Carbon Trading Under More Scrutiny

With the controversies surrounding the Office of Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability and subsequent sidelining of the director Dr. Theo Yasause, new information is beginning to unfold.

According to documents obtained by this paper the government has been pre-selling carbon credits for almost four years without any proper legal policy documentation and framework in place.

Among the documents obtained was a certificate with serial numbers A1 to A33 and bearing the signature of former Minister for Trade and Industry, Paul Tiensten who signed on behalf of the Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare on the 26th of July, 2005 with Climate Assist (PNG) Ltd. The certificate holds the common seal of Climate Assist (PNG) Ltd. It is understood the certificate in “A” Series specifies a monetary value of $20m with its maturity date set on the 1st January, 2008 but it is unclear whether actual monies have exchnaged.


Former Prime Minister and current Opposition Leader Sir Mekere Morauta in learning about this this commented “our carbon is being sold yet we don’t have legislations and policy in place.” “It is unbecoming of leaders travelling around the world selling behind our backs. This is a huge corruption.”

According to the Office of the Prime Minister there are also reports of carbon ‘conmen’ selling landowners permits to ‘bag’ carbon from the atmosphere to the Government carbon trading office. It appears that publicity about these actions has been promoted by Governors in several provinces. The reason for the Governors’ discontent is that there was no indication that revenue would accrue to them. According to law, some export-orientated activities direct revenue to provincial administrations. The irregularities, snake-oil salesmen and administrative problems do not bode well for carbon trading in PNG. According to one report, Macquarie Bank has already pulled out of any potential carbon trading in the country, citing a lack of market integrity as the main reason.

Development agencies have something to answer for here. The World Bank actively promoted the idea that carbon credits could be earned and traded in a global emissions trading scheme if deforestation was halted. One World Bank report suggested that revenue from credits could greatly exceed revenue from forestry. The Bank offered to provide seed finance for a fund to support development and trading of credits. A number of national aid agencies chipped in.

But it is abundantly clear that this clever financial engineering is too clever. The EU has said that it does not favour the sale of such large numbers of credits from developing countries into the EU trading scheme. Greenpeace and WWF oppose creation of cheap credits like this, and it is now clear there will not be global agreement on an emissions trading scheme in the near future.


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178 thoughts on “Carbon Trading Under More Scrutiny

  1. This just the tip of the iceberg. Australian company Carbon Planet has just completed a merger. CARBON Planet will merge with Melbourne-based telecommunications investor, m2m Corporation, in a deal expected to create a $117 million, stock market-listed carbon trading company.

    In a presentation to m2m shareholders, Carbon Planet said it had 25 Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) projects in Papua New Guinea expected to generate $1 billion annually, with another eight REDD MOUs in Indonesia.

    “These are firm contracts on paper,” Mr Johnson said. The company said it had only two projects in PNG less than a month ago.

    m2m, incorporating Carbon Planet, will be the first Australian-listed entity providing full services in carbon trading activities, the companies said yesterday.

    25 REDD contracts Already signed in PNG with a value of $1 billion annually!!!

    Someone is lying here – either Carbon Planet (unlikely as they have to answer to ASIC), or the PNG Government.

    Source – Adelaide Advertiser,22606,25815817-5003680,00.html

  2. Thanks for that tip Peter.

    Foreigners and their Papua New Guinean cohorts have enriched themselves enough using PNG’s resources.

    Both parties are telling lies. Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe there is currently NO law as yet to sanction the roll out of the whole REDD thing at a global level. So where does ASIC get its legal basis to recognise and validate Carbon Planet’s assertions?

    This scheme unfortunately appears to be one trick too many for these raskols. I hope the Carbon Planet people with their PNG cohorts are arrested and charged for operating a scam.

  3. Ilya has more info about how Carbon Planet got’s its claws into this market and arranged a monopoly deal.

    Check Cockfighting Carbon Trading Australian Horse Trainer in PNG

    Sounds like Ilya is being forced out for telling the truth?

    Wherever there is a buck to be made in PNG the rogues and scoundrels drop in like flies to suck up whatever they can. How do the local people benefit? It’s happened time and time again.

    What gets me is that this is fools money. Western companies that produce carbon pollution can buy credits in other countries- basically bribes to stop them cutting down forests, so that they can “offset” this against their carbon emissions – that means they can just carry on producing as much carbon pollution as they want without a hefty tax burden. It doesn’t reduce carbon emissions as there is no way of knowing whether the forests would have been cut down or not. So its a gigantic carbon tax avoidance scheme by western industry. Of course now the middle men and rogues have jumped in for a piece of the action, obviously involving kick-backs and bribes to PNG officials.

    If there is to be a carbon offset scheme, shouldn’t it be directly with the people that OWN the forests concerned? Why should ‘brokers’ or Governments get the money? Plus it needs a proper regulatory and governance structure to make sure it is all above board – which isn’t in place yet ANYWHERE in the world, let alone PNG! Makes me sick to the stomach.

  4. Just to keep some perspective here, the vast majority of the money from the REDD projects we are working on in PNG will flow to the landowners themselves. Carbon Planet has not lied, bribed anyone, paid any money to the PNG Government and so on as alleged and implied by a couple of journalists who, themselves, admit they don’t really know what they are talking about. Those allegations are sheer nonsense and, if true would undermine the very credits we are working hard to generate. No-one would by the credits if they were dodgey.

    Peter, to your question about why should brokers be involved? It’s a very difficult thing building a successful REDD project and very few people in the world, let alone in PNG, have the skills, the science, the money and the motivation to put such a project together properly and to get it registered with the VCS, and to then sell those credits in a time of financial uncertainty. We’ve been working on this and other projects for two years, spending our own money to make sure these projects are done properly.

    Carbon Planet is committed to the idea that the people of PNG should be paid properly for the environmental services their forests provide, and that the income from those services should be greater than the income otherwise obtained by tearing those forests up. Don’t believe the ignorant nonsense you read in the popular press. Who is behind those stories ask yourself?

    Peter as you point out, we have to report to ASIC. We are a public company and have to be transparent in our dealings. What would Carbon Planet gain by behaving illegally? Especially when there could be no possible upside in doing so.


    Dave Sag
    Founder and Executive Director
    Carbon Planet Limited.

  5. Hi Dave,

    Thank you so much for joining in the discussion. So how is Carbon Planet dealing with the fact that policies and legislation for carbon sales in PNG have not been passed yet?

    Landowners must definately benefit from this and our environment must definately be protected. But PNG has been so used to being raped for every other resource that we have that most people are alarmed at how quickly things are moving and the lack of transparency.

    So just some questions:

    1. It has been stated that you have 25 carbon contracts from PNG. Where are these from and what economic vehicle are the landowners using to engage with Carbon Planet? (e.g. have they formed companies to help invest that money)

    2. What is Carbon Planets strategic position while the policies and legislation for carbon trading is yet to be approved?

    3. With reports that Carbon Planet will be making estimated annual sales of $1 billion. What percentage of this income is being retained by landowners?

    4. PNG has a long history of landowners receiving money through mining dividends and squandering it. Will Carbon Planet be also educating landowners on how to use their money?

    5. Is there an education component to your carbon trading in PNG and if so how is that conducted?

    The main issue here is that the rules are still murky and the market and the country is still in the dark about the whole carbon trading industry, so it is a very scary situation to hear that a foreign company plans to make billions from carbon trading from our forests when we ourselevs in our own country do not even know who to trust. Not even the government with their behaviour so far.

  6. Hi Emmanuel,

    Happy to contribute.

    Unfortunately I can’t answer most of your question one immediately as there are issues of commercial confidentiality but rest-assured all of the projects we are working on will be highly public, with full details of the areas, the stake-holder consultation that has taken place, and the financial distribution models all being a core part of the project. Under the VCS rules however most of the money must go to the asset owners, ie the people who’s forests are being preserved.

    To your question two, no country in the world has formal REDD rules approved yet and the world is counting on negotiations at Copenhagen this coming December to formalise much of the REDD project rules such that REDD credits will, with some luck and political will, be able to be used in part to meet countries’ national emissions targets. In the meantime there are however organisations like the Voluntary Carbon Standard ( and others who have pushed ahead to define comprehensive mechanisms by which project developers can begin developing REDD style projects that produce credits that can be traded in the voluntary carbon markets, ie to parties that want to reduce emissions but that do not have formal emissions targets imposed upon them.

    To your point three, while there will be billions of dollars in REDD credit sales from these projects, as I said before, most of that money will go to the landowners, not to Carbon Planet. The exact % that goes to land-owners will be outlined in the project documentation which will be a public document. CP is not “making billions” from these deals.

    Your point four is fair and is certainly something that concerns us very much. How the money is disbursed is a large part of the complexity of the project and we are working very hard to make sure it’s right. But until the details are made public it is not appropriate for me to give my opinion on how that should happen.

    As to point 5 – yes absolutely and in fact we have been doing quite a bit of that sort of thing, not just in PNG but all over the work we work hard to educate people about the science behind climate change, the mechanisms by which the world is responding and the changes that must happen to the economy to transition the planet to a fairer, cleaner more universally prosperous world.

    For us it’s a real concern if people think we are just like some evil mining or logging company coming in to exploit the locals; our real intentions are totally opposite to that. I’m not going to just say “trust me” though because I know trust has to be earned, but please at least give us the chance to earn that trust before you write us off as a bunch of corporate carbon colonialists.


    Dave Sag
    Founder and Executive Director
    Carbon Planet Limited

    1. Dear Dave,
      While I salute your generous efforts there are a multitude of issues surrounding any REDD Project in PNG.
      How can you demonstrate, to a cynical world press, that
      1. You have the commercial rights to trade Carbon Credits on behalf of PNG
      2. You have Land Owner support for any such venture
      3. Your projects can be “realized” given that PNG has no policy (yet), and the OCC&CT is embroiled in controversity
      4. There are (apparently) legal issues with your first “trial” Project
      5. The press seem to have new issue every day, obviously becasue PNG is at many levels not behind carbon Trading

  7. Dear Leaonardo,

    Thanks for your excellent questions. Peter too. It’s good to see a blog asking real questions for a change, and I am happy to answer as much as I can.

    When we started working on PNG REDD projects we knew they would attract all sorts of attention from people both supportive and hostile to the projects. Obviously there are vested interested that seek to stop REDD projects because they like, and profit from, the status quo. We also knew that the media, by and large, don’t understand the finer points of either carbon trading, forestry laws, or, quite frankly, working in PNG.

    Your points 1 & 2 are essential parts of the VCS process and the detailed evidence of commercial rights, powers of attorney and stake-holder consent will be a public part of the final project documentation.

    Point 3 is the topic of much confusion. The OCC is what’s called the Designated National Authority in terms of carbon deals, and, by and large it appears that the controversy you refer to has been a result of ignorant reporting rather than any actual misconduct.

    To point 4, we have checked and rechecked and, to our knowledge, there are no legal impediments to any of the projects we are involved in. There’s a lot of gossip, allegations and so forth, with people claiming to have seen documents that claim to show some sort of injunction over the KD area, but those documents are, according to our best advice, meaningless. We, and our project partners would not have invested this much time and money on projects with huge legal questions hanging over them. That makes no sense.

    And point 5, of course a vigourous and well informed media is a vital watchdog on political and corporate activities and I would not wish it to be any other way. Indeed I wish the press had more teeth at times. And I wish they’d learn a bit, or a lot, more about the topic before charging in, rich with ‘good intentions’ for the people of PNG, but spouting off all sorts of nonsense.

    Carbon Trading will benefit the people of PNG immensely. It represents a massive economic shift. People are genuinely sceptical of carbon trading right now because the money is not real for them. When people start to bank real money earned from managing and preserving their traditional forests do you imagine they’ll want to keep hacking them down?


    Dave Sag
    Founder and Executive Director
    Carbon Planet Limited

  8. Thanks Dave, its nice to finally get some answers, I hope that we can see more details in the near future to educate ourselves on the whole carbon industry.

    One of the first things you may have to do is make sure that CP and the PNG Government are saying the same thing both locally and internationally. There are too many inconsistencies in the media as to what our government is telling us here and what CP is releasing in the media internationally.

  9. Emmanual, you are welcome. Alas CP has no control over what gets reported. Even if you compare stories about our recent merger announcement you’ll see some writers say one thing, some say a different thing and most of them get the number confused. It’s amazing since, in that case the whole story was on a press release written down for them.

    It’s been a long time since I believed what I read in the papers or what I see on TV.


    Dave Sag
    Founder and Executive Director
    Carbon Planet Limited

  10. Thanks again Dave.

    In your educating as well, the legal side of things from ‘Incorporated Land Groups’ to ‘Climate Change Conventions’ have to be clear for everyone so that we have a well regulated industry without abuse. I know that this is the governments job, but if you can take a leaf out of the pages of large mining companies here such as Oil Search et al. You will find that in operating in PNG you almost always will have to build the industry with your business prospects at the same time. Especially for a pioneer company such as yours which will need to lead by example.

    The media can and does go wrong, but unfortunately something as important as this needs to be discussed openly like what we are doing right here.

  11. Hi Dav,
    regards to point 3.
    The DNA has a different appointment than OCC as such.

    Hi Emmanuel
    When one goes to the dentist the dentist does not educate the patient on how to perform the procedures, same as a Doctor, who in fact you cannot even understand his or her handwriting.A pilot does not teach the passanger how to fly the plane, the passanger is seated and told to buckle up and shut up and offered a drink.Originating Forest Projects is expensive complicated science and economics.
    I wonder why extreme logging at the present time is not being blogged or have huge media attention. Huge trucks full of logs constantly go through Port Moresby and nobody takes any notice,mention Carbon Trading and everyone is in on the act , because of the poor media looking for quick news sales.
    Unfortunlatly there are so many people in PNG looking for a easy kina and have nothing to do or do not want to do anything other than haverchat or chew.
    I suggest a few more PNG’s should go and get a real job and leave the experts alone.
    thank you
    Richard King – creative thinker

    1. It’s great to see David Sag from Carbon Planet speaking so openly about their work in PNG. Perhaps he should speak to the journalists who have apparently “admitted they don’t really know what they’re talking about” to set the story straight.

