The National Research Institute (NRI) of Papua New Guinea is one of the two Pacific institutions forming the European Consortium for Pacific Studies (ECOPAS). It coordinates a work package (WP5) involving a programme of networking and fact-finding primarily based in Papua New Guinea, whose outcomes will be used to make recommendations on strategies for the involvement of state and non-state actors in addressing climate change in the Pacific context.
The NRI is Papua New Guinea’s leading research authority. It was given a government mandate in 1993 to undertake and disseminate quality research into the social, political, economic, legal, educational, environmental and cultural issues of Papua New Guinea and to formulate practical policy solutions. It thus places a strong emphasis on generating and coordinating appropriate research that can inform decision and policy making. For instance, the NRI has developed leading expertise on identifying the key issues that must be addressed by policy makers and NGOs to make Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) carbon-credit initiatives a viable development option in Papua New Guinea.
The NRI has a long record of publishing policy-related research and of liaising with other research institutions, civil society organisations and Provincial governments in Papua New Guinea, as well as with academics and scholars from overseas. Through its role in authorizing research permission, it has extensive contacts with international researchers and a track record of collaborating with them to complement local research expertise. This expertise is in particular focused on landowner and climate change issues.
The NRI employs around 60 people, researchers and support staff, and is situated in a secure, quiet campus adjacent to the University of Papua New Guinea. Its facilities, including the research library, conference centre and visitor accommodation, have recently been renovated and refurbished; a new conference facility with a seating capacity of 300 and conference call facilities has been operational since 2009. The well-stocked library receives a copy of visiting researchers’ publications, houses the collections of books, journals and newspaper archives, and offers quiet study rooms. The NRI also produces a range of publications which include monographs, occasional papers, conference proceedings, discussion papers and policy briefs; these are mostly edited and published using its in-house facilities, with a selected number of publications now being made available on its website.