Papua New Guinea
Island and Ocean Ecosystems

16 December 2022, Montreal, Canada - The voice of Papua New Guinea, one of the 17 mega-diverse countries in the world, rang through the hall of the high-level segment of the Fifteenth Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Boasting more than 7 per cent of the world’s biodiversity in less than one per cent of the world’s landmass, PNG is home to more than 18, 894 described plant species, more than 719 birds, 271 mammals, 227 reptiles, 266 amphibians, 341 freshwater fish species, 600 species of coral and 3000 species of reef fish.

Papua New Guinea’s work to strengthen its Protected Areas is guided by its Protected Areas Policy which has been its roadmap towards achieving Target 11 of the Aichi Biodiversity Target to protect 10% marine and 17% terrestrial land areas by 2020.

Taking the floor, the Hon Kinoka Feo, Vice Minister assisting the Prime Minister on Strategic Planning, called for support be it financial or technical, for the Papua New Guinea Biodiversity and Climate Fund.  Established to help Papua New Guineans protect and sustain their vast biodiversity in marine and on land including their rainforest, which acts as the lungs for global communities.

“The establishment of our Biodiversity and Climate Fund for Protected Areas recently, would ensure funding coming from various sources including from ecosystems services, green contributions, grants, global levies and donations will support the operations of our Protected Areas Network,” stated Minister Feo.

“This will contribute towards improved and effective management of Protected Areas and their long-term sustainability.  This Biodiversity and Climate Fund will be an independent account system which will be managed by reputable Trustees to ensure our Protected Areas are effectively managed and sustained.”

The Protected Areas Policy is at the heart of addressing many of the biggest challenges facing Papua New Guinea today including climate change, food and water security, and helping to achieve sustainable development.

It is believed the growth of Protected Areas in Papua New Guinea will help community efforts to halt their biodiversity loss and replenish their natural environment.  Through the Protected Areas Policy, Papua New Guinea will inspire everyone to take action in partnership with the government to protect the remaining natural and cultural heritage together.

“However the greatest impediment to protecting biodiversity in Papua New Guinea is the lack of sustainable financing for our Protected Areas.  Our Protected Areas are by no means similar to your protected areas as they are not science-based, however, they help sustain the daily livelihoods of our people which also contributes to biodiversity management,” said Minister Feo.

“Our people cannot be expected to give up their rights over areas of land or water without seeing benefits in the form of service delivery or support in place of economic development and improved livelihoods.  We want to see Protected Areas as the next best alternative to resource development in the forestry, agriculture, fisheries, mining and petroleum sectors.  This is our challenge when doing protection.”

“In our endeavour to encourage greater community participation, the Protected Areas Policy sets the framework to explore the options of sustainable financing and biodiversity offset mechanisms.”

Rich in cultural diversity with more than 800 languages, associated with beliefs, dances and customs with just under 80 per cent of the land held under customary ownership, contributes to the uniqueness of the island nation.

Supportive of the targets in the new Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework now under negotiation at CBD COP15, Papua New Guinea is working locally to ensure that sustainable use of resources continues to meet the needs of her people.

“Sustainable use and benefit-sharing is paramount to ensure there are reduced threats to biodiversity and there are tools and solutions for implementation and mainstreaming.”

Hon. Kinoka Feo, MP Vice Minister assisting the Prime Minister on Strategic Planning with the Ministery of National Planning and Monitoring of the Government of Papua New Guinea presented at the High-Level Segment of the CBD COP15 on Friday, 16 December 2022.

The Fifteenth Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP15) is held in Montreal, Canada from 7 – 19 December 2022.  Chaired by the Government of China, the CBD COP15 will result in a new Global Biodiversity Framework that will continue the 2020 Biodiversity Targets with the global goal of halting biodiversity loss.

Fourteen Pacific Islands countries are Party to the CBD. They are contributing to a unified One Pacific Voice on collective issues at COP15. The countries present in Montreal are the Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Niue, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

Led by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), support to Pacific island countries has been implemented with technical input through the Pacific Islands Roundtable for Nature Conservation (PIRT),  and includes a One Pacific approach involving support from the Office of the Pacific Ocean Commissioner, and the Pacific Community at COP15 with financial assistance from the Government of Australia and the ACP MEA Phase 3 Project funded by the European Union and the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States for the ACP countries. 

For more information on the CBD COP15 please visit: or email [email protected]


Papua New Guinea, Biodiversity and Climate Fund, CBD, COP15