The objective of the project is to strengthen national and local capacities to effectively manage the national system of protected areas, and address threats to biodiversity and ecosystem functions in these areas.


Project Summary:

The Government of Papua New Guinea (PNG) has made a renewed commitment to support a viable and sustainable protected area system in the country, working in partnership with community landowners, non-government conservation organizations, private sector and local administrations. PNG’s new Protected Areas Policy (PAP) approved by National Executive Council (NEC) in December 2014 and the Conservation and Environmental Protection Authority (CEPA) Act of May 2014 provides the overall policy and legal framework for the newly established CEPA.

These instruments are intended to give new impetus to conservation priorities and pose an excellent opportunity to improve biodiversity conservation in the broadest sense in PNG. However, the renewed Government commitment has been limited by lack of capacities across the entire spectrum of environmental management. This Project supports to operationalise the Protected Area Policy as well as support the institutional transition from the former Department of Environment and Conservation to CEPA. The project also strengthens the links between central government’s policy and institutional systems with Protected Areas that are being established by community landowners and conservation partners in key biodiversity areas throughout the country.

Project Objectives:

The objective of the project is to strengthen national and local capacities to effectively manage the national system of protected areas, and address threats to biodiversity and ecosystem functions in these areas.

Project Outcomes:

The objective will be achieved through the implementation of two key project components (outcomes).

Component 1: Management capabilities of the PNG State to oversee protected area management, including the establishment of Varirata National Park as a national best practice example for PA management under CEPA leadership.

Component 2: Strengthening the capacity of the state and local communities to cooperatively manage protected area sites, and manage threats to biodiversity, specifically YUS and Torricelli Conservation Areas.


- Development of the Protected Area Policy Implementation Plan (PAPIP) in partnership with CEPA with detailed costing which is aligned to PNG Vision 2050 of adding 1 million hectares of protected areas. A first in PNG, the 2019 National Budget earmarks 2 million kina to roll out PAPIP, over 3 years.

- PNG National Biodiversity Offsets Draft Policy and Regulation Framework for the mitigation and offset of impacts on biodiversity from development was formulated and approved by CEPA in consultation with industry.

- Development of an approved CEPA Standards and Guidelines on Protected Area Management. The Regulations on protected areas that set limits to activities and enforcement measures for the different types of protected areas in the country such as national parks, nature reserves, community conservation area and locally managed marine areas.

- Support to change management within the Authority to implement its draft strategic framework and its transformation roadmap to include the recruitment process for management positions; customized leadership training program for CEPA executives; support to transform human resources, finance and administrative functions of CEPA.

- Establishment of a business plan for Varirata National Park, development of tourism facilities and activities such as bushwalking and birdwatching to generate sustainable finance for management actions, as well as park enforcement, the support of 10 National UN Volunteers serving as community rangers.

- Land Use Plan (LUP) for Sogeri Plateau which covers Varirata National Park to encompass CEPA’s area of interest on conservation.

- Lukim Gather mobile app was developed and trailed at the Varirata National Park and Torricelli Mountain Range Conservation Area.



Time Frame:

-Project Start Date: 15 Nov 2015

-Project End Date: 11 Nov 2020


Papua New Guinea

Focal Area:

Environment and Energy


Government of Papua New Guinea


Conservation & Environment Protection Authority


GEF Trust Fund

UNDP TRAC Resources


USD $5.6 million

Project Duration

2015 - 2020


Project Manager

Ms. Patricia Kila

Ph: +(675) 72159893


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