Papua New Guinea is the largest country and economy in the Pacific, representing 80% of the Pacific economy and population. The country hosts the world's third largest primary rain forest, its tuna stocks account for 15% of the world’s stock and it has access to a wealth of mineral (gold, copper, nickel) and energy (oil and gas) resources. Papua New Guinea is a Lower Middle Income Country, is highly resource dependent and vulnerable to external economic shocks.
While richly endowed with natural and human resources, minerals, forest and biodiversity, Papua New Guinea suffers from natural hazards and climate change induced disasters, deforestation, corruption and multiple layers of conflict. Its huge ethnic, linguistic and geographic diversity; low levels of connectivity and highly uneven distribution of resources remain significant challenges for the sustainable use of resources, governance and inclusive human development. Almost 40% of the population live below the poverty line, while women and girls suffer from high levels of gender inequality and gender-based violence.
Deepening Europe’s political and economic partnership with the Pacific in an increasingly interconnected and rapidly changing world, the Multi-Annual Indicative Programme (MIP) for 2021-2027 underpins the EU’s commitment to enhance its strategic relations with Papua New Guinea.
The new EU-Papua New Guinea partnership will pursue common goals and address risks and challenges in the spheres of environment, human development and governance, while the MIP will place the EU in a strategic position to be the partner of reference in the forestry, climate change and biodiversity nexus, where we aim to achieve a transformational impact through substantial and strategically targeted investments.
The interests of the EU and Papua New Guinea converge through the following 3 priority areas.
Our Forest, Our Future
We address local and global challenges related to the survival of the planet and humanity such as deforestation, the biodiversity crisis, and climate change. The EU supports major opportunities for transformation and the promotion of multilateral agreements, aiming at increased environmental goals and standards, and the sustainable management of natural resources, in particular Papua New Guinea’s virgin forests - a major tool for carbon sequestration and biodiversity habitat and a source of potentially marketable carbon credits.
Water is Life
Reliable access to water and sanitation is among the most elementary human needs and rights, as well as an enabler for human development, public health, resilience, and improved livelihoods. The critical role of water/sanitation/hygiene (‘WaSH’)and reduced exposure to waste and contaminated water for improved human development, health, nutrition and education outcomes is acknowledged in the New European Consensus for Development, the 2030 Agenda and Papua New Guinea’s development plans.
Transparent and accountable governance
Transparent and accountable governance, the rule of law and respect for human rights are fundamental for democratic, stable, thriving and peaceful societies. Promoting these values is part of the EU’s core global mission. Improving governance and the fight against corruption are also included in Papua New Guinea’s national development plans.
The Multiannual Indicative Programme (MIP) for Papua New Guinea amounts to €115 million until the mid-term review of 2024.
Priority area 1: “Our Forest, Our Future” aims to achieve a model that reconciles forestry, biodiversity and environmental protection with sustainable, inclusive and gender-responsive economic development, and growth. Three specific objectives have been identified
- an enabling and institutional framework for FCCB and improved institutional coordination
- improved FCCB awareness, knowledge, capacities, and mobilization
- increased investment, sustainable growth, and jobs in the FCCB space
Priority area 2: “Water is Life” plans to ensure gender-responsive availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation and reduce the risk of exposure to waste and contaminated water. The specific objectives are
- beneficiary populations using and maintaining increased and equitable access to safe and sustainable water supply and sanitation services, including innovative localised solutions for water
- WaSH policy makers and implementers operating effectively in an enabling environment
Priority area 3: ‘’Transparent and accountable governance’’ intends to support Papua New Guinea in its efforts to improve its track record in key areas of good governance and human rights. The specific objectives to be achieved are
- enhanced transparency and accountability, supported by a strengthened voice of civil society and awareness of the population
- increased equitable access to essential human rights
Civil society organisations (CSOs) are an indispensable part of the social fabric of Papua New Guinea. Government actors frequently include CSOs in consultations, including via the Consultative Implementation and Monitoring Council, which in the past has been supported by the EU. While their voice is being heard, overall, their institutional and managerial, monitoring, advocacy and watchdog capacities remain weak.
The EU foresees a continuous need to draw upon a cooperation facility for
- ad hoc upon-demand capacity building and institutional support in key areas
- policy dialogues
- supporting the participation of people of reference from civil society in EU programmes
- public diplomacy, visibility and communication
- reparation, implementation and evaluation of EU programmes
- organisations that strengthen the trade and investment links between the EU and Papua New Guinea