Papua New Guinea is still a heavily forests country, with ≈70% of the land area covered by some form of forests. These forests provide food and building materials for a large proportion of PNG’s six million people. They also provide an important safety net when crops fail, in times of economic crisis or conflict, and when natural disasters strike. They provide a range of both local and global environmental benefits that are often overlooked and remain economically undervalued. These services include carbon sequestration, watershed protection, water filtration, coastal and reef protection, preservation of fish stocks, and soil stability and fertility. They also provide commercial timber – approximately 3.0 million cubic metres of raw logs were exported in 2014.
In a changing world where global warming is increasing important, and where tropical deforestation and forest degradation are proceeding apace, it is critical to monitor what is going on in PNG’s forests. Fire is a key activity that can drive deforestation, especially fires occurring in already disturbed forests. The FireWatch PNG website provides a vital service to the people of PNG and others globally. It allows greater scrutiny of what is happening in PNG’s forest, and when. It is a useful tool for policy makers in PNG, and provides a key service allowing greater transparency of activities in PNG’s forests.
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PNG Remote Sensing Centre Ltd
PO Box 1774, Waterfront Post Office, Konedobu
, NCD, Papua New Guinea