Unauthorised PNG Carbon Credit Project Widely Criticized

PNG’s climate change tsar and large group of landowners have strenuously objected to proposed forest carbon conservation projects in Papua New Guinea.

The proposed projects are in Kamula Doso in Western Province and April Salumei in East Sepik. The Kamula Doso project is being backed by Australian businessman Kirk Roberts. Mr Roberts came under media scrutiny in 2009 following the issuance of allegedly fake ‘forest-carbon certificates’ from PNG’s climate change office.

The new projects were to be certified by the Community Carbon Biodiversity Alliance (CCBA), an arm of US-based NGO Conservation International.

CCBA’s website called for stakeholder comments on the proposed projects.

Landowners have responded angrily to the project, alleging the fraudulent obtaining of consent from landowners, declaring, “We do not wish to hand over what is rightfully ours to rich white criminals”.

Comments from the head of the PNG Office of Climate Change and Development were equally critical, citing a legal opinion which states, “PNG requires extensive legislation to be passed by the parliament before it can implement any system to commercialise carbon sequestration. Both projects are legally untenable.”

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) was also critical, stating that Matt Leggett raised concerns that communities within the project areas would suffer, as was Sunil Sharma, a scientist previously with Carbon Planet, a firm that went bankrupt following a AUD1 million investment with Nupan.