This project is funded by the Australian Government under the ACIAR program with a funding of AUD $1,270,775.
Aim and Objectives
The aim of the project is to advance the development of germplasm sources and smallholder-friendly silviculture systems for teak (PNG) and sandalwood (PNG and Cape York Peninsula). This will provide new opportunities for enhancing smallholder livelihoods in these regions and achieving PNG’s plantation development target. The project has five objectives:
- To advance the teak genetic improvement program in PNG through first generation selection to produce high quality germplasm.
- To ensure maximum realisation of genetic gains made by the project through the development of robust and smallholder appropriate silviculture.
- To develop capacity for an ongoing genetic improvement program for sandalwood in PNG.
- To advance the sandalwood genetic improvement program in Cape York Peninsula for use by local landowners.
- To communicate and disseminate research outputs to improve uptake and impact.
Achieving the research objectives of this project will lead to significant social, economic and environmental benefits. An increased availability and planting of improved germplasm from these two valuable tree species will:
Generate social benefits through:
- Enhancement of household financial security in regard to (i) cash needs (e.g. planned = education and reactive = health) due to the potential liquidity of the trees once of a merchantable size and (ii) promotion of intergenerational benefits (e.g. cash flows), due to the moderate period of production (20yrs).
- Enhanced tree assets underpinning business opportunities (e.g. nurseries, establishment and processing) can add to rural development, providing benefits beyond the families developing the trees.
- Provision of opportunities for female directed activities (e.g. nursery development).
- Delineation of land boundaries with trees to reduce land tenure issues.
Stimulate economic activity through:
- Seedling sales: at an expected participation rate of 1,000 and 5,000 households beyond the life of the project for sandalwood and teak respectively planting 20 final crop trees per year for 20 years, the annual value of seedling sales would be USD10,000 and USD312,500 respectively.
- Smallholder log sales: gross household revenues at harvest could be USD6,000 and USD2,000 per year each year for sandalwood and teak respectively. The present value (2014) of the contribution of the project to PNG’s gross national product (GDP) based on export of the un-processed logs would be USD14.3 million for sandalwood and USD27.6 million for teak.
- Subsequent processing and export: given the likely volumes produced from the total planted resource (sandalwood = 300 t y-1; teak 50,000 m3 y-1) the development of local processing may be expected, which would make further contributions to the PNG economy.
Promote environmental benefits through:
- Strategically located planted resources from improved germplasm progressively becoming more economically viable to source timber compared with increasingly distant and diminished natural stands. The economic advantage of harvesting from planted resources will progressively increase through the greater prevalence of supply chain systems to prove legality and sustainability in the marketplace.
- Reinvigoration of the genetically eroded natural sandalwood populations and potentially reduce its current ‘threatened’ status by village and enrichment plantings with variable seed sources.
- Increased utilisation and/or restoration of marginal or idle agricultural land and logged forest since teak and sandalwood are adapted to and most likely planted in such areas.