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Research Report

REDD+ Politics in the Media: A case study from Papua New Guinea

Andrea Babon
Daniel McIntyre
Ronald Sofe
Copyright Date: Jan. 1, 2012
Pages: 38
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. 1-3)

    These are just some of the headlines that appeared in national media reports about Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation and enhancing forest carbon stocks (REDD+) in Papua New Guinea between 2005 and 2010. They serve to illustrate the range of discourses present in media representations of REDD+ in Papua New Guinea and the variety of actors, interests and issues involved in the national REDD+ policy arena.

    The governments of Papua New Guinea and Costa Rica first introduced the broad concept of REDD+ at the 11th Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate...

  2. (pp. 4-6)

    This study draws on methodologies used by other studies that have analysed climate change reporting in the UK and US media (Boykoff 2007, 2008). The methods employed for this study were adapted from Price and Saunders (2009) by Di Grigorio et al. (2012) and include content analysis of print media articles on REDD+ and semi-structured interviews with a selection of journalists/media professionals.

    A media frame is ‘a broad organizing theme for selecting, emphasizing and linking the elements of a story such as the scenes, the characters, their actions, and supporting documentation’ (Bennett 2002, in Boykoff 2008). A frame acts as...

  3. (pp. 7-18)

    The term ‘REDD(+)’ was first used in the national print media in Papua New Guinea in 2006 (‘Understanding climate change’, Post-Courier, 4 June 2006). In this feature article by Professor Chalapan Kaluwin, from the University of Papua New Guinea, the role played by the government of Papua New Guinea in promoting REDD+ internationally was highlighted alongside the science of climate change and adaptation:

    ‘…the government…continues to take the lead in annual international forums, through the UNFCCC. For example, taking the lead in exploring ways in using our natural forest and its resources for economic incentives (known as Reduced Emission on...

  4. (pp. 19-21)

    The media analysis identified a number of important actor groups and coalitions influencing REDD+ policy processes: the government of Papua New Guinea, customary landowners (and their advocates), non-governmental organisations and national research institutes.

    The Government of Papua New Guinea officially supports a formal REDD+ mechanism under the UNFCCC. However, the government is not a homogeneous unit and individuals bring different beliefs, interests, and affiliations to their role as elected officials or public servants. Papua New Guinea’s political system is inherently unstable, with frequent changes in leadership, ministerial positions and heads of government agencies – with corresponding changes in priorities. This...

  5. (pp. 22-23)

    This study sought to identify the key actors and discourses shaping the public debate on REDD+ and influencing REDD+ policy processes in Papua New Guinea. It did this through an analysis of how REDD+ was portrayed in the national print media.

    The study captured a snapshot of events, frames, actors and perspectives that shaped the REDD+ debate at the national level in Papua New Guinea from December 2005 to December 2010. The analysis identified that REDD+ was first reported in Papua New Guinea’s media in 2006, but was not regularly being discussed in the print media until late-2008 and early-2009...