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Improvement and management of teak and sandalwood in Papua New Guinea and Australia

This project aims to develop germplasm sources and smallholder-friendly silviculture systems for teak (Papua New Guinea) and sandalwood (Papua New Guinea and Cape York Peninsula). This will enhance smallholder livelihoods in these regions and help Papua New Guinea to achieve its plantation development target.
The strong international demand for many forest products has depleted natural sources across many areas of Papua New Guinea. Many parts of lowland Papua New Guinea with high rural populations have few timber resources, as their accessibility made them the first areas to be commercially logged. Smallholders in these areas want to plant timber to meet their own needs and provide income.
Papua New Guinea can develop a vibrant rural economy through producing high-value forestry species. While smallholder farmers want to pursue these opportunities, they lack seed/seedlings and knowledge about appropriate production regimes.
Sandalwood occurs naturally in both southern Papua New Guinea and Cape York Peninsula. These regions have limited options for commercial development, and forestry is one of the few promising opportunities. Sandalwood can be incorporated in existing indigenous land management systems and extended into commercial plantings, creating the opportunity to use an endemic tree species to develop the economy.
This project will establish resources that supply improved germplasm. The project will also evaluate and refine silvicultural knowledge for these species through field trials and smallholder managed plantings.