Communities BEST REDD - Tavolo Project
Papua New Guinea
The Tavolo Community is located in East New Britain Province, on the South Coast of the island of New Britain, Papua New Guinea (PNG). The clans of the Tavolo Community hold customary land rights to a total area of 21,164 ha (hereafter referred to as the ‘Tavolo Project Area’). This area has been under consistent threat from large scale logging and conversion to oil palm plantations. In 2019, a land owner company (LOC) even gained access to the community land and forest resources through a Special Agriculture Business Lease (SABL). With this lease the LOC planned large-scale forest conversion to agriculture and other land uses without the free, prior, and informed consent of the Tavolo Community. Together with the Tavolo Community and FORCERT, Face the Future has developed the “PNG Communities BEST REDD - Tavolo Project” to prevent the planned large-scale deforestation on the Tavolo customary lands. FORCERT (forcertpng.org) (FORCERT | Facebook) is a non profit organisation working in Papua New Guinea empowering communities to take control of their resources and to manage them in a sustainable way.
The Tavolo project area covers a total of 21,782 hectares, out of which 15,102 hectares (69%) is tropical rain forest that was planned to be deforested and converted into agriculture and other land uses under the SABL. A Court’s official Government administrative decision has been obtained which declares the SABL and any accompanying or underlying logging permits and projects plans null and void. Moreover, until date, the project has been successful in averting the threat of deforestation in the project area. The communities in the project area now manage and conserve their forests under a sustainable land use plan which is designed by the communities themselves in cooperation with FORCERT. Furthermore, as a result of the avoided deforestation, the project achieved an estimated total amount of 4,582,132 tons CO2 emission reductions. The project has been certified under the VCS and CCB standard. Additionally, the project has set up the PNG Communities Benefits from Environmental Services Trust (BEST) in which the Tavolo Community is participating. The community will receive financial benefits from the selling of carbon credits on the voluntary market via this trust.
By protecting the forest from deforestation, this project will remain a a biodiversity hotspot containing:
Leatherback and green turtle
Russet Hawk-Owl and Blue Eyed Cockatoo
Among others the Dugong and several sea cucumber species
only to be found on the island of New Britain