Engaging Communities and Government in Biodiversity Conservation and Climate Adaptation in Papua New Guinea

  • Brent JacobsEmail author
  • Kylie McKenna
  • Louise Boronyak
  • Francesca Dem
  • Shen Sui
  • Kenneth Pomoh
  • Mavis Jimbudo
  • Heveakore Maraia
Part of the Climate Change Management book series (CCM)


Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) mainland consists of 33 million hectares of forests. The third largest intact rainforest in the world, it contains about 7% of the world’s species, 2/3 of which are unique to PNG. PNG’s ecosystems face multiple and interdependent threats associated with economic development, population growth and a changing climate. Academic and policy analysis on environmental change in PNG is extensive, particularly associated with the minerals and energy extraction sector. To counterbalance the negative impacts of this sector on affected communities, much of the focus has been on devising compensation packages and formal regulatory mechanisms to increase ‘landowner’ participation. Less attention has been afforded to the development activities undertaken by communities (e.g. development of new roads, expansion of settlements, land clearance from fires and logging), which also impact on ecosystem services. PNG’s rural communities are eager for more support to identify existing threats to supplement their own processes for determining trade-offs of development particularly under a changing climate. This paper describes the use, in facilitated workshops, of participatory techniques to engage communities in managing ecosystem services and biodiversity conservation to inform the development of community-led adaptive strategies.


Climate change Development Ecosystem services Biodiversity Community engagement 



The project Engaging Communities and Government in Biodiversity Conservation and Climate Adaptation was led by researchers from the New Guinea Binatang Research Centre (BRC) and the Institute for Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology, Sydney. The research project was funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). We thank staff of BRC for their support in logistics and members of the four participating communities for sharing their knowledge with us.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brent Jacobs
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kylie McKenna
    • 1
  • Louise Boronyak
    • 1
  • Francesca Dem
    • 2
  • Shen Sui
    • 2
  • Kenneth Pomoh
    • 2
  • Mavis Jimbudo
    • 2
  • Heveakore Maraia
    • 2
  1. 1.University of Technology Sydney, Institute for Sustainable FuturesBroadwayAustralia
  2. 2.New Guinea Binatang Research CentreMadang 511Papua New Guinea

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