      It is interesting as well to be one of the “ignorant” journalists and to see David so keenly write about what great work Carbon Planet is doing because for the past two weeks with little luck I have been trying to speak to their chairman Jim Johnson about a range of issues.

      Carbon Planet has since hired Bench PR to filter all media requests and still they refuse to answer fundamental questions pertinent to the issues at hand.

      Jim Johnson refuses to go on the record. Jim Johnson challenged me to present him with the PNG court injunction for the Kamula Dosa region – as he and his cock-fighting, horse trainer cum carbon trader business associate Kirk Roberts do not believe such an order exists.

      I have sent both parties a copy of the court order and have not heard any response. Nor did Jim Johnson answers the question as to whether they stand by their proposed project.

      I have asked about Carbon Planet‘s relationship with Nupan, the company run by Kirk Roberts, who continues to claim he has the Kamula Doso landowner all signed up and ready to go forward with carbon trading through Carbon Planet.

      I have spoken with the landowner chairman and governor of Western Province Bob Danaya who both said Nupan is not welcome. So I asked Carbon Planet whether they stood by the project and Nupan’s claim they represent the landowners of the region.

      Sadly no response.

      Johnson boasts 25 REDD projects in PNG but they won’t say where they are or who they are with. And as they become a public company they are already making their partner m2m’s share price rise 50 per cent.

      Speak to people in PNG OCC and around the political corridors of PNG and it sounds like all bets are off as an investigation is launched to PNG’s carbon woes.

      Sag’s comment : “by and large it appears that the controversy you refer to has been a result of ignorant reporting rather than any actual misconduct.”

      So Sag knows what happens inside the OCC – how did he get such an insight into the mechanics of a government body? Sag are you saying the investigation will provide no evidence of misconduct? Can you expand on this point and or get in contact with the investigators to protect the innocent from this witch hunt.

      Can he explain why or which PNG law gives the power to the now suspended Dr Theo to one month before officially becoming the OCC director (when he was still the Prime Minister’s chief of staff) to issue a mandate to Nupan to carbon trade?

      Can he explain why Roberts this month writes a letter to Mr. Wisa Susupe, from Kamula Doso: “We confirm that the independent verification process to enable your Project to be formally recognized under the UNFCCC guidelines for REDD Carbon Credits is now well underway”

      Can you provide us all with UNFCCC guidelines for REDD Carbon Credits, along with details of the independent verification process?

      No one doubts carbon trading has the potential to be a great revenue stream but when you have government institutions lacking the capacity to manage resources, various people running around the country making big promises avoiding the tough questions, some who even make threats when you start bringing attention to their practice – it certainly makes those journalists who don’t really know what’s going on sniff out something is not right or needs to be told.

      Maybe Sag can start by saying whether he stands by Carbon Planet’s REDD project in Kamula Doso Because I’ve been asking that question for weeks now and no one at Carbon Planet answers.

  12. Thanks Richard, but a dentist or pilot does not make money from convincing people to participate in complicated financial schemes which have so many grey areas for abuse. Yes it is complicated and yes we are talking about allot of money hence the attention.

    My issues is not so much Carbon Planet and what they are doing. Carbon Planet is doing great things out there, but because they are the ones coming into PNG with the knowledge and the expertise to make the money from their activities I would like to see something like a PNG version of ‘Operation Coolenation‘ being used here.

    Why are so many people ‘without real jobs’ not leaving the experts alone? Because no one in our government is explaining anything properly to us and all we are hearing is how Ministers and OCC officers are signing off on million kina deals which they all seem to be personally involved in for the money.

    Carbon Planet is not the problem, they are the solution. Like the majority of Papua New Guinean’s my family and I personally have traditional rights to acres and acres of forest. So don’t ask me to leave it to the dentist and pilots to just do their job because if and when I want to register my land to participate in carbon trading I do not want some government officer skimming my profits and I would like to trust that Carbon Planet is dealing directly with the markets as opposed to all these middlemen who will be popping up all over the place trying to make a quick buck from landowners who may not fully understand how to get the best deal for themselves.

  13. I am not sure if Dave Sag and Richard King have convinced me on questions on legislation surrounding this issue.

    1. Where do players such as OCC, CP or anyone for that matter get their legal basis to go full speed on this?

    2. How do you know that the overaching legislation that will finally be agreed on will actually support the structures you are currently putting in place? If it doesn’t and you have to start from scratch again, how do you justify the commercial merits of your actions to your shareholders?

    Can I ask you to please get your hands off our forests and do something else for a living until the whole scheme has been agreed on and appropriate legal and business frameworks have been established?

    What’s the rush Sir? We in PNG are not desperate for your services.

  14. It seems that Mr Kirk Roberts is the back bone to the start and present of Carbon Trading in PNG, I did see a PM mandate displayed through AAP website.
    It is common knowledge that many landowners have signed with his company Nupan and I am now told after my investigations that he has a great respect with the people.
    In is also good to hear from our source is that he is very well knowledged regarding the whole Carbon Trading subject.
    Hence is ablity to work out the best path by contracting Carbon Planet.
    It is impressive of his comments in Europe last year regarding land tenure.
    As far as we have worked out the Land owners own their forests, and really do not need any other support other than to allow the origination process to move forward.
    The PNG Government will then receive large amounts of tax revenue and the forest people will be able to develop their villages and the world will be a better place.

  15. Can everyone who has been named take Dave Sag’s lead and come out and tell us about their involvement? Please name specific legislations that give rise to your involvements and how these have been followed.

    Sir Mekere, PNG’s opposition leader, raised the below in our parliament.

    Morauta blows the lid on Climate Change Office corruption

    Mr Speaker,

    Our country has the worlds third largest rain forest. We note and applaud the part Papua New Guinea is playing as a member of the Coalition for Rainforest Nations (CRN), a body set up to encourage the reduction of emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) and to convert forest assets into revenue without timber or other commercial exploitation.

    At the same time, however, we note the paradox between these efforts and the very close connections between the Somare Government and timber companies, as well as the paradox between these efforts and our fiscal regime for forestry, and with logging practices throughout the country. Paradox might, Mr Speaker, be seen to be a polite word for hypocrisy.

    While the Opposition applauds the CRN initiative, we would like the PNG Government to give us more information about the CRN Secretariat whether for example the PNG Government is contributing funds to the Secretariat, or whether any Secretariat staff are in any way connected to commercial transactions that the Government is entering for the sale of carbon credits from tracts of land in Papua New Guinea.

    Of course climate change conferences are popular in 2009, but it would be hard for anyone (apart from perhaps our own Prime Minister) to match the globe-trotting of Kevin Conrad and Co or indeed the theatrics they are performing. Last week at Chatham House in London Mr Conrad attempted to defend what he called “irregularities” in PNG Government actions over REDD.

    Mr Speaker, we note the alarming developments that have recently come to light in relation to premature carbon trading, and the most unusual agreements that the Government appears to be entering with a large number of individuals and companies to represent and trade carbon on our behalf, without proper scrutiny and without regulatory policy or legislation in place.

    On behalf of the Opposition I wish to caution the Prime Minister and his Government and say that we trust that they will ensure that carbon revenue derived in respect of our country will be for the people, not for a few individuals or companies here or abroad.

    I deliberately say “trust”, Mr Speaker, because if we are not careful, cowboys operating behind the scenes, using our name and wearing our cloak, will reap the lions share of carbon revenue. Even Mr Conrad has admitted that, quote, “we had every carbon cowboy in the world descend upon Papua New Guinea and try to get a deal with landowners”.

    Mr Speaker it appears that the Prime Minister and his henchmen, including the Minister for Planning and more recently the Director of the Office of Climate Change, have been hawking these potential assets around the world to all and sundry, including some of Mr Conrads “carbon cowboys”.

    As far back as 2005, long before we had an Office of Climate Change, the PM and one of his kitchen circle were dabbling in carbon trading. On 24th October 2005, Hon Paul Tiensten, then Minister for Trade and Industry wrote to a company called Climate Assist (PNG) Ltd.
    Mr Speaker it absolutely amazes me that a minister of state could sign such a letter as this to anyone. The lack of policy or process reflected in and by the letter is astounding.
    I quote:

    “The Prime Minister has accepted that PNG has carbon credits and they are trad[e]able commodity. The Prime Minister and I have accepted that Climate Assist (PNG) Ltd acts as brokers on behalf of the Independent State of PNG to buy and sell carbon credits.
    The carbon credits have been assigned to Climate Assist (PNG) Ltd through our certificate and monetization that will finance designated projects within PNG.

    Therefore, this letter sets to acknowledge the role of Climate Assist (PNG) Ltd and advise that the Government of the Independent State of PNG unconditionally guarantee[s] all actions undertaken for the monetization of these credits.”

    In the years since 2005 Climate Assist (PNG) has been actively pursuing the deal it struck with Mr Tiensten. It seems that last year, 2008, the PNG Office of Climate Change signed memos with Climate Assist and another company called Earth Sky, whereby these companies would advance $10 million to the Office of Climate Change in return for the rights to sell $500 million carbon offsets, retaining 20% for themselves. Mr Speaker, that 20% is worth $100 million.

    A search of Climate Assist (PNG) Ltd with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) reveals it to be a one dollar company based in Rockhampton with its sole director, Mr Gregory Corby, providing an address in Toowoomba. We wonder what credentials this company has, Mr Speaker, to be appointed as broker for the state by the Prime Minister and Minister Tiensten. We also wonder what connections it might have to associates of the Mirigini kitchen cabinet.

    Recent media reports have revealed that another Australian company, Carbon Planet, last year advanced the Office of Climate Change $1.2 million. This payment was reported by Carbon Planet in its 2008 financial statement to ASIC as quote “advance funding on [PNG] origination projects in the 2009 financial year”, that is, money which will be recouped from profits from PNG carbon trading.

    It is interesting to note that Carbon Planet says that it expects the voluntary carbon market to exceed $20 billion by 2012, just three years away. As with Climate Assist, Mr Speaker, the Opposition wonders what connections Carbon Planet and its Chairman, Mr Jim Johnson have with the Prime Minister or the Prime Ministers associates.

    We also wonder why, when questioned about this payment by an AAP reporter, Mr Johnson would say so defensively (quote): “I am not explaining at all. I am not having this conversation”.
    We wonder what this payment was for, who this payment was made to, and what commitments either the Prime Minister or the Office of Climate Change has given to Carbon Planet in return for this money.

    The three cases I have already cited Mr Speaker are not the only examples of premature carbon trading conducted by the Government. Apparently last year, the Office of Climate Change authorized a Swiss based broker, South Pole Carbon Asset Management, to market 1 million tonnes of avoided carbon dioxide emission per annum from a PNG logging project based in the Sepik, April Salome.

    A close relative of the Prime Minister is involved with yet another company, Pacific Carbon. The media alleges the PMs relative has been urging people in East Sepik to sign away rights to land for trading carbon to this company.

    The Governor for Eastern Highlands brought more anomalies to light at the Regional Conference on Climate Change held in Goroka in May. Hon Mal Kela Smith asked the Director of Climate Change why foreigners were controlling the millions of kina being poured into the Office. He asked why the Offices Advisory Board was demanding a percentage of income raised, rather than having a fixed budget like any other government agency.

    He asked why a company based in the British Virgin Islands, Earth Sky, was being used as an agent, and who the real owners of the secretive Virgin Islands company were. Governor Smith drew attention to the checkered track record of Kevin Conrad in Papua New Guinea, and his close association with both the failed multi million kina POSF housing scheme (where K17 million disappeared, unaccounted for) and the demise of ANGCO, which resulted in PNGBC having to write off 35 million kina.

    Understandably the Governor for Eastern Highlands was concerned about the financial probity of the Office of Climate Change. Taking his lead, the Conference resolved to request the Public Accounts Committee to examine the Climate Change Office and the Auditor General to audit the books of the Office immediately.

    To my knowledge neither action has yet taken place. Not to be outdone by lesser known companies, Macquarie Bank seems to have also entered the arena. Macquarie Bank has been in discussions with the Office of Climate Change, offering to broker carbon trade deals and retain 15% of profits. If the voluntary carbon market turns out to be worth billions of dollars in the next couple of years, as predicted by a number of players, the Banks 15% would be very handsome income indeed.

    And then we have the controversial Kumula Doso concession in Western Province. Despite the ongoing court case over this concession between the Eco Forestry Forum on behalf of landowners and Rimbinan Hijau, it seems that Carbon Planet has hooked up with a company called Nupan PNG Ltd, to trade carbon credits in respect of this land – all sanctioned by the Office of Climate Change. When asked why the Office had issued certificates authorizing such trade, the Directors lame excuse was that the certificates all 39 of them were not real certificates, they were “samples”.

    Mr Speaker, it is obvious that the whole situation in relation to carbon trading in our country is a complete and utter mess. Instead of developing an appropriate policy and legal framework that ensures protection of the interests of landowners and the state, the Prime Minister, Ministers and the staff of the Office of Climate Change have been criss-crossing the globe, appointing “brokers” on who knows what terms, and basically selling peoples and national assets at whim.

    Mr Speaker the Opposition wants to know whether Cabinet has approved all of these schemes. We want to know what the purpose of these so-called advance payments is. We want to know whether these monies were paid to Consolidated Revenue or directly to the Office of Climate Change or its agents.

    If the funds have not been paid to Consolidated Revenue, we want to know how are they being accounted, and what authority the Office of Climate Change has to raise or to spend these funds. Above all, we want to know why the Government is promoting all these deals, when there is no regulatory policy or legislation for carbon trading in Papua New Guinea.

    Thank you Mr Speaker.

    Rt Hon Mekere Morauta, KCMG MP

  16. Dave Sag seems to have good intentions but all talk of ‘commercial confidentiality’ aside there is a definite lack of transparency to his answers. As usual the media makes a handy scapegoat.

    A great big WTF about the $1.2m that was paid to the OCC. Jim Johnson needs to supply answers on this. Right Now.

