January 27, 2022

Community forestry programme at RAI

Conservation and restoration
International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) has commissioned a four-year forestry research project to support PNG’s Forest Policy Medium Term Development Plan to increase the area of planted forests in PNG from 62,000 hectares to 150,000 hectares by 2025. The programme, managed through the University of the Sunshine Coast in Australia is a collaboration with various government, NGO, private sector and community partners in PNG. Initiated in 2017, the project aims to identify how PNG’s community forestry can be enhanced and scaled up to achieve better economic, social and environmental outcomes areas. 

Ramu Agri Ltd.’s sustainability department is one the key implementing partners. At RAI, the objectives are to design and test tree-based livelihood systems for family-focused community based reforestation and identify how this can be scaled up across the landscape. Three local communities have been engaged via Ramu and Markham Valley. To support this, scientific trials have been carried out by researchers, including an agroforestry demonstration plot for farmers to see and understand how it works. Over the course of 2018 and 2019, over 10 technical sessions and tree nursery trainings have been conducted with more than 100 local participants. More than 10 family-based nurseries have been established by local participating families. By 2019, an estimate of 12 farmers associated with the project have planted 2,155 seedlings. Through the programme, champion farmers are empowered to conduct training for other interested local participants.