Coconuts in these rural areas have been left unattended because of the high cost of transport and a market available locally will promote coconut tree rehabilitation and grow local economies as well as improve education and health programs through the availability of power supply. Their model will include the availability of Micro Finance Banking and communications, including an internet cafe.

PNGSEL is also implementing a trail bio-diesel project at Aroma. Aroma project will trial the use of small scale biofuel production to provide power to 480 people (80 households). Under this model being tested PNG SEL provides a local coconut plantation owner with oil extraction machinery and arranges a purchase agreement of buy straight coconut oil (SCO) at a set price. SCO will be used to power the adjacent villages. Small scale biodiesel production for local vehicles will also being trailed. Total load is estimated at 144,000kWh, requiring around 50kVA installed capacity. A 13.5kVA genset has also been provided for the plantation.

For more information:

Date updated: March 2016

Country Contacts - Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management

Climate Change    
Mr. Joe POKANA (Operational Focal Point)

Acting Managing Director
Climate Change Development Authority (CCDA)
6th Floor, Avara Annex Bld, Hunter Street
P.O.Box  4017,
Port Moresby, National Capital District - 411
Papua New Guinea

GEF Operational and Political Focal Point(s):
Mr. Gunther JOKU (Operational Focal Point)

Acting Director
Department of Environment and Conservation
2nd Floor Bmobile Building, Waigani,
P.O.Box  6601, Boroko
Port Moresby, National Capital District - 411
Papua New Guinea

Disaster Risk Management
Mr. Andrew Oaego

Acting Assistant Director - GCL
National Disaster Centre
P.O. Box 4970, Boroko
Port Moresby,
Papua New Guinea
Tel: (675) 323 2826
Tel: (675) 325 0239 ext 1114
Tel: (675) 76825880    

Date updated: March 2016


The following references have been used to develop the country profile.  It is important to note that contributions are from local, regional and international agencies.  The profile is reviewed by the national focal point for accuracy.   We encourage you to report any error or missing information through the country contacts listed.

  1. Interim Action Plan for Climate-Compatible Development 2010 – 2013, OCCD, August 2010
  2. Papua New Guinea Development Strategic Plan 2010-2030, Department of National Planning and Monitoring, March 2010
  3. National  Climate  Compatible  Development  Management  Policy, OCCD, 4 August, 2014
  4. AFB/PPRC.8/12, Proposal for Papua New Guinea, Adaptation Fund Board, 1 March 2012
  5. National Climate Change (Management) Act 2015