    It smells like a big fat bribe. If Carbon Planet cannot do business in PNG without corrupting local officials then they need to GTFO.

    1. Mate there was NO payment of $1.2 Million to PNG’s OCC. The Hon Morauta MP’s questions were based on cynical misreporting of the fact that Carbon Planet has invested at least $12. million into project developers in PNG. There have been no improper payments by us, or, to the best of our knowledge, by anyone we have worked with.

      Carbon Planet has published a fact sheet to clarify some of this confusion. See

      Dave Sag
      Founder and Executive Director
      Carbon Planer Limited.

  17. More lies – from the master of deception – Ilya Gridneff

    From his blog above:
    “I have spoken with the landowner chairman and governor of Western Province Bob Danaya who both said Nupan is not welcome.”

    Mr. Wisa Susupe is the chair of Tumu Timbers, who represents the 52 signed and sealed ILG’s

    Then this little beautie – “I have sent both parties a copy of the court order and have not heard any response.”

    More crap – he sent a copy of a Notice to File, which was later thrown out of Court because only the defendants turned up for the hearing!

    Now, Ilya, so answers of your own please:

    1. Are you aware that the Governor you so proudly write about paid K500 to a local (you know his name) to file this complaint as a means to frustrate the Project?
    2. And is it true that the Process Server has not been paid for serving the documents?
    3. And is it true that the Governor’s own people have turned on him because he bought a very expensive building with their money and lied about the price, personally pocketing over half the millions wasted on the building?
    4. And, most importantly of all, did not this very same Governor just try (this past week) to have his family file four bogus ILG’s in an attempt to have them attached to the Project as a condition of his approval?

    Ilya, you play in the real world, and the people and the truth will always win out. Cheap, nasty, negative blogging (oh! I forgot, AAP sacked you for all the bullshit you have been writing) might make you feel great, but the bottom line is once read, soon forgotten.

    Whereas the forests of PNG with – a lot of help from their friends – will grow on forever.
    You can bet the Planet on it.

  18. Guys STOP PRESS and answer this one simple question for me before you start tearing each other apart.


    If none, then all you foreigners have colluded with CORRUPT PNG officials to undermine PNG’s governance systems by second guessing legislation and pre-empting the process by coming up with stupid business plans and schemes that have no legal basis. In the absence of legislation, the whole thing is a SCAM and must stop. NOW!

    I hear one soul carrying on about this bullshit in PNG and I’ll smack your sorry arse. Give PNG the chance to sort out our inhouse problems and get the legislative structure right, and we will then roll out the red carpet in due course to the most qualified parties to handle it for us.

  19. It’s great so see so much discussion on this topic. Leaonardo, I don’t know who you are but nice one. You saved me from some tiresome responses. Ilya you keep going on about how Jim won’t get back to you but are you surprised. You were, after all, very rude to him and you’ve certainly not shown yourself to be interested in fairly reporting on our work. Just because you ask a question does not mean we have to answer it mate. Most of the answers you seek either are, or will be a matter of public record anyway.

    The truth is there are all manner of forces in PNG using Ilya and other journalists, as well as other means to throw roadblocks in front of REDD projects.

    In answer to Anada Dave’s question, “What’s the rush Sir? We in PNG are not desperate for your services.”

    Every minute of every day an area of rainforest the size of a standard soccer field is destroyed. Deforestation accounts for nearly 20% of all greenhouse gas emissions. Many people who work in logging camps are kept in virtual slavery and sexual predation and systemic violence are routine in such camps. Delays to these project cost lives, money and the health of the planet. Every month of delay means more lives lost, more forests removed, species wiped out, and more environmental harm to clean up later. It takes a new forest 100 years to capture back the CO2 from an existing forest.

    You may not be desperate for our services but plenty of people are.

    Finally, Forest Troll, many of the statements in Sir Mekere’s speech were simply based on Ilya’s reporting and he is not to be blamed for being confused. Ilya simply took a line out of our public financial documents that stated, accurately, that we have invested AUD $1.2 Million in projects in PNG. But then he somehow turned that into a bizarre claim that we had given the OCC $1.2 million. Why we would do such a think is never addressed of course. Of course we have invested money in PNG, as have any number of companies, because we believe in PNG, its forests and its people. We have never, ever, paid bribes, back-hand commissions, or any sort of ‘black’ payments to anyone.

    I don’t think Carbon Planet could really be any more transparent about its dealings, especially in light of the fact that, once the projects are formally registered, all of the project details, in the form of formal PDDs (Project Description Documents) will be available for public comment and scrutiny via the VCS. Those documents go into a huge amount of detail about the project areas, legal basis for the projects, the evidence of landowner consent, approval from government, the lot. If you are interested, go check out the PDDs of some of the other projects on the VCS website and see for yourself the sort of detail they require.

    Dave Sag
    Founder and Executive Director
    Carbon Planet Limited

  20. Anada Dave: PNG is a ratifying nation of the Kyoto Protocol and is not required to establish it’s own emissions trading scheme or anything like that in order that its citizens convert forestry projects into REDD projects.

    It is a requirement of the VCS that we demonstrate national approval of the project through through PNG’s Office of Climate Change and Environmental Services (OCCES) which is the Designated National Authority (DNA) for carbon projects in PNG. We must also demonstrate that the 50+ Incorporated Landowner Groups (ILGs) genuinely desire that the project go ahead.

    In terms of our legal authority to operate, the laws we cite specifically in the Kamula Dosa PDD are:
    * The Fairness of Transaction Act 1993
    * The Companies Act 1997
    * The Investment Promotions Act 1992
    * The Land Act (Customary Land Ownership) 1974

    Dave Sag
    Founder and Executive Director
    Carbon Planet Limited

  21. Thank you Dave Sag for the answers.

    I note that the last of those local Acts which you sighted as your legal authority was enacted in 1997. Those are fine but none of them relates specifically to REDD.

    I note you alluding to PNG as a signatory to the Kyoto Protocol, but I thought Kyoto just established a broad understanding on how climate change issues should be handled. The specifics should hopefully materialise in Copenhagen or some other forum. Without knowing what those specifics are, I do not take any comfort in that response at all.

    With regards to all the rush, PNG does not give two shoes on whether some soul out there is desparate to save the world. We (PNG + the rest of the developing world) have been unfair victims of the greed of industrialised nations disguised as “progress”. So if the world must now perish, let us all die. Who cares!

    We have been used time and again and now you lot come crying to us to save the planet. Well that’s not our responsibility, Sir.

    1. I seem to like your point here. In agreement, like me, I think your thoughts are patriotic rather RADICAL. I wonder why CP and those quick to grab carbon trade opportunities, do not understand your arguments, which is perfectly plain as clear sky, “specific Carbon Trading regulations” in conjunction with existing PNG Acts needs to be established. And this has to conform to statutes by World body on Carbon Trade.

      The last thing I would want to do is keep bedding the goddamn Australians from colonial days. There is no country in the world with such a thing & invention of boomerang let alone AUSTRALIA. I own the forest, I get 100% of the deal, not 2% boomeranging to CP, even 0.1% is too big a percentage.

      Get your bitching jelly hands off my forest. PNG makes its own laws & does the deals itself. You great covetous arrogant rascals can divert your AusAID funds into your back yard and start planting trees in the desert!!!

      1. Thankyou Kefu Peg.

        My arguments can never be plain enough. People are simply fogging the issue to try and divert attention.

        Australians get great satisfaction out of patronising Papua New Guinea and treat us like second class citizens in our own country. They continue to suck every living blood out of this country and then turn around and shut us up with their boomerang aid.

        Well this nonsense will STOP and if it takes this issue to STOP it, then be it.

      2. REDD is a discription of a process.
        A complex process to take a Forest to a format such as REDD then to convert that process to earnings as Carbon Credits.
        Ever wondered Kafu Peg why so many business fail in PNG or maybe why povety is so common.
        Why people earn from 1 kina to 4 kina an hour but yet 50 kina would not feed 2 people or put more than a quarter of tank of fuel in the car.
        Have you ever bothered to notice how many people actually know what 50 Kina is really worth.
        In the real world you will never get 100% of deal because you cannot afford it all have the intelligence to create a deal worth 100%.
        Carbon Trading Regulations are adopted and inforced by the buyer through a complex process.
        Have you a buyer that will entertain you at your 100%???
        If you think it could happen after UNFCCC compliance then you are more stupid than thought.
        It would nearly be fair to say that PNG is sucking larger amounts from Australia and who ever else it can grab , but the gravey train is slowing right down.Example to bring a litre of gas to the market place in PNG has now a larger cost, the profit has become slight, as all commodoties, Enviromental regulations and commercial footprints will even push the costs to produce even higher. What happens now???
        A good question for you, what percentage would your 100% be a 100% of??? if you thought you would receive 100% for your forest.
        The forests are induvidully owned by the various land groups, each Forest area will be awarded through ‘carbon accountng’ on its own merits.
        It makes good sence the comment, regarding that Australia stops its Aus aid and plants trees in its own back yard.

      3. greenie cap,

        if REDD is a complex process, then why are people like CP completely jumping the whole process to sign deals with forest owners in PNG in the absence of a local legal framework? it’s either plain stupidity or a deliberate and illegal circumvention and corruption of the whole process.

        png is yet to establish a legal framework in our country to guide the governance of carbon trading. doesn’t the establishment of the governance structure form part of the ‘complex’ process which you alluded to?

        take your distasteful australian arrogance and go home! png is no longer your stomping grounds.

  22. Dave Sag: “If you are interested, go check out the PDDs of some of the other projects on the VCS website and see for yourself the sort of detail they require.”

    Roger that. Masalai are you able to assist? I am not sure of the web address and feel you could do it more justice anyway.

    1. I am sorry greenie cap australian, you’re thinking like your forefathers. So you think I don’t understand the complexities of such new commodity as trading of Co2 gas. Something that works in complex proximity measurement, whatever.

      I understand perfectly well the costs of living in my country, what is required for costs of goods & service. I also know that trading Co2 gas will have to be structured in such manner befitting of it to enable intended aim and prudent management.

      What I don’t understand is some covetous Australian with sticky fingers like their mamas coming to do the deal in my country. Cut the deal for me, WHY?! How do I know what are my rights, what regulations are there to guide this whole thing, do I have any input in the draft of such legislation? How are my concerns taken on board?

      greenie cap, you can swallow your sick covetous greed and divert your AusAid funds into your dusty desert. Sick to the guts of bully boomerang tactics. Australians are not the only ones with brains…goodness sake!!!

  23. Leonardo I suspect is Kirk roberts, who made a similar ridiculous abusive statement to REDD monitor and was subsequently taken down.

    for the record I am not sacked but certainly need a break from all this time wasting.

    “the injunctions are in place until the proceedings are finalised

    for the time being nothing is happening in those proceedings because RH and the PNGFA have appealed and the Application for Leave to Appeal is being heard on 6 August. ”

    Krik, I think you are in a bit of trouble making such allegations in a public forum against the governor of the western province. There are documents contrary to your claims about the board of Tumu Timbers and doesn’t the landowner mess highlight how precarious the situation is- who would invest in a project where it is not clear who is in control of the commodity?

    Also Sag at no point did I report the 1.2 went to the OCC – I know where it went. Please stop misrepresenting my work and suggesting I am involed in a conspiracty to block your deals. Here is a link to the story.

    Not sure where Kirk is getting his legal information from. Anyway it is pointless pointing out all these pieces of misinformation.

    From the court order – Kirk thinks does not exist…

    “That pursuant to Order 14 Rule 10 of the National Court Rules and Section 155(4) of the Constitution, Dr Theo Yasause and all other officers and employees of the Office of Climate Change and Carbon Trade (as set up under the auspices of the Dept of Prime Minister and NEC) are restrained from dealing with the Timber Rights and/or Carbon Credits of Kamula Doso pending the determination of this Judicial Review”

    ok well I am not going to contribute any more – all a bit too silly really.

  24. Dear All, thank you very much for all your contributions, we could perhaps do without the personal attacks, but thanks for all the contributions which have been very helpful. There are obvioulsy some major misunderstandings and misrepresentations going on but vigorous discussions are welcome and needed. Ilya may or may not be getting his facts right but I am thankful for his reporting which has sparked this very discussion we are havig right now. The general public in PNG, who the majority of are landowners, would have not known what was happening if he had not reported the issues be they good or bad.

    The legalities are still worrying to me though and as Anada Dave has pointed out we really need to get our Designated National Authority in order first before we can move forward. Like any industry the regulators need to be in shape for a level playing field to develop and all that depends on government policy and legislation which still has not been fully developed. But thank you Dave for giving us some important insights into what is happening.

    In the meantime I think I’ll take on Forest Troll’s suggestion and look into the PDD’s. I’ve also just signed up with Carbon Planet’s website so will be educating myself some more to see what could be useful for educating myself and fellow Papua New Guineans while we wait on proper trading to commence which I imagine is not too far away judging by the noise.

  25. Could I also suggest you look up PNG Corporations Law, and check out the status of Incorporated Land Groups

  26. Greetings from Tumu Timber Development Limited owned by the 52 Incoropated Land Groups ‘Kamula Doso’ of the Western Province of PNG.

    Mathew Kulimbao our Managing Director and myself today rang Ilya Gridneff to ask him why he is writing stories about our business and company. He mentioned so many stupid things, which are a reflection of his stories.

    Ilya asked Mathew if he worked for Kirk Roberts and Mathew replied no I work for Tumu Timber for at least ten years.
    Mathew then said to Ilya that Tumu Timber is a incorporated company registered with IPA, and resolutes its business with IPA. Asked by Ilya regarding a meeting on the 18 of June 2009, that the Board was voted out,we replied that the previous resolution was passed that the acting chairman would be voted out for misconduct on the 6 June 2009.

    Also endorsed that day was agenda 3 that Kirk Roberts ( Nupan) is the companies Exclusive Power of Attorney and we applaud his progress.

    Mentioned by Mathew to Ilya that fraudulently without any quorum the former acting chairman in the office of Micheal Titus lawyers tried to set a motion regarding Tumu Timber. A letter from the real legal board was sent to the PNG law Society for this misconduct and the 52 ILG’s were told of the former acting chairmans criminal actions. Forged signatures from this meeting are with us now and with the Office of Climate Change PNG Forestry Minister and Governor Bob Danaya.

