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Local Perspectives on Forest Values in Papua New Guinea - The Scope for Participatory Methods

Wild resources are often overlooked in policymaking and land use decisions, yet they are important for local communities and often critical for their survival. IIED’s Hidden Harvest project examines the role of wild resources in local livelihoods in different countries and ecosystems. This report presents the outcome of a Hidden Harvest training workshop and field exercise carried out in Papua New Guinea which focused on wild forest resources. Using examples from the fieldwork, the report highlights some methodological questions related to valuation in transitional communities. These questions are particularly pertinent for research related to economies that have not commoditised all natural resource management-related economic activities or for professionals seeking to use complementary methodologies. The report concludes that participatory methods have an important contribution to make, given the challenges in local level valuation, both as a complement to more conventional approaches and in their own rights as a tool to inform decision-making.

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