Payment for Ecosystem Services - options and opportunities for New Britain Island

01 Jun 2018
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New Britain Island, off the north-east coast of Papua New Guinea (PNG), offers some of the richest biodiversity, densest forest and most spectacular natural beauty on earth. But the fight for the survival of these features is a faceoff between extraction industries and existing conservation efforts.

The Payment for Ecosystem Service (PES) report identifies options and opportunities for PES schemes on the Island. A PES scheme uses the power of economic incentives to make conservation preferable over extraction of natural resources – that is, a voluntary payment to landowners in exchange for a given environmental service.

This report comprehensively outlines and analyses the economic premise and market forces that sit behind PES; the major categories of environmental services sold in a PES scheme including carbon offset credit schemes, watershed protection and tourism; regional and national policy support and implications; and opportunities, threats and socio-economic impacts a scheme may have if introduced. It identifies ecotourism as offering the greatest untapped potential to generate revenue through PES by offsetting the threats of environmental degradation and supporting sustainable economic development on the Island.

Multiple recommendations are made for how a successful PES scheme can be implemented in the face of the rich and varied complexities of the PNG context. These recommendations suggest long-term structural changes in policy and short-term quick wins on tangible projects that, when completed, will result in lasting changes to how natural resources are managed and conserved on New Britain Island. The striking beauty of the Island, its mysterious culture and world-renowned resources deserve nothing less.

 

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