    Ilya was told that PNG Inderpentant Timbers, Eco- Forestry, Ken Mondia, John Daniaya and who ever else have not been given any mandate or authority to act on behalf of the Tumu Timber. Ilya found it hard to listen or even understand the true side to what we think is a very good story, and unfortunlatly he is talking to wrong type of people. He was dumfounded with our sensible conversation that we tried to have with him, but he simply hung up on Mathew after saying he had nothing else to say, very rude person.

    Wisa and Mathew relised after that phone call that this Ilya is confused and really does not know what he is talking about. The conversation was in the presence of the whole Tumu Timber Board and other witnesses.

    Thank you everyone and please leave our Power of Attorney to his job and his contractors in Carbon Planet and all the different identities that are producing the ‘best’ and proper carbon trading project in the world.

    The Board of Directors of Tumu Timbers for’ Kamula Doso’ repersenting the 52 ILG’s.

    1. Dear Mr Susupie,
      thanks for your explanation. I must admit I am still confused. What is troubling me is the minutes of your meeting of Tumu Timbers on November 29th, 2008 say…

      1. the board approves legal actions against an individual for the former acting chairman’s criminal actions. And requests remedial actions for dealings invovling a company called Carbon Pacific.

      2. where you approved Tumu Timbers to work with PISA American Lumber Ltd for carbon trade on the Kamula Doso Forest Concession Area. “PISA American Lumber Ltd is granted all relevant and appropriate authority and power to carry out this initiative”. Another company Independent Timbers and Stevedoring Ltd should begin negotiations on PISA’s involvement.

      3. Resolved to withdraw the “two (2) cases started by [name of previous chairman] against Patrick Pruaitch and Joseph Ng”

      4. “investigate and remedy the unlawful appointment of Nupan (PNG) Trading Corporation Ltd and Kirk William Roberts and the grant of a power of Attorney to Nupan (PNG) Trading Corporation Ltd to develop and commercialise Kamula Doso for carbon trade purposes as set out in a letter dated 30th October 2008 to Dr Theo Yasause..”

      ..”it was unanimously resolved that the said letter of 30th October 2008 is invalid and each act of the directors in signing the said letter is unlawful as tehre was no valid resolution passed at a Board Metting of the Company authorising the said letter or granting any appointment of Nupan (PNG) Trading Corporation and Kirk William Roberts to develop and commercialise Kamula Doso for carbon trade, and authorizing the grant of any Power of Attorney to these entities and person and accordingly the said letter is revoked forthwith and if there exist any legal or other documentation emanating from such invalid letter and unlawful acts of the Directors such as a Letter of Appointment or Power of Attorney then such legal and other documents are revoked forthwith”.

      5. “To investigate, remedy and stop once-and-for-all the … involvement of Mathew Kulimboa with the Company and its interests”

      Curiously, there is also some discussion of an “Appreciation Grant” being requested for the appointment of PISA American Lumbers.

      Perhaps someone with more familiarity with local customs might be able to explain that one?

      “While the board notes the attitude of IT&S with regard to the handing out monies to Landowners when the project has not begun, the Chairman make a request for IT&S for some monies that should represent appreciation for the appointment of PISA American Lumber Ltd”

      I also note that on Tuesday 27th April this year, the Minister for Lands approved Tumu Timber’s application for a Special Agricultural and Business Lease over 790,800 hectares of Kamula Doso.

      It would be instructive to understand how an agricultural lease over the entire region fits in with saving carbon?

      In trying to understand all of this, I can only guess that Tumu Timbers has yet again changed its mind about its representation in carbon trading, and has subsequently decided (for some reason) that actually Mr Roberts is a more attractive representative for Tumu after all.

      It is unsurprisng that there is some level of confusion as to who, precisely, represents Tumu.

      So unless I’m mistaken, the story goes like this… Carbon Pacific was booted out in favour of Nupan, then PISA American Lumber seems to fall into favour over Nupan, then, if this is the latest thing, Nupan seems to be back in favour again? Please forgive me for any misunderstanding, this is quite complicated stuff.

      It would be particularly instructive to know what exactly happened in April of this year to change Tumu’s mind about working with Nupan and Carbon Planet? Is it correct that Mr Roberts took a personal trip to straighten things out? Did he travel with someone from Carbon Planet? What happened?

  27. Thank you Wisa Susupie, if you the landowners are all good and set to go then the rest of the country and the world awaits to see your progress so that we can also learn from your project for all our benefit.

  28. The debate exchanged through this blog has been exceptional information.

    The amount of real data that has started to flow should be treasured
    to all involved.


    PNG is a country with enchantment and a rich enviroment.

    The progress of this developing process for Carbon Trading is becoming a form of International structure to help the world to be responsible and understand.
    Questions are starting to be answered.
    I and my staff are enjoying this blog and where it is heading.

    Richard King — creative brain

  29. To address some mentioned issues,

    The Desiganted National Authority performance and agenda will become reliable when the verification process advances.

    It has become apparent that the Designated Developing Projects (PILOT) for carbon trading will create the way for a supposed policy through the robust process of the VCS and CCBA as ‘the’ benchmark.

    Baseline advancement needs to be explored and discovered for further improvement.

    Legalities reference is interesting, order 14 Rule 10 section 155(4) of the National Court is pursuant to the OOCC and its Directors and Officers from ‘Dealing’, common ground would then suggest that evidence would need to be sorted that the intention of a contract or the honouable order was or could ever be valid.
    The responce of the Board of Directors for Tumu Timber through this blog states ‘no mandate or authorisation to act’ was given to the planitiffs,further no complaint has been noticed to this office from Tumu Timber that the OOCC or its Directors and officers are under any scurinty from the owners of the forest, corporate law under the act would then be applied. As quoted legal authority then applies(Sag)

    In respect of Anade Dave ‘let us all die. who cares.’ quote not needed or that imput.

    Ilya seems to be on a crusade, but does state some interesting references
    time will prove if they may become facts.
    It is obvious he has a bias on his agenda for Kirk Roberts.

    Richard King — creative brain

  30. Suddenly, we have the real guts of the story unfolding. Well done Tumu Timbers!!! You have a glorious forest, and your Project will possibly be the very first of its type to be formally recognized by the UNFCCC / VCS / CCBA, for which you are to be congratulated. Please keep us posted on your progress.
    Warm regards and thanks,

  31. I’m interested to know how REDD Squirrell managed to insert his blog today in front odf blogs from days agao = perhaps RH owns this site as well as the other trashy REDD site?

    1. Leaonardo there is no conspiracy theory there, REDD Squirrel simply clicked the ‘reply’ link and posted a reply to a comment, rather than posting his comments in the comment box at the bottom of the page.


      Dave Sag
      Founder and Executive Director
      Carbon Planet Limited

  32. I just copied this off a web site, doesn’t this post date and answer any questions asked by REDD Squirrell???

    NuPan (PNG) Trading Corporation Limited
    Mr. Wisa Susupe, July, 2009
    KAMULA DOSO FMA Block 1;2;&3 FMA
    Welcome Sir!
    It is our great pleasure to welcome you and acknowledge your fellow
    Vice Chairman and Directors of Tumu Timbers Development Limited.
    Mr. Billy Toroti – Vice Chairman
    Mr. Walama Painama – Director / Secretary
    Mr. Yamai Umtadie – Director
    Mr. Nodie Imali – Director
    We acknowledge receipt of your Board Minutes confirming our
    appointment, and assure you that we have, on your behalf, and with the
    help of the People of Kamula Doso, now completed all the Corporate,
    Legal, Government, and Social responsibilities required of us as your
    appointed Power of Attorney, and that we will at all times continue to act
    in your best interests.
    We will continue the village consultation process started with your people
    some years ago, and will take our greatest care to represent the interests
    of your people at all times. We confirm that the independent verification
    process to enable your Project to be formally recognized under the
    UNFCCC guidelines for REDD Carbon Credits is now well underway.
    The decision you have all made to preserve your beautiful forests from
    logging and other destructive activities is a brave one, and we salute your
    intention to maintain your Forests in the interests of providing Mother
    Earth with “A breath of fresh air”.
    We salute you and thank you for your trust.
    Yours sincerely,
    Kirk William Roberts
    CEO / Chairman
    Nupan (PNG) Trading Corporation Limited

  33. Some facts and figures on Carbon Planet here from a link on Dave Sags twitter feed:,28124,25838183-5018012,00.html

    “Johnson says the company has exclusive rights over 25 REDD projects in PNG alone which could generate up to $1 billion a year in carbon credits for the project owners.

    Carbon Planet takes a commission of 2-10 per cent, depending on the nature of the projects and the amount of development and project management work. Its CDM projects in Pakistan — which also generate average fees of about 5 per cent — expect to generate credits worth $76m in 2009.”


    2-10% sounds okay to me…

  34. I am Wisa Susupie and I answer the Red Squirrell or any other interested person,

    any person that requires information regarding Tumu Timber Development Limited, ‘Kamula Doso’ or our business are instructed to go to the website

    for and behalf of Tumu Timber Limited ” Kamula Doso”

  35. Heh heh heh.

    So the board of Tumu Timbers has changed its mind yet again as to who has power of attorney over its forest. What a complete mess this deal is. Even when Ecoforestry forum get done with the RH court case it sounds like this forest risks being tied up in legal actions for some time to come with regards to all these Powers of Attorney being handed out and rescinded.

    Presumably what happened in April was that Mr Kirk Roberts was able to offer a slightly larger appreciation grant to the board of Tumu Timbers. And maybe a slightly larger per diem on overnight stays in Port Moresby.

    Mr Roberts seems to be an expert at appreciation grants, particularly when it comes to government ministers.

  36. Thank you Emmanuel for pointing us there.

    I still maintain that anyone who is dealing in REDD in the absence of an enabling legal authority in PNG is undermining my country’s governance systems. For that reason alone, I will NOT apologise to anyone for some of the language I have used.

    Foreginers please stay away and let us develop our legal framework around this subject. We will then invite you in (if we need you).

  37. You Anada Dave I am the forest owner we have invited our foreginers to help us.
    Who are you say anthing, and what legal framework for what, I now understand the process of originating for carbon trading.
    I am being taught well.
    We are happy except for people like you.

  38. Thanks for putting up the link, Emmanuel. I think this is a useful discussion.

    Ilya Gridneff asked three questions that Dave Sag hasn’t answered (yet):

    1. Regarding the controversy surrounding the Office of Climate Change, you state, “The OCC is what’s called the Designated National Authority in terms of carbon deals, and, by and large it appears that the controversy you refer to has been a result of ignorant reporting rather than any actual misconduct.” You appear to know what happens inside the OCC – how did you get such an insight into the mechanics of a government body? Are you saying the investigation will provide no evidence of misconduct? Can you expand on this point and/or get in contact with the investigators to protect the innocent from this witch hunt.

    2. Kirk Roberts, who runs Nupan Trading, continues to claim he has the Kamula Doso landowner all signed up and ready to go forward with carbon trading through Carbon Planet. Can you explain why or which PNG law gives the power to the now suspended Dr Theo [Yasause] to one month before officially becoming the OCC director (when he was still the Prime Minister’s chief of staff) to issue a mandate to Nupan to trade in carbon?

    3. Can you explain why Roberts this month writes a letter to Mr. Wisa Susupe, from Kamula Doso: “We confirm that the independent verification process to enable your Project to be formally recognized under the UNFCCC guidelines for REDD Carbon Credits is now well underway.”

    Can you provide us all with UNFCCC guidelines for REDD Carbon Credits along with details of the independent verification process?

  39. Desearia obtener informacion acerca de organizaciones que gestionen bonos de carbono en sudamerica.

  40. クリスは、イリヤのように、あなたはくそかくはんされています。何を書くことについて書かれているときにはすべてクラップことが分かったつもりですか?誰が次の塗抹しようか?

  41. Wisa Susupie I hope you know what you are doing.

    You have your forests and what you do with it with your foreginer friends is up to you. But you do not own ALL of the forests in PNG.

    I equally have my land and forests too and won’t shut up and listen to you or anyone. I know what’s going on in this area and must ask the questions that must be asked.

    I am yet to see a legal framework in this country to sanction carbon trading, and I will not take my people in blindly to sign deals, like you are doing now, that have no legal basis.

    You can become our guinea pig mate. I refuse to.

  42. Hi all,

    I see Chris Lang of REDD Monitor has adapted (for want of a better term) some of the comments on this thread into a sort of ‘interview’ (which has rather confused some people into thinking its an actual interview, but that’s another matter) over at

    Rather than double up I have posted some comments over there in response to recent questions.


    Dave Sag
    Founder and Executive Director
    Carbon Planet Limited

    ps: feel free to follow my tweets at if this topic fascinates you as much as it does me.

    1. Hi Dave,

      Thanks for the link and thanks for the response to the questions on REDD-Monitor.

      I’m sorry to hear that some people are confused and appear to think that what I posted is an interview. Perhaps they should read what I wrote. The article starts with the comment: “A fascinating discussion is going on at ‘the Masalai blog’ about carbon trading in Papua New Guinea” Before the question and answer section, there’s this explanation: “I’ve extracted a series of questions and Sag’s answers from the blog discussion, below. Please visit the Masalai blog for the full discussion.” There are two links back to this blog.

      cheers, Chris

      1. Hi Chris,

        Yep, I know. It’s not me that’s confused. People simply read what they want to read and mostly just confuse themselves. I explained that you have been very clear and upfront. Can’t force people to show common sense though eh 🙂


  43. 竹風、曲がりは、嵐の中でスキンヘッドの厚さは、無知な粉砕。 Confusous求める方が良いと言うと言うとうそをつくよりも学ぶ

  44. Some more news here concerning this discussion:


    PORT MORESBY, Jul 30, 2009 (AsiaPulse via COMTEX) — The pristine forests of Papua New Guinea could be worth billions of dollars a year in carbon trading but potentially lucrative projects are on hold amid court orders and a government investigation.

