These guidelines are intended to provide practical guidance for people involved in planning for and implementing community based management of natural resources, both terrestrial and marine, in PNG. The main target audiences are NGOs, government policy makers and provincial officials, industry groups and educators.

The guidelines draw heavily on experiences in PNG during the past decade, mainly those of NGOs working in conservation oriented projects. The structure of the guidelines is strongly influenced by previous TNC experience that led to the preparation of a training manual: “Community conservation tools and processes: A training manual for clan based conservation practitioners” in 2010. The present guidelines are also informed by experiences from other countries in the Asia-Pacific region where various forms of CBNRM have been trialled and often mainstreamed as major government programs.

A conceptual model for CBNRM in PNG and the first outline for these guidelines were presented to a workshop in Port Moresby in May 2013. Following input from the workshop participants the conceptual model and the outline were refined and the guidelines were written. The refined guidelines were discussed at a stakeholder consultation in Madang in June 2013 and the comments and feedback helped to sharpen the focus, clarify many of the issues and fill several important gaps in coverage. This final version was further refined after the Madang workshop and finalized in July 2013.

Among the key lessons that come from experiences in implementing CBNRM across the region is that it needs to be seen in the context of a wider national development agenda. The guidelines make this link with government planning frameworks explicit. It is clear that if CBNRM is adopted as a mainstream approach in PNG there will be a need for reform of associated regulatory frameworks and governance arrangements. This is a challenge for the future.

Yati Bun and Don Gilmour took the lead in writing the chapters and collating the guidelines. They were ably supported by the TNC team of Francis Hurahura, Clement Kipa and Andrew Ingles, who provided comment and feedback throughout the process. Particular thanks are due to Ashley Brooks (TKCP) for his role in critiquing each of the chapters as they were written and providing helpful suggestions for improvement.

Funding for this work was provided by the Government of Australia through Phase 2 of the Responsible Asia Forestry and Trade Program (RAFT1).