The Papua New Guinea Forest Authority (PNGFA) maintains a database containing all of the forest areas that have ever been designated as potential logging concessions by means of agreements between their customary owners and the national government or the former colonial administration. In a version of this database that dates to the end of 2011, there are 314 such areas, covering a total of 10,953,897 hectares, which is almost one quarter of PNG’s total land area. Most of the agreements had ‘expired’, which means that the areas in question had almost certainly been logged at some time in the previous 50 years; many were ‘current’, which means that logging operations were probably ongoing; and a few were under dispute. But one area stands out from all the rest. The 521,500 hectares that comprise the April Salumei forest area in East Sepik Province are the site of the only ‘REDD+ Pilot Project’ (GPNG 2012a, Appendix 4). This chapter will seek to explain how this particular forest area came to acquire this special status.
|Title of host publication||Tropical Forests of Oceania: Anthropological Perspectives|
|Editors||Joshua A Bell, Paige West & Colin Filer|
|Place of Publication||Canberra|
|Publication status||Published - 2015|