    One Australian company boasting 25 potential Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) carbon trading projects in PNG appears to be caught up in the crossfire of confusion and red tape.

    And PNG’s special envoy to the United Nations on climate change Kevin Conrad has warned villagers and landowners to beware of the fool’s gold being offered by so-called carbon cowboys acting as middlemen in the emerging carbon trading market.

    Essentially REDD projects are a way for carbon polluters to offset their emissions by paying poorer developing countries like PNG to stop cutting down their forests.

    The projects are voluntary at this stage but may move towards compliance markets similar to those that already exist in the EU after the UN Climate Change summit in Copenhagen at the end of the year.

    But until then Conrad wants to rein-in the “carbon cowboys … confusing forest communities with tall tales of gold trains just around the corner”.

    “Voluntary markets are largely fool’s gold comprising only a minuscule portion, less than one per cent, of global compliance markets,” he said from his New York office.

    “The role of voluntary markets for REDD should largely disappear as the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) REDD mechanisms come into effect over the coming years.”

    Currently PNG has no formal policy or legislation to deal with carbon trading and the government has launched an investigation into the country’s Office of Climate Change (OCC) and its now suspended director Dr Theo Yasause.

    But several companies looking to do carbon deals in PNG say no policies or laws are required to lock in landowners for projects.

    Australian company Carbon Planet, which last week announced a merger with Melbourne-based m2m Corporation Ltd in a deal expected to create a A$117 million (US$95.55 million) public company by the end of the year, says it has 25 potential REDD carbon trading projects in PNG that will generate A$1 billion a year.

    Last year Carbon Planet put A$1.2 million towards projects in PNG associated with a company called Nupan PNG run by Australian Kirk Roberts, a former horse trainer who claims to represent landowners throughout PNG including in the disputed 787,678ha Kamula Doso forest in Western Province.

    Some of the deals linking Carbon Planet and Nupan have been caught up in the investigation into PNG’s OCC and Yasause after he gave Nupan a mandate to trade carbon one month before officially becoming director.

    A court order has also restrained the OCC and Yasause from dealing with timber rights and carbon credits in relation to Kamula Doso pending the outcome of a judicial review.

    “I do not recommend that the new OCC director entertain any voluntary projects at all,” Conrad said.

    Roberts and Carbon Planet have denied any wrongdoing, and on his website Roberts claims no court order exists over Kamula Doso. Carbon Planet’s chairman Jim Johnson is of a similar belief.

    “The documents are simply for a court order for a hearing, they are not an injunction against protection of the forests,” Johnson said in a written statement.

    Three independent law practices and leading environmental NGOs in PNG verified the court order and agreed it prevents any deals in the disputed forest.

    Johnson declined to comment on the hurdles they face with setting up 25 projects in PNG.

    The Kamula Doso forest has been locked in legal battles between logging interests, landowners, PNG government agencies and NGOs since the late 1990s.

    The orders were sought by the PNG Eco-Forestry Forum, which disputes the allocation of logging rights over Kamula Doso to Malaysian logging giant Rimbunan Hijau in a judicial review case that started in 2006.

    Despite this, Nupan’s website displays a letter signed by Roberts and dated July thanking Kamula Doso landowner company Tumu Timber for signing up.

    It states: “We confirm that the independent verification process to enable your project to be formally recognised under the UNFCCC guidelines for REDD Carbon Credits is now well underway.”

    While talks are ongoing at the UN level, there is no agreement nor does the UN support any offsets based on avoided deforestation.

    Roberts did not respond to questions regarding this anomaly.

    In May Kamula Doso landowners took out a full page advert in a PNG weekend newspaper “not supporting” carbon trading.

    Tumu Timbers chairman Abilie Wape said his board betrayed him and pressured him to sign a deal with Nupan.

    “The people do not want carbon trading, we don’t know anything about it and we don’t want to deal with Kirk Roberts,” Wape said.

    “I told them they are wasting their time but they kept pressuring me.”

    But Kamula Doso landowner Wisa Susupie says Wape has been sacked as chairman, while Wape says Susupie has been sacked as a director.

    Western Province governor Bob Danaya said landowners told him Roberts and Nupan employees were not welcome in the region.

    He said it was improper for landowners to be pressured into signing the agreement.

    “Whatever they’ve signed will be challenged in court,” he said.

    Dave Melick from WWF’s PNG office said the mess of landowner disputes, confusion and divisions is spreading throughout PNG.

    “We are hearing of the same problem in other regions like the April Salumei, in the East Sepik Province,” he said.

    “But other fundamental questions remain: Is carbon a commodity that is exported? Who owns the carbon, is it a resource or product?

    “How will companies buying into PNG carbon schemes verify or monitor remote communities and their forests?

    “Can you set up carbon deals without going transparently through the designated national authority?

    “How can you operate carbon deals when the office director is suspended?

    “In PNG where … more than 85 per cent of the people live in rural subsistent farming, issues arise as to whether people will stop farming so they can carbon trade.

    “All these questions and more remain unanswered.

    “Everyone, except probably loggers, want carbon trading to work for the environment and to provide a revenue stream for landowners but at the same time we are worried there is abuse by foreign speculation.

    “This can easily lead to perverse outcomes where frustrated landowners turn against the carbon option after having being spun so many half-truths – Kamula Doso is a good example.”

    (AAP) bl

    1. Greetings to All,

      Firstly I must say the website is surely putting pay to most speculation that has seemed to have fizzled out.

      Interesting to read the conversation on the website regarding Kevin Conrad,
      after investigations we have discovered that Kevin did self appoint his appointment and position and it is also noted that this appointment does not have a instruction or Mandate to PNG for Carbon Trading (REDD).
      Disputes and media comments of such are seemed to be incorrect.
      WWF has its own agenda as past and recent court matters with Landowners would suggest.
      85 % of people living in PNG are not Forest owners ILG’s and 85% do not farm.
      Speculation is produced by the media and its misappropiation of evident information circulated, and it has now come to our attention through this blog, politics has joined in supported by false media coverage.
      Kamula Doso people have given there side of the story to myself and have clearly responded to this blog.
      The carbonowontok website suggests evidence that othe project areas have full support of Kirk Roberts and his direction.
      In all very interesting progress .

      Richard King creative brain

  45. Wape is taking money from anyone.
    Logging companies still pressure my people through Wape.
    52 ILG signed for Carbon Trading including Wape.
    Wape signed agreements to do Carbon Trading because of Board dessions
    Our incorporation Tumu Timber Development Limited makes the dessions as a Board, no 1 man can say anything.
    The people of ‘Kamula Doso’ do not want negative media stories or any government office to make a dession for our incorporation.
    We have been originating our ‘Kamula Doso’ for Carbon Trading for nearly 3 years now, we know we are leading the world through our developer and Power of Attorney in this new business.
    What challenge in any court can they do as is written, what right does any one have to corrupt our Board dessions.

  46. その後、独自の材料を書いてinnaccurateを開始し、ブログやニュース、レポートからのコピーを停止します。このtipic 6分PNGの人々 、彼らの将来の生活に深刻な結果に依存しているrightous

  47. 私たちは多く、多くの年のPNG形式にしており、我々は、その人と話ができるようにする必要があります成功するために学んでいます。これは、人々のすべてのです。このブログでも何も人々についてです。

  48. Mr. Greenie Cap & all you foolish carbon gold rush fools including CP, please read the following two news excerpts. While most countries including Australia are still in the planning & regulatory stage, PNG seems to be conned into riding the waves head on without proper bills & legislation. PNG, Just be careful of “false starters”.There is NO legislation in all the world that provides the framework for a good & workable scheme as yet.
    Australia’s parliament rejected a plan for the world’s most ambitious emissions trade regime as expected last week, bringing the nation closer to a snap election and prolonging financial uncertainty for major emitters. Conservative lawmakers holding the largest block of votes in the Senate joined with Greens and independents to defeat the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme set to start in July, 2011 and aimed at reducing emissions in the biggest per-capita emitter in the developed world. But the government renewed its pledge to push through the scheme before a December UN meeting in Copenhagen. Greens wanted tougher emissions targets, while conservative opponents are divided on the need for a scheme and want it delayed until after Copenhagen, fearing Australia will be disadvantaged if other nations fail to act on climate change (Reuters Aug 2009)

    India has established one of the world’s largest forest-protection funds and plans to set up a regulatory body modeled on the US Environmental Protection Agency in an effort to improve its dismal environmental track record. The move comes even as the country resists firm caps on carbon emissions. The USD 2.5 billion fund will be earmarked for the regeneration and management of forests, which have been identified by researchers as an important means of reducing carbon emissions, said Jairam Ramesh, India’s minister of state for environment and forests. Ramesh reiterated India’s desire to reach a global agreement at the upcoming UN summit in Copenhagen, but said it was ‘unfair’ to blame developing countries for high carbon emissions when rich nations had failed to fulfill their obligations under the Kyoto Protocol. (WSJ, AFP Aug 2009)
    So developed nations think they can shove their mischief down my throat. Get out of my way, you don’t own my free space on the planet, you fucked up, you fix your dung, not me!!! After all its not my doing that caused this chaos, so if you need my help, give me the best deal, a governing legislation to my favour. Otherwise you developed nation should just cut down on use of energy, you people are great polluters on this planet!!!

  49. Can anyone out there tell me where in the world REDD is actually being operated?

    Also here’s an excerpt from a previous post of mine:

    How Will REDD Work in PNG?

    To start off, REDD is still in its infancy and Kevin Conrad and the rest of the world will be in Copenhagen later this year to fine tune its mechanics. In the meantime Acting Executive Director, Leo Tale explained in the Sunday Chronicle, June 21st 2009, that the Office of Climate Change and Environment Sustainability (OCCES) has been considering the possibility of undertaking several pilot projects.

    The Provinces they have been looking at are: East Sepik, Morobe, Oro, western Province, Southern Highlands and West New Britain. However, these locations are yet to be finalised, all except for April Salome in Ambunti Drekikier District and most probably Morobe.

    Mr. Tale explained further that the Land Groups in April Salome, with the support of the Member for Ambunti Drekikier and Minister for Correctional Services have spearheaded a trial carbon sequestration project which is under way. Landowners in Nawae and Kabbum are also organising themselves for a similar project which is being supported by the Governor Hon. Luther Wenge. The National Forest Research Institute and University of PNG will be assisting in the preparation of technical reports for the Morobe project should it go ahead.

    According to the OCCES, REDD projects consist of 3 stages:

    1) Project Initiation: this involves defining projects and assessing whether they are able to participate in specific greenhouse gas abatement schemes. Eligible criteria are established by schemes to ensure the project delivers positive, real and permanent outcomes. If the project is eligible then typically a feasibility analysis is undertaken to determine what the likely environment, social and economic outcomes of the project are likely to be. Project options are discussed between all stakeholders with management or ownership interest in the land.

    2) Project Design and Development (PDD): this involves the actual development of the project. In this stage all stakeholders with ownership and management interest in the actual land are further consulted and included in the formulation of project objectives. Objectives may be explored through a process of land use as planning optimization. These projects are developed through project management and project implementation plans. The PDD assess the project leakage, risks and ongoing monitoring activities. The PDD is submitted for accreditation by relevant scheme or standard.

    3) Project Registration and Sales: this involves the registration and sale of credits that have been accredited through third party accreditation of the project. The key to securitizing the development process is for the PNG Government to “Gazette” the development of the project and its formation steps that sit behind elemental development. The approval must start with the consultative process. When individual land groups (ILGs) are formally signed into the project, the corporation is formed. This fact is then gazetted to enhance the authority of the landowner project with support from the Local Member and Provincial Government. When the local authorities notify the PNG Forest Authority that they do not wish to log, but wish to participate in a REDD carbon project, this activity should then be gazetted to add weight and sanction to it.

    This is then submitted to the Minister for Climate Change for approval and Gazettal. When the PDD and methodology are submitted to the verifiers, this activity is also gazetted to enhance credibility of the project under Voluntary Carbon Standard.

    Are there any REDD Projects being Operated Right Now?

    From what Leo Tale has been telling us in the media, the OCCES has suspended registration of carbon traders who wish to undertake voluntary REDD projects in PNG. He says that this has been done to ensure that the OCCES policy guidelines are developed before proceeding with registrations of carbon traders in readiness of the compliance market.

    He added that for any carbon credits to be issued they must first identify a project site where the forest is under credible threat. So before actual carbon credits are calculated an inventory of the forest types needs to be undertaken and an amount of credits identified before it can be issued to the project developers. Guess that begs the question of what the legal definition of a forest is and its many types, what a ‘credible threat’ is and more importantly what standards we are applying to quantify all this and who are these standards accountable to? “

  50. Thank You Emmanuel is all I can say. Thank God, I have not jumped the gun only to fall prey to some scams. Now I’m wondering whether Carbon Planet et al without legal statutes are scams.

    1. They bloody well are!

      Look at how poor Noah Musingku was conned by some ‘know it all’ westerner to operate a money scam on Bougainville.

    2. From

      This was a tax evasion scheme in the UK and doesn’t mention png. But its interesting that the conmen are getting involved in carbon trading schemes in a big way! Kevin Conrad has recently said it’s time to round up the Carbon Cowboys – this is a start.

      “Authorities in the UK have arrested 7 individuals in a multi-million dollar carbon credit trading fraud case with more possible arrests on the way.

      The scheme involved what is known as a carousel VAT trading scam in which traders purchased carbon credits in areas that were free of the VAT tax (value added tax) and then resold the carbon credits to customers. When they resold these carbon credits they charged unsuspecting consumers the tax, failing of course to ever actually pay that tax and pocketing the tax for themselves instead as a nice little profit totaling over 38 million in funds.

      This is, of course, not the first time this technique has been used as less than honorable traders have imported goods VAT free while inflating the price with a tax that is never paid to the government. It is an old crime that authorities in Europe have combated for years; however, this is the first major case involving the trading of carbon credits.

      The arrests came after officials raided dozens of locations in London and other parts of the UK and is bringing to light the use of carbon credits in organized crime around the world; yet another reason why many opponents of the carbon credit system say this simply does not work and is doing nothing to help our environment.”

