A simple planning system for sustainable timber harvesting in Papua New Guinea
Contribution to Book
Keenan, RJ, Brack, CL, Golman, M & Vanclay, JK 2011, 'A simple planning system for sustainable timber harvesting in Papua New Guinea', in JC Fox, RJ Keenan, CL Brack & S Saulei (eds), Native forest management in Papua New Guinea: advances in assessment, modelling and decision-making, Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), Canberra, ACT, vol. 135, pp. 176-184.
Planning and management of forest resources in Papua New Guinea (PNG) has sometimes resulted in overcutting, resource depletion, unintended environmental impacts and uncertainty about the long-term capacity of forests to supply the future needs of local communities or industry. Sound inventory and planning are critical for sustainable forest management. Good systems are in place in PNG to determine forest area, forest inventory and future forest growth. However, they have not been integrated effectively for strategic forest planning. This paper describes some simple tools for integrating this information to provide more robust estimates of future timber yields and more realistic levels of annual allowable cut. It allows for assumptions relating to available forest area and harvest intensity to be explicitly presented and assessed by those approving forest operations. The system is scalable and could be applied to smaller areas under community management, larger timber-harvesting operations or national-level analysis. The operation of the system is demonstrated through application to a case study area in Madang province. Some of the challenges, constraints and desired improvements to the system are discussed. Forest planning is not a linear or static exercise. Plans for long projects covering large areas must be periodically reviewed to incorporate new information, changing standards and changing community expectations.