As the capital of Papua New Guinea, Port Moresby is a major leader in inspiring the protection of forests within the city and in Papua New Guinea’s vast tropical forest landscape. Port Moresby joined Cities4Forests in January 2020, representing Governor Powes Parkop’s commitment to sustainably conserve and restore the city’s forests, and lead forest conservation awareness and action at the national level.
Illegal Logging Threatens Livelihoods in Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea is home to the world’s third-largest intact tropical rainforest, covering an area of 46.2 million hectares, equivalent to 92% of the country’s land area. The presence of illegal logging — which the government is struggling to contain — is severely impacting the country’s forests. The resulting deforestation poses an existential risk for many local communities who depend on the forests for their day-to-day livelihood and for many endemic and rare plant and animal species (such as the tenkile, a species of tree kangaroo listed as critically endangered by the IUCN). .
Port Moresby Rainforest Restoration And Education Projects
As one of the signatories of Cities4Forests, Port Moresby, under the direction of its elected Governor Powes Parkop, and with the support of many local communities and indigenous communities, has committed to several actionable projects. These include: a plan to plant and grow 50,000 tree seedlings with support and funding from Cities4Forests and OneTreePlanted; a 20-hectare demonstration rainforest inside the city to engage and educate residents and visitors about the importance of tropical forests for city dwellers; and the establishment of the 185,000-hectare Torricelli Mountain Range Conservation Area. Through these actions, Port Moresby is aiming to cultivate communal respect and appreciation for its forests and inspire residents to become leaders in their protection and care.
Some of these initiatives are already underway. In celebration of World Environment Day 2021, a week of events and activities engaged thousands of residents in Port Moresby. Trees were planted throughout the city at the Port Moresby Nature Park supporting the ‘ Restoration’ theme, aligned with the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030.