  51. Thanks Peter your explanation was informative. A few traders adding a dodgy tax is hardly a reason why a carbon trading scheme is ineffective or unwarranted. There may be other reasons.

    I find the whole debate on the legitamcay or otherwise of a credit trading scheme completely polarised by opinion with little regard to fact. I was at a conference where a guy from INTERPOL was a guest speaker. He basically said that he new very little about the carbon market and when answering a question from the audience about the possibility for organised crime to be involved in the carbon trading industry in the future he replied “I guess it is a possibility”. A few days later it was major news “INTERPOL states organised crime involved in carbon trading”.

    What a load of bullshit passes for news in this space these days. PNG seems up there with the best in terms of peddling misinformation. Can I remind the doubters harping on about policy there is scant legislation regarding the voluntary carbon market anywhere in the world but it does not make it a scam and does not mean there is not a real market with real trades taking place.

  52. DH,

    What is the guarantee that our PNG forest owners (btw, most of whom are semi-llitrate at best, if you don’t know) will not be adversely affected by taking part in the voluntary carbon market without proper legislative guidance?

    We will not allow ourselves to be guinea pigs, the sacrificial lambs, the testing grounds, for this thing. Go do it elsewhere, learn your lessons and come up with a proper framework to govern the mandatory carbon market. Then come back to us and we will happily jump in.

    Whether you like it or not, PNG has enormous potentials to be a major player in this industry. For as long as we keep our forests standing, the opportunities will always be there regardless of when we take them. And we will not jump in blindly.

  53. Why is it so hard for everyone to understand that any and every industry needs proper regulations and a well resourced policing body for that industry to grow effectively.

    This is not a question of whether it is a scam, it is a question of whether we can create a level playing field for an industry to effectively contribute to the socio-economic development of our country.

    If we can get it right for our own PNG interests, then it will automatically take care of the world.

    1. Emmanuel,
      PNG Forest Projects do not require any regulation from the Australian or PNG Government.

      The process is validated through a robust exercise.

      The process is independant to the countries of origin, and is stringent to the buyer’s request.

      There is no scam just constant speculation from media and ‘parts’ of Governments who cannot do their job properly.

      Understand the progress of validation is well under way and will be completed very soon, despite any media Australian Government or PNG Opposition rubbish, the show goes on as the the developer has promised to deliver.

      This blog will be informed immediatly on completition.

      1. Thanks Greenie Cap, business must go on and yes its a ‘voluntary’ process etc but the amount of money involved warrants greater transparency be it enforced by law or by just industry standards.

        Natasha Loder put it quite nicely here, saying that:

        Finally, given that there is a legitimate public interest, we really do need to know what the landowners understand by these deals and what they’ve been told. In medical research a concept that has developed is “informed consent”, it isn’t just enough for a subject to say yes to an experiment or procedure, you have to be able to provide proof that the people who have agreed have sufficient understanding of what they have agreed to.

        I wonder if this might be a useful concept for these environmental deals with local landowners. Here is a standard web definition:

        “Informed consent is a legal procedure to ensure that a patient or client knows all of the risks and costs involved in a treatment. The elements of informed consents include informing the client of the nature of the treatment, possible alternative treatments, and the potential risks and benefits of the treatment. In order for informed consent to be considered valid, the client must be competent and the consent should be given voluntarily”

        In conclusion: More transparency over deals. Where they are being done, what financial arrangements and promises have been made, and what the landowners really understand…

      2. I don’t get it greenie cap.

        How can something be legalised without the force of law? The amounts of money being talked about here warrant a specific law.

      3. robust exercise is the validating process,

        what law is needed to make a Incorporated deed of arrangement.

        How can a Government of public servants make Incorporated laws on a Incorporated business, impossible.
        Think about,,,,, study the PNG act. wake up!!!!!
        Regulation will be the robust exercise that ends with the register,simple.
        Or it could end with the buyer!
        Governments can only persuade and promote the free business for the Incorporations in this case owned by the Forest people.
        Natasha’s comments are mostly stale and cold as the climate were she lives, I personally find her articles some ordinary, and her comments of informed consent comparing with medical or scientific procedure is just annoying without substance no reality.
        examble. a Doctor requires a informed consent for legal and insurance protocols.
        he consults the patient, then prepares to opperate the patient dies for what ever reason.
        The risk now becomes a cost, the question is always raised was it voluntarily for the patient to be opperated with that certain prodedure that failed.
        Certaintly the Doctor does not teach any patient how to perform the opperation.
        The Natasha examble is just another unqualified person trying to jump out of her own box and to any other she can find.
        Transparency in business has its boundries which are limited, obviously Natasha and other commentators here not business people.

      4. Greenie Cap, in regards to your robust exercise.

        “what law is needed to make a Incorporated deed of arrangement. How can a Government of public servants make Incorporated laws on a Incorporated business, impossible. Think about,,,,, study the PNG act. wake up!!!!!”

        A market needs regulation, I am a business person and I know that you need licences for any industry, even just running a registered business requires an incorporating process.

        No the government is not going to sit there and do the actual paperwork for a carbon trading agreement, but what everyone needs to know is that what paperwork and deals you are making are enforceable by law if something goes wrong.

        “Governments can only persuade and promote the free business for the Incorporations in this case owned by the Forest people.”

        Government is not just about promoting ‘free business’ it is and should be largely about enacting and enforcing laws to protect all players in the industry.

        “Natasha’s comments are mostly stale and cold…and her comments of informed consent comparing with medical or scientific procedure is just annoying without substance no reality

        …Certainly the Doctor does not teach any patient how to perform the opperation.

        …Transparency in business has its boundaries which are limited, obviously Natasha and other commentators here not business people.”

        Greenie Cap your arguments suggest that we are saying that the government should be making the carbon trading deals and running the business of carbon trading and getting involved in private company affairs.

        That is not the case. Yes a doctor does not teach a patient how to perform an operation, but a doctor must tell a patient why he is doing the operation and what solution it will be providing for their ailment.

        Even further a doctor has a practicing certificate to govern how they operate and to not only safe guard against malpractice but to protect the whole health system. So this is how the government needs to get involved on the regulatory level not in your everyday business.

        You say Natasha’s comparisons are not based on reality, well maybe you can tell us what we can compare it to because this whole thing is very new and everyone is still learning about the various dynamics that will effect the carbon trading industry for it to actually begin maturing to realise all its promised benefits.

  54. Emmanuel, You did a fantastic job of welcoming guests and probing them to shed more light (educate us) on this. Well done.

    There is certainly complex process involved in all these. At the same token, there are also simple processes we’re accustomed to that these complex issues can (and MUST) hinge on.

    The threads here have broadened the landscape of REDD in PNG.

    Your quotation of Natasha Loder’s piece strikes a familiar chord. Thank you.

    The gun jumping and shrewd engineering into yet another area of PNG’s livelihood should and must never be taken lightly.

    Now this time, the “local supermarket” issue of PNG shall never be allowed to be negotiated in the dark. It’s a serious life matter whatever form it takes for now and into the future.

    I bet, bulk of Papua New Guineans are reading all this.
    We’re no longer cut off from the world. Thanks to free media and the Internet.

  55. No deal with anyone:Yasause
    The National

    THE Office for Climate Change and Environment Sustainability (OCCES) did not receive any advance payment from Carbon Planet in a trade-off for forest areas in PNG, it was stated yesterday.
    Dr Theo Yasause, who was the OCCES executive director until his suspension recently, said they never had any direct dealings with Carbon Planet.
    “Carbon Planet is not registered to do business in PNG.
    “For the media (both international and local) to say they signed 90 projects worth millions of dollars is not true,” he said in a statement.
    “There is no dealings with them (Carbon Planet) with me or OCCES.
    “We have not received any funds from outside to set up the OCCES.
    “The OCCES was set up by the Government and our records show that.”
    He said the OCCES had not assigned any rights to any projects to any forest area or to any clean development mechanism (CDM) project in the country to Carbon Planet.
    Dr Yasause also denied any dealings with Climate Assist or its principal, John Corby.
    “Whatever he purportedly represents is fraudulent and I have filed a complaint with the police.
    “As soon as he arrives here, he will be arrested and charged,”he claimed.
    He added that any deal to sell carbon credits would have to start with the landowners and there was no deal at the moment.
    “Anything that exists is commercial arrangement between landowners and whoever is talking to them at this stage,” Dr Yasause said.

  56. Who is telling the truth here? Carbon Planet revealed payments of $1.2 million to secure REDD agreements and claimed a potential $billion p.a. in value in agreements it already had. This is in their annual report adn published to shareholders of another company in merger talks (see above). Dave Sag and Kirk Roberts have admitted using “fake” carbon certificates to “persuade” landowners to sign up – as reported widely in the Australian and International press. Again you can see copies above. These appear to have been signed by Government officials. Kirk Roberts of Nupan – who has a “colourful” background to say the least – says he is one of the best expats in PNG!

    Now Yasause says there were no agreements and anything signed would be illegal anyway.

    It gets curiouser and curiouser by the minute!

    And here’s todays editorial from The National.

    Let’s get carbon trade right
    The National

    PAPUA New Guinea controls the third largest virgin tropical forest on earth.
    That makes a rich habitat for flora and fauna diversity that would be the envy of many countries of the world where virgin forests have virtually disappeared from irresponsible land use over the centuries.
    And now this huge tracts of untouched virgin forests have the potential to become the richest source of funds through carbon trading, perhaps far more than all the hydrocarbon projects operating in the country combined.
    Not a tree needs to be chopped down for the money. The world’s rich nations and carbon emitting industries will pay to leave our forests untouched into the foreseeable future.
    Some £30 billion are being traded on the London Carbon Exchange at the present time and PNG can receive a fair chunk of that money if it gets its house in order, which at present, is not.
    The Office of Carbon Trade which has been set up to manage the mechanics of carbon trading was done in good faith but the office is not even legally established.
    Its first director, Dr Theo Yasause, has been suspended and now things are hanging in limbo with a caretaker management.
    In the meantime, companies from Australia and PNG – conscious of the potential for carbon trading – are swooping in on ignorant landowners right around the country and are convincing them to sign over their rights to their forests.
    Opposition leader Sir Mekere Morauta has revealed several names of companies which were alleged to be engaged in carbon trading in PNG claiming amounts in the hundreds of millions.
    If this is indeed a fact, we need to know why such operations can be allowed to happen without any legal safeguards in place to protect the legitimate rights of the people.
    Yesterday, this newspaper re-carried a report in the Sydney Morning Herald that an Australian company has been involved in a K276 million scandal involving various landowning groups in the country.
    The story is yet unclear as to what really happened but the indications are that a company calling itself Carbon Planet has, through a PNG intermediary, used mocked up carbon certificates to “encourage” landowners to sign over their rights to their forests.
    The mocked up certificates were signed by Dr Yasause. The documents, which purport to represent a million tonnes of “voluntary carbon credits” issued by the United Nations under the Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation were created by the Office of Climate Change officials to explain the scheme to villagers.
    The chief executive of Carbon Planet, one Dave Sag, reportedly told the Sydney Morning Herald: “Those certificates are worthless. No one who knows anything about carbon would take them in any way seriously.”
    So we ask the question: Why are these people roving the countryside giving out these certificates to our people who are probably clueless as to what is going on?
    Indeed, while the certificates might be “worthless”, we should like to know just how much the people are turning over to these companies and their intermediaries when they accept the useless certificates.
    So if the certificates are worthless, just how much are the owners of forests going to get in the deal, we wonder.
    It may well be a legitimate and lucrative operation which might see our rural people earn some money for their forests and improve their living standards but in the absence of Government policy and proper systems, processes and procedures, the entire thing comes out ill-planned and even a mite suspicious.
    Taken together with the history of this country where our illiterate rural population have always been taken advantage of by fly by night operators and spivs and con artists, we must be doubly cautious.
    As stated earlier carbon trading, particularly with the kind of forests PNG is endowed with, is a billion-kina industry.
    We stand to lose much if we do not organise ourselves and prepare our people well.
    We call on the Government to set up proper mechanisms, possibly with a new ministry and department of carbon credit.
    In their absence, we stand to lose all and our people can be taken advantage of.

    1. Thanks so much Peter for pointing out all the claims and counter claims. It just underscores the fact that attempts at commercialising our carbon potentials so far have been a complete FLOP.

      Everyone including Yasause, Tiensten and the so called cock fighter experts have been running around like headless chooks trying to do stupid little back door deals to get their handsome kickbacks and ‘commissions’.

      Well they’ve got the kickbacks they deserve, haven’t they? Cop the flack and get right out of the way.

      Let’s start again PNG. Let’s start on a clean slate and not let these shady people (both PNG officials and so called investors) play any further part in this industry.

  57. Extract from The Australian article The rush is on for sky money, Sep 5 –

    “Kirk Roberts, a former Australian horse trainer who once ran a Philippines cockfighting business (“it’s the equivalent to pokies in Australia”), has been involved in deals central to the OCC inquiry. “I’m a loveable larrikin,” Roberts says. “I’ve done nothing wrong.”

    His company Nupan went to the world market offering lucrative carbon credits in PNG after locking in local landowners. Hong Kong-based Forest Top and Australian Carbon Planet, which last year earmarked $1.2m for projects in PNG, also participated, with the former set to distribute the carbon credit sale proceeds and the latter to broker the credits and provide technical input to verify them.

    In a round of investor promotions it made a year ago, Carbon Planet announced it “has been awarded five of the first PNG avoided deforestration projects covering 1.5 million hectares of rainforest”. This would comprise 3.24per cent of PNG’s total land area, 5.1 per cent of its forests.

    But the three companies involved in this foray into carbon trading have fallen out, and Betha Somare, Prime Minister Michael Somare’s daughter and spokeswoman, says any such deals struck so far are not valid.

