PNGFA signs MOU with Total Energies

 The PNG Forestry Authority in partnership with Total Energies have signed an agreement to develop ten thousand hectares of industrial forest in the Varagadi area of Central Province.

The objectives of the project include 800, 000 hectares of major grasslands in PNG into industrial forest plantations within 20 years.

Director of PNG Forest Research Institute Goodwill Amos said Total Energies will partner in the area of climate change to address issues of carbon footprints and the reduction of emissions. “They are prosing for ten thousand hectares of grassland to develop in Kwila plantations. The varagadi area only contains 600 hectares.”

“Part of the hectares to make up the ten thousand as wanted by Total Energies will be extended to Gulf and Bulolo in the Morobe Province,” he said.

Varagadi contains a population of three to four thousand people and a total of 250 landowner representatives. Chairman of Varagadi landowners Elliot Yamuje said the project will now engage the people from the area to plant trees.   

He added that the project will not only help in terms of money but as a community responsible in the fight against climate change.

Other benefits to the landowners include a setup of the multi-state of the art nursery of teak trees.

Managing Director for PNG Forestry, John Mosoro said the private investment through the Public Partnership is the way forward and the willingness and the intention by Total Energies (PNG) Ltd is welcomed and within the national government’s objective’s and priorities.

“Trees are acknowledged as an investment to mitigate increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the world’s atmosphere. The biological potential of plantation forest to sequester carbon can be scientifically estimated. Annual carbon storage in tropical forest plantations ranges from 0.8 to 24 t C per hectare per year.”

Mr. Mosoro added that some external funding assistance would enhance them to fully implement the national government directives.

“We appreciate the contribution by Total Energies to support PNG in establishing forest plantations towards meeting our budget,” he said.

“The PNG Forestry Authority is committed in implementing the national government’s goals, objectives and priorities. We are committed facilitate and maintain harmonious partnership with Total Energies in developing the forest plantations in Papua New Guinea.”

The objectives of the whole program by the PNGFA include; to establish 40,000 hectares of plantations per year with average density of 400m3 per hectare on 15 to 20 year rotation, expected to yield 16, 000, 000 m3 per year.

At 3 jobs per hectare, forestry could create 120, 000 jobs a year, 800, 000 hectares would create 2, 400 permanent jobs in plantation forestry.

Harvesting, marketing, processing industries and supporting infrastructure will create further employment.

Plantations will create a carbon sink depending on trees species, storing 0.8 to 24 tons of carbon per hectare a year.

Establishment of at least one plantation in each province will provide employment opportunities, rural development and an economic base.

Source : The PNG Bulletin

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