The Papua New Guinea (PNG) environment landscape boasts a rich biodiversity with unique plants and animals supporting a culturally diverse indigenous population.
PNG national efforts continue to protect this pristine environment with the launch of two products to benefit the environment sector – the national data portal and the Conservation and Environment Protection Authority (CEPA) data sharing policy.
The launch of the two products was an event coordinated by the CEPA with assistance of the SPREP Inform project and UNDP Cross Cutting Capacity Development (CCCD) project. The regional Inform project is funded by the Global Environment Fund (GEF), implemented by UN Environment and executed by SPREP.
The launch event was held on Friday 26 April 2019 at the Lamana Hotel attended by CEPA staff, seven government agencies and media organisations.
SPREP opening remarks acknowledged a successful partnership with UNDP and CEPA culminating in the launch of the two products with the aim to facilitate environment monitoring and reporting.
SPREP Inform Project Manager, Mr. Paul Anderson said, “SPREP is the regional agency for the environment in the Pacific – a key aspect of this work is supporting informed decision making at the national level, which is what brings us here today. Both globally and regionally, the sound management of national datasets, particularly in the environment sector, has lacked consistency and standardisation.”
“I am pleased to be present with you all this morning for the official launch of these products, and am looking forward to see the avid use of both products by CEPA, and seeing the positive impact it will have on not just your work on environmental management, but seeing this emulated throughout other Inform Pacific Island countries,” said Mr Anderson.
UNDP assistance to CEPA helped fund the work to develop the environment data portal. Subsequent assistance from the Inform project helped built capacity and provided technical assistance to establish the PNG Data Portal.
SPREP said, “Originally the portal was designed as an environment data portal, however the portal can serve more than just CEPA, and thus was renamed the PNG Data Portal. Functionally, the portal allows for multi-sector, multi ministry access and collaboration. The portal is built on open source, well supported software, which are widely used by larger global and regional organisations for the very same purpose.
“The portal is now live and on-line, and is part of a region-wide data eco-system which supports data harvesting. The portal has the ability to publish content in addition to data, with the ultimate goal of informing decision making, through accurate and up to date data that is readily available and accessible.”
Fulfilling country reporting obligations to international and regional environment conventions and agreements is facilitated with access to a central place for data. The establishment of national data portals as centralised repository of data will facilitate preparing country reports of their obligations to multilateral environment agreements, the Sustainable Development Goals, and others.
The Data Sharing Policy, the second product, an initiative of CEPA with assistance from the Inform project, is a platform providing guidelines to increase the sharing of data.
The policy will encourage the free exchange of data within the CEPA, with other government agencies and institutions within Papua New Guinea and with the public. This policy forms a key part of the CEPA’s commitment to transparency, accountability and to its reporting obligations within Papua New Guinea and to international reporting to various multi-lateral environment agreements.