    As excited rumours swept rural PNG about the sit-down money available in return for locking up forests from loggers, the carbon cowboys swept in. These local confidence tricksters have been trawling through rural areas, urging people to register with their fake firms to make millions of kina from trading to developed countries the carbon values embedded in their trees. In Oro province, which contains Kokoda, about 500 villagers paid $500 each to become shareholders, though many remained confused, asking for instance who would pay to transport their burned logs – the raw carbon, as they saw it – to the market in Port Moresby.

    And in East Sepik, Eric Komang, the Prime Minister’s nephew, has approached villagers on behalf of Pacific Carbon Trade to sign land rights away to trade the associated carbon. “

  58. So where did the $1.2 million go that Carbnon Planet said it spent last year in securing carbon REDD contracts in PNG?

    Dept clears Yasause
    The National

    THE Finance Department has cleared Dr Theo Yasause of any wrongdoing as chief executive of the Office of Climate Change and Environment (OCCES).
    In a letter dated July 24 to an investigating committee, acting Finance secretary Chris Kalebo said the OCCES had adhered to all procedures under the Public Finance Management Act in the last six months.
    From the financial statements, it had been established that no significant payments have been received from companies within and abroad.
    All funding budgeted were made available and paid through a trust account operated at Bank South Pacific, Port Moresby, by the Department of Prime Minister and National Executive Council (NEC) for establishment and running of the office, he said in the letter.
    Mr Kalebo said all payments for goods and services followed the procedures stated under the Act and no assets had been disposed.
    Dr Yasause was suspended by the NEC three months ago after allegations over the OCCES finances, recruitment process and carbon trading.
    The investigating committee, chaired by the acting secretary for Personnel Management, John Kali, is understood to have also checked with the central bank, the Prime Ministers Department and concluded that the OCCES did not receive any funds from any entity within or outside of the country.

      1. Hello all,

        Firm probing in PNG has revield that Sag and Roberts did not make those recent admitting statements regarding certificates to the media.
        People you must me careful with the facts and the media.
        A Government and large Companies have agendas that could have been interupted according to my investigations.
        As stated often Nupan and Carbon Planet have been working on orignating and commercialising Carbon Credits for well over 3 years.
        I was given information that 1.2 m is only a small part of the logistic costs the companies have spent.
        Forest owners want Incorporated law on behalf of the Incorporated Land Groups to trade as Incorporations, and then pay company tax to the PNG Government from the profits of Carbon Trading.
        It is now becoming apparent that the ILGs are becoming informed and organised and a proper course of action is appearing.
        Amounts of money either large or small is of good business and need for the country of PNG.
        The media assult on Dr Theo Yasause over the previous months has now unfolded, with as it seems a clean slate, some media are accountable and this witch hunt will now turn around.
        I must say I have been enjoying my time in PNG, getting to the real facts and meeting the real ground roots persons.

        Richard King creative brain

  59. Hi All,

    What a debate we have to have… attempts to setup these projects should never have occurred until the legislation was in place, and a genuine market for the credits existed. Contrary to what is being said, the demand for Voluntary forestry credits is still very small.

    I must state my vested interest before continuing with my rant, as I work in a commercial entity in direct competition with Carbon Planet, while I genuinely hope that Carbon Planet succeeds with these projects, which could be key for future generations, they way they have gone about it may have caused years of damage to Australia’s carbon industry. With all the smoke a mirrors, miscommunications and weird forecasts I think they would do the future generations a favour if they simply closed down. (Remembering that their last Audit showed a $6M in retained losses)

    I have 4 observations I would make that relate to the market for REDD and the question of ethics of CP.

    1. Carbon Planet is attempting to merge with M2M Communications to create a 117Million dollar public entity. (See presentation

    1a. Slide 14 – 25 REDD Projects ($1B per annum contracted to date)
    – 8 REDD Projects ($600M per annum contracted to date)
    – 5 CDM Projects (76M per annum expected in 2009)

    As there is no Mandatory market for these REDD Projects (contracted to date) we must assume that it is Voluntary Carbon Credits under the VCS.

    Considering the voluntary market in 2008 was 705M US$ – see

    Does Carbon Planet think they alone they are going to more than double the demand for Voluntary carbon credits in 2010? If I was an M2M shareholder I would be demanding that I see the contracts before I voted in acceptance of the merger. If Carbon Planet thinks the market will grow to $20Billion by 2012, then the are forecasting a 29 fold increase in the market size over 4 years or a little under 100% growth P.A. for each year compounding, on what basis do they make this claim, or did they come up with this forecast out of thin air.

    2. Another question relating to Carbon Planets ethics is in the Voluntary Carbon Credits they sell for Carbon Neutrality, in a joint submission to the department of climate change regarding the National offset standard it is acknowledge that Greenhouse Friendly companies are using ineffective Carbon Credits for there Carbon Neutral claim (see:

    In the joint submission item 3.
    “Instead, the concept of carbon neutrality must be associated with genuine additional carbon abatement and good environmental outcomes beyond business as usual. Compliance with the CPRS and Australia’s Kyoto obligations clearly does not constitute action beyond business as usual.”

    On the Carbon Planet website under

    “Carbon Planet prefers carbon credits which are additional, that is carbon credits from projects which could not have happened without customers’ purchase of those carbon credits.”

    After going through the Carbon Planet site the only credits I seam to be able to buy are NGAC’s that are accounted for in Australia’s Kyoto obligation and are there for not additional, not what Carbon Planet prefer!

    Yet event thought they claim to be in this for the planet they continue to both sell and use Carbon Credits that they acknowledge are ineffective, my guess is this is a commercial not ethical decision.

    3. My guess is that the shareholders of Carbon Planet wont make a huge amount of money from the Carbon Trading they are looking to do because the legislation is not!, and the numbers they are touting just don’t add up. I would say you would have a greater chance and better odds going to the casino than you would have of these projects actually coming and selling the number they claim to have contracted. (I still could be and very much hope I am wrong)

    But the shareholders of Carbon Planet do stand to make a lot of money from the merger with M2M, and I can’t help to think that most of the numbers being touted are for merger and may not turn out exactly as they have forecast (hence calling it a forecast).

    At least that money might end up in the pocket of some people who care (or at least pretend to) about our planets future.

    4. As Dave says – “Every minute of every day an area of rainforest the size of a standard soccer field is destroyed. Deforestation accounts for nearly 20% of all greenhouse gas emissions”, and this is why you are trying to setup projects even where there is no legislation. While I accept that this might be Daves personal position, you have to ask questions considering, the company has a $6Mil loss, is attempting to merge with a listed company, and has acknowledged that they are selling credits that are not additional. Consider the other possible vested interests and the real reason behind the rush to get these extremely risky and highly unlikely REDD projects through must be brought into question.

    Rob Cawthorne (Emissions Trading consultant)

    1. Hi! Rob

      While I appreciate your right to voice your opinion, I am sure you would agree it is in the best interests of what is a very complex industry that all sides of the debate are heard.

      1) Just because you can’t see how the voluntary market will grow, does not mean that the voluntary market will not grow.

      2) CP has sold retail NGACs for years and, while they are considered a valid offset in Australia, CP will continue to sell them. I agree that under the proposed CPRS, NGACs will cease to be additional but the CPRS is not in force yet, so we work with what we have here in Australia. When the NCOS begins on July 1 next year, and when/if the CPRS come into force, we will sell offsets that qualify under those schemes. Having said that, the consumer retail component of our business is tiny compared to the B2B and wholesale sales business where the credits we sell are more likely to be internationally sourced VERs and CERs. Being a customer-focused organisation, even though we tried to shift away from NGACs last year, our customers were rather vocal in their support for NGACs so we have kept them for now. Also, as far as I know, Carbon Planet is still the only offset provider that actually transfers ownership of the credits we sell and we were the first, and are still one of the only carbon industry specialists to have had our services certified as Greenhouse Friendly by the Australian Government.

      2.a) M2M obviously has had access to a complete set of due-diligence information via our corporate wiki. It is completely ridiculous to suggest a listed company would enter into any such deal with CP without doing appropriate due-diligence.

      3) As far as I know, you are not privy to the financial records of CP and your speculation about our company is without foundation and no more than inaccurate guesswork. It is sloppy journalism to guess – as far as I know, you did not bother to ring CP for accurate information.

      4) As you have a private company, you are not required to publish your financials or be audited. CP is audited twice a year. Our shareholders, investors and other stake-holders have no issues with CP’s financials based on the very detailed due-diligence they have performed on our company.

      Rob, if you genuinely think we are doing something wrong, or illegal, or even unethical, I’d be happy to discuss that in person with you. Since these stories came to a head in the press we’ve had innumerable emails and calls of support from our peers and even our actual competitors in the industry.

      A collaborative approach is needed by all in the industry to ensure accurate and honest reporting and I would appreciate it if you could make the effort to find out fact from fiction when you write about Carbon Planet.


      Dave Sag
      Founder and executive Director
      Carbon Planet Limited

  60. Has anyone thought to asses the carbon pollution that would be/is caused by mining and LNG/OIL projects in PNG? Two new massive LNG projects are about to start (Oilsearch and Interoil), and there are major new gold/copper projects afoot at Yandara, Mt Kare, Nautilus and other places.

    Surely the implementation of a major mine or gas project produces massive carbon pollution – such as the effects of cutting down forests to build plant, the energy needed to fuel massive machines to crush ore and transport slurry and gas. I don’t know much about economics, but someone needs to do some carbon offset economic projections to see what the impact of these projects would be on PNG and the carbon economy. Maybe these can be offset against REDD schemes in PNG to reduce deforestation? I’m not sure how the figures would add up.

    Any comments?

    1. Good observations Peter.

      PNG’s LNG/Mining projects are large by our own standards, but not so when pit againist other projects in the region and around the globe. For example, our 2 LNG projects fade into oblivion when compared against the massive Gorgon LNG project in Australia.

      Other countries’ carbon emissions will, therefore, increase during the time PNG’s emissions will increase. So my intuition tells me that PNG can still commercialise its carbon potentials handsomely even if we have to use some to offset our own emissions.

      In my opinion, the value of our carbon credits can only decline when other countries begin to reduce their level of emissions. Our own emissions will not have a drastic effect on reducing the value of our carbon credits because we have a comparatively low level of emissions than other more industrialised nations.

      That’s just applying a bit of logic. But anyone with hard figures to prove me wrong can do so.

  61. More unanswered questions – from REDD Monitor
    More questions than answers on carbon trading in PNG
    By Chris Lang, 11th September 2009

    Papua New Guinea’s forest carbon trading fiasco is back in the news. The focus is on Kirk Roberts, pictured right, his company Nupan (PNG) Trading Limited and an Australian carbon trading firm, Carbon Planet. “It’s no secret that I am one of the most important foreigners in PNG,” Roberts says. But his opponents have called him “the kingpin of the ‘carbon cowboys’”. Roberts claims to have power of attorney over 90 forest deals. He also claims to be unaware of any disputes with tribal groups, although one tribal representative says he was coerced into signing a Memorandum of Agreement with Nupan.

    Two articles were published in the Sydney Morning Herald on Friday last week (4 September 2009): “I am a top foreigner in Papua New Guinea, says carbon kingpin” and “Australian firm linked to PNG’s $100m carbon trading scandal“. The next day, The Australian published an overview of the whole sorry tale so far: “The rush is on for sky money“. Meanwhile, Carbon Planet has produced a series of questions and answers on its website about its involvement in REDD projects. Two extraordinary videos of a “official hand over ceremony on behalf of the 45,000 people of the East Pangia FMA [forest management area]” have also been posted on Nupan’s website (see below).

    None of this is straight forward. There are many people in the logging industry who would love to see REDD fail so they that could carry on logging. Wari Iamo, the acting head of the Office of Climate Change, has said that the government does not support the sort of Voluntary Carbon Agreements that Nupan is setting up in PNG. He has also noted that in forest areas covered by Forest Management Agreements the timber resources belong to the State. This could be read as an attempt to make sure that any revenue from REDD goes to the State rather than the landowners and companies such as Nupan and Carbon Planet. There’s also the problem that trading the carbon will allow emissions elsewhere to continue – a dangerous distraction, as Friends of the Earth points out.

    But the fact that something is complex means we need more transparency, not less. This post looks at three aspects of carbon trading in PNG:

    1. Free, prior and informed consent
    2. The dodgy REDD “credits”
    3. The money

    In doing so it raises (or repeats) some of the unanswered questions.

    Free, prior and informed consent

    One of the most important aspects is whether landowners in Papua New Guinea are signing the agreements with free, prior and informed consent (FPIC). The principle is crucial to upholding the human rights of Indigenous peoples and local communities. Here’s how Oxfam Australia explains FPIC:

    * Free refers to the general principle of law that consent is not valid if obtained through coercion or manipulation.
    * Prior refers to meaningful, informed consent sought sufficiently in advance of any activities by a company.
    * Informed means that the process must involve consultation and participation by Indigenous peoples with full disclosures of a development activity in accessible and understandable forms to affected peoples and communities.

    Nupan has contracted Carbon Planet “to provide the certification and trading services for its carbon projects in Papua New Guinea,” according to Carbon Planet’s website. In its Corporate Ethics and Social Policy, Carbon Planet states that “Carbon Planet, in consultation and cooperation with Indigenous Peoples, undertake that we will endeavour to adhere with the principles outlined in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples” [emphasis added]. While Carbon Planet should be commended for referring to UN DRIPs, this wording is way too loose. To have any credibility, Carbon Planet must actually comply to the principles in the UN DRIPs, not simply say that it will try to do so. What’s worse is that in its Guiding Principles on Rights of Indigenous Peoples Carbon Planet appears to be looking only at Articles 31-37 of UN DRIPs.

    Unfortunately, it seems that Roberts is being economical with the truth in at least some of his dealings with local people. For example, in a letter from Nupan to the Vice Chairman and Directors of Tumu Timbers Development Limited, regarding forest in Kamula Doso, Roberts states: “We confirm that the independent verification process to enable your Project to be formally recognized under the UNFCCC guidelines for REDD Carbon Credits is now well underway.” But there is as yet no agreement at UN level on REDD. There are no UNFCCC guidelines for REDD Carbon Credits. Roberts declined to reply when REDD-Monitor requested a copy of the UNFCCC guidelines. Here’s the letter from Nupan to Tumu Timbers (pdf file, 24.9KB)

    NuPan (PNG) Trading Corporation Limited

    July, 2009
    Mr. Wisa Susupe,
    KAMULA DOSO FMA Block 1;2;&3 FMA

    Welcome Sir!

