I. NATIONAL INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS FOR INTEGRATING ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS
INTO POLICY DECISION-MAKING PROCESSES
[ A | B | C
| D ]
C. Institutional framework
[ C | C-1 | C-2 | C-3 ]
2. Non-governmental organizations
The level of involvement of NGOs in environmental policy-making in Papua New Guinea has been minimal. NGOs can be classified into two main categories: environmental organizations and developmental organizations. Examples of environmental NGOs are:
- Friends of the Earth. Formed in 1981 as a member of the umbrella organization, Friends of the Earth International, the group is active in environmental awareness through radio talk shows and talks to schools and other interest groups. It produces a newsletter three times a year;
- Wau Ecology Institute. The group, which is based in Wau, Morobe province, started as a field station of the Bishop Museum, Hawaii, and is now an independent institute with facilities for conferences, a library, a laboratory and hostels. The Institute is actively involved in environmental monitoring and advocacy and it is planning an extensive land awareness programme. The Wau Ecology Institute was instrumental in drawing international attention to the Ok Tedi landowners cause. The Institute assisted the landowners to take their case to the International Water Tribunal in The Hague. The tribunal subsequently ruled in favour of the landowners which strengthened their court action against the Broken Hill Proprietary Company Limited (BHP) (see box 2);
- The Melanesian Environment Foundation. The Foundation is one of the most active environmental NGOs in the country. The aim of the foundation is to promote environmental awareness through tours and talks by volunteers to community-based organizations such as schools, churches, youth groups and women's groups. Environmental educational materials such as videos, posters, pamphlets and packages for literacy workers are also produced and distributed;
- Goroka Environmental Awareness Group. This NGO was formed by people in the township of Goroka in Eastern Highlands province. The group has been successful in organizing petitions against corruption in the timber industry;
- Madang Citizens for a Better Environment. This group was formed by concerned citizens in Madang province, where it has been active in logging issues. Through the media and petitions, the group has helped bring landowners' concerns over environmental and social problems caused by logging to the attention of the public and the government.
Developmental NGOs promote activities that improve the living standards of communities. Components of their activities can result in the improvement and/or protection of the environment. Some of the developmental NGOs are:
- The Foundation for the Peoples of the South Pacific. This group is affiliated to an international organization which has been operating in the South Pacific subregion for about 25 years. It promotes and runs developmental projects related to fisheries and agriculture; the projects include environmental protection and conservation components. The foundation also promotes small-scale projects through various funding schemes;
- The Hanns Seidel Foundation. This NGO is affiliated to an international organization of the same name. It aims to promote and foster social development. The organization sponsors and organizes seminars, conferences and workshops which address issues in the areas of development and social well-being, as well as environmental issues;
- Church-based NGOs. The Catholic Commission for Justice, Peace and Development is a church-based NGO that plays a role in developmental and social issues and is also concerned about the environment. The Melanesian Council of Churches is an NGO which brings together members from the seven major churches in Papua New Guinea with affiliation among about 75 per cent of the population. The Council has a major environmental awareness programme which is operated in three phases:
- Preparing a theological base for environmental concern;
- Conducting workshops on the environment to educate the community leaders and the clergy;
- The development and distribution of educational resource kits for use in churches and schools.
NGOs in Papua New Guinea have for some time been working primarily in isolation, without any effective coordination. Very few of them have links to the government. In 1990, at a seminar held in Wau, the leading NGOs formed the National Alliance of Non-Governmental Organizations in Papua New Guinea (
NANGO-Papua New Guinea). The aim of NANGO-Papua New Guinea is to promote the coordination of efforts in conservation and environmental protection. It also aims to coordinate the activities of NGOs in Papua New Guinea with the objective of enhancing their effectiveness. In order for NANGO views and concerns to be more effectively reflected in governmentenvironmental policies, it needs to be directly represented in the decision-making process. Examples of such representation include participation in the environmental planning and approval process as well as in such functions as environmental monitoring.