    It is our great pleasure to welcome you and acknowledge your fellow
    Vice Chairman and Directors of Tumu Timbers Development Limited.

    Mr. Billy Toroti – Vice Chairman
    Mr. Walama Painama – Director / Secretary
    Mr. Yamai Umtadie – Director
    Mr. Nodie Imali – Director

    We acknowledge receipt of your Board Minutes confirming our appointment, and assure you that we have, on your behalf, and with the help of the People of Kamula Doso, now completed all the Corporate, Legal, Government, and Social responsibilities required of us as your appointed Power of Attorney, and that we will at all times continue to act in your best interests.

    We will continue the village consultation process started with your people some years ago, and will take our greatest care to represent the interests of your people at all times. We confirm that the independent verification process to enable your Project to be formally recognized under the UNFCCC guidelines for REDD Carbon Credits is now well underway.

    The decision you have all made to preserve your beautiful forests from logging and other destructive activities is a brave one, and we salute your intention to maintain your Forests in the interests of providing Mother Earth with “A breath of fresh air”.

    We salute you and thank you for your trust.

    Yours sincerely,
    Kirk William Roberts
    CEO / Chairman
    Nupan (PNG) Trading Corporation Limited

    Roberts refused to discuss how the deals were done when asked by the Sydney Morning Herald:

    ”The whole thing has been checked over by international verifiers,” he said.

    Asked for detail, he said: ”That information will all come out when the projects are complete. I’m not going to talk about verification now.

    ”Why would I do that? It’s not for people to write stories about at the moment.”
    [ . . . ]
    ”They come to me looking to get into carbon trading, not the other way round,” he said. ”I can’t go into any details of how it’s done – this is commercial-in-confidence.”

    When REDD-Monitor asked Dave Sag, co-founder and executive director of Carbon Planet, about the UNFCCC REDD guidelines mentioned in Roberts’ letter, Sag replied: “I can’t speak for Mr Roberts but what I assume he means there is the development of the specific REDD methodology and the PDD [Project Development Document] that documents the KD [Kamula Doso] project is well underway.” Sag neatly avoided answering the question about the UNFCCC REDD guidelines.

    Here are the two videos of the “official hand over ceremony on behalf of the 45,000 people of the East Pangia FMA [forest management area]“:

    During the second video Roberts is asked “So what do you think the people will gain out of carbon trading, long term?” Here’s his response:

    “Most importantly the people will be able to preserve their customs. They’ll be able to be the same that they’ve always been, but still be able to maintain themselves in a better way by utilising the finances that carbon trading will be able to provide, with infrastructure in the villages, hospitals, roads, etc. etc. Managed properly it will definitely be a better place.”

    According to the Sydney Morning Herald, one tribal representative was coerced into signing an agreement with Nupan:

    a tribal representative the Herald spoke to, who cannot be named, said he had been coerced into signing a memorandum of understanding that gave Nupan power of attorney over his land. Initially he refused. ”I didn’t know anything about the certificates, that was my first time in hearing about the certificates,” the tribesman said.

    The tribal representative claimed he eventually signed the memorandum in the face of Nupan’s persistence. ”I couldn’t do anything … So I just went ahead and signed it. Then later I complained to my lawyer.”

    The dodgy REDD “credits”

    Another part of this story is a series of dodgy carbon credits, printed on Office of Climate Change letterheads and signed by the then-head of the OCC, Theo Yasause (who is currently suspended pending an investigation). When asked by the Sydney Morning Herald about these letters, Dave Sag “denied media reports in PNG the certificates were stolen or were intended to mislead.”

    ”Those certificates are worthless. … No one who knows anything about carbon would take them in any way seriously,” Mr Sag said. ”They ended up in Kirk’s hands because they would have been produced as a prop to be taken out and waved in front of people in order to provide some physicality to what is essentially an ephemeral thing.”

    REDD-Monitor has posted some of these REDD “credits” here and here. Questions remain. Why would a “prop” need to be written on OCC letterheaded paper, stamped and signed? If it was only a “prop”, why was it not marked, for example, “sample”? And if it really was a “prop”, why did Yasause feel the need to write again to Nupan in February 2009, stating, “As Designated National Authority, I hereby write to advise you that all correspondences and certificates issued for the development of REDD pilot project in Kumula Doso is hereby withdrawn as of the date of this letter.”?

    Interestingly, on its website, Carbon Planet says something different to what Sag told the Sydney Morning Herald:

    In mid 2008 the Office of Climate Change (who is the Designated National Authority (DNA) who authorises carbon market activities) created a “symbolic REDD credit certificate” as a sample certificate with no commercial value.

    Carbon Planet has had no involvement with them; we understand the certificates were an internal sample produced by the Office of Climate Change not for any commercial use or purpose. The “REDD credit certificates” were not intended as anything but a symbolic reference of a REDD credit certificate.

    So, when is a “symbolic REDD credit certificate” a “prop” and when is it an “internal sample”? And did the villagers who have signed agreements with Roberts also understand that these REDD “credits” were only “symbolic”, a “prop” or an “internal sample”?

    The money

    Another hardly trivial issue is the matter of money. Last year, Carbon Planet invested A$1.2 million in PNG. Here’s how Dave Sag explained this to Tan Copsey, a journalist with China Dialogue, recently:

    “We have invested $1.2 million [Australian dollars, or nearly US$1 million] in Papua New Guinea,” Sag said, “but we haven’t given it to the government. We’ve spent money on everything from plane fares to taxis to local translators to consultants to illustrators. Right now, we also employ a lot of very hard-core scientists who go out into the jungle. These are not armchair scientists; these are real people doing real work, and it is expensive and it is complicated.”

    On its website, Carbon Planet states that the money went to Nupan:

    As at September 7, 2009, Carbon Planet has never paid any monies to the PNG Government. Carbon Planet paid AU$1.2m in project finance to project developer Nupan Trading Corporation (PNG) Limited.

    So where did the money go? A$1.2 million would buy an awful lot of plane tickets and taxi rides. Consultants and scientists tend to be more expensive. But are they employed by Nupan or by Carbon Planet? Who are they? What were they hired to do, exactly? And are any of their reports in the public domain?

    Another question is how much money Carbon Planet might get from all this. According to the Sydney Morning Herald:

    Carbon Planet, which has acquired a publicly listed company, told investors recently it had $100 million in potential REDD projects in PNG. Mr Sag said this figure was ”estimates based on contracts we have in place”.

    But elsewhere, Carbon Planet gives different figures. Natasha Loder, a journalist with The Economist, writes on her blog that she has a business model document produced by Carbon Planet which claims that, “25 REDD Projects have been contracted at $1 billion per annum to date”. The same document also claims that Carbon Planet has contracted eight REDD memoranda of understanding in Indonesia, at $600m per annum. So how much are these various contracts actually worth to Carbon Planet?

    While we’re looking at money, and unanswered questions, the Australian government needs to answer some questions about its Papua New Guinea Australia Forest Carbon Partnership, under which Australia has committed A$3 million to PNG. In addition, Australia has a A$200 million International Forest Carbon Initiative. Penny Wong, Australia’s Minister for Climate Change and Water has so far declined to answer questions about her government’s involvement in carbon trading in PNG.

  62. REDD is only going to work properly if it is implemented at the government level. Plain and simple. Governments will trade credits with each other, then reimburse landowners through incentive programmes or authorized local brokers. You cannot trust any other private program out there to properly distribute credits and funds. A system with no tangible traded “goods” will be highly susceptible to corruption and scams, not to mention be highly motivated by greed and “free money”.

    Treat carbon credits like oil, gas, or any other natural resource. Government needs to step in and regulate first. Local owners just wait. Too many snakes in the grass right now.

    1. Joseph,
      Please are you serious or totally living in a dream.
      How can any Government trade between themselves the credit price will become worth less than a Kina and the people will recieve less than that.
      How much do the resource owners receive for oil or gas now.?
      As soon as any Government trys to take control then the money will disappear.
      I actually feel sorry for you Joseph you poor simple person.

      The PNG Forest owners totally disagree with you.
      and you comments.

      1. Who do you think the private carbon trading companies are going to sell carbon credits to? Governments are the end users, and will be paying entities like Carbon Planet 100 times more for credits what CP is paying land owners.

        Anyways, the entire discussion is moot until someone puts up some hard numbers. How much will be paid to the people for 787,678ha Kamula Doso forest per year? Do the calculation on how much revenue each hectare makes and you will know if you are benefiting or not.

      2. Joseph,

        The real buyers Internationally most certaintly to not want to deal with Governments World Bank or UNFCCC.

        The reason! because it will cost to much and obviously incompandent.

        And most certaintly the Forest Owners do not want to relie on any Government as it is their ‘Incorporated Decissioin’, which is commercial in confidence.

    2. Thanks Joseph and greenie cap for the interesting exchanges here.

      The government may or may not play a direct role in the sale and purchase of carbon credits. But it MUST play its rightful role as the regulator, just as it does for every other industry.

      ONLY the government has the power of law to ensure the rights of all parties involved are protected. Similarly, it has the power of law to appropriately obligate the parties. And it is the ONLY authority anyone of the disatisfied parties can seek redress from if they feel their end of the bargain has not been kept.

      I’m not sure if fancy phrases like ‘commercial in confidence’ is applicable in this industry IN PNG, because you are dealing with a large number of forest owners. Every single member of the clan/tribe has the same RIGHT as their clan leaders to know the full details of how their forests are being commercialised.

      As you can see, our cultural realities on the ground already demand that every transaction in this industry is done in a transparent manner. You have no choice but to forgo ‘commercial in confidence’ or you’ll end up trying to stop tribal fights arising from rumours and innuendos which themselves will arise from not knowing the full facts surrounding the deals at the first place.

      Bypass the government at your own peril!

  63. Hi Dave,

    Thankyou for your response albeit you ignored most of the details in my observations.

    I will follow the same numbering system.

    1. (Dave you say – Just because you can’t see how the voluntary market will grow, does not mean that the voluntary market will not grow).

    Dave, I believe the voluntary market will grow at a very rapid rate, I can not see it reaching nor can I find any credible forecasts that suggest we will be anywhere near 20B by 2012. I also play in this space so don’t get me wrong I very much hope your correct.

    Lets try to repaint the picture; in 2008 the voluntary carbon market was 705 Million US Dollars, when you consider the CP presentation to M2M shareholders it states you have 1.6 Billion per annum contracted to date (1 billion from PNG, and .6 Billion from Indonesia). As there is no compliance market for REDD credits the 1.6 billion per annum must be revenue from voluntary credits.

    Even if we take the CP forecast that gets the Carbon Market to 20B by 2012 then we need apply a factor of 120% growth by multiplying each year by 2.2 times the previous year. The growth curve and your forecast of the market will place the market at 3.4 billion US$ in 2010, as such you are claiming to have 47% of your forecast market for 2010 already contracted.

    My observation, is that this seams all too far fetched, or maybe it is the upper boundary of a forecast produced using the lotto draw.

    2. As one of the directors of CP, I thought you might be better informed about the comments your organisation is making. If you actually read the submission you would realise that CP also refers to the Kyoto target which commenced in 2008. So you acknowledge that you are selling offsets which are not additional to the CPRS, but like CP says in the joint submission, “Compliance with the CPRS and Australia’s Kyoto obligations clearly does not constitute action beyond business as usual.”

    It is important to understand that actions undertaken since 2008 do not go beyond Australia’s Kyoto obligation, with or without the CPRS in place. The CPRS is simply a mechanism to help Australia achieve its Kyoto commitment, the commitment period started in 2008 and ends in 2012, so credits created in any developed nation that has ratified Kyoto can not produce additional credits without adjusting the national inventory.

    A question of ethics – If I can prove that your credits are non additional, will you be willing to show your ethics by destroying all non-additional credits. I wonder if commercial imperatives take priority over the greater good and your desires to tackle climate change.

    2.a) Dave’s your comments “M2M obviously has had access to a complete set of due-diligence information via our corporate wiki. It is completely ridiculous to suggest a listed company would enter into any such deal with CP without doing appropriate due-diligence.”

    So M2M did its due diligence using information selected by CP to be on CP’s Wiki, this is what I would call quality due-diligence (I hope you can sense my sarcasm) very glad I don’t own any stake in M2M, if that is what you call due-diligence.

    3. I only know about your company financials through the press, but questions must be raised when it is reported that your Auditor Gary Savage says ”These circumstances indicate the existence of a material uncertainty which may cast significant doubt about the company’s ability to continue as a going concern…” (,,25712087-5003680,00.html ) a few months latter a whole bunch of figures that seam very far fetched are published to M2M shareholders to convince them of a merger. The timing of the merger, the announcement of the projects and your 1.6 billion contracted to date statements, when your Auditor is suggesting that your balance sheet is so week, that you could be insolvent is extreamly coincidental.

    4. Do your shareholders also do due diligence using your wiki?, and is it a thorough as you were in due diligence in choosing your partners for the PNG project (NUPAN)

    To answer your final comments, I don’t want to get on the phone as no one will get another angle on this issue. We are nothing like CP; we are confidant of our ethics, financials and business practices so we do not need nor want the overhead of being audited twice a year. (I am not typing this to discuss or promote my company hence why the name is not being published albeit if you would like to start a blog or forum I certainly wouldn’t knock back the free publicity)

    As you have said in previous posts “We also knew that the media, by and large, don’t understand the finer points of either carbon trading, forestry laws, or, quite frankly, working in PNG.” But you are well aware that I know carbon trading very well, while I don’t know about forestry or working in PNG, from the way this has panned out nor does CP. This is what is called “Country Risk” and I am sure you have heard it before.

    Wrong or Illegal; I won’t get into that debate, because I am not a lawyer.
    Unethical; in this industry yes absolutely, you sell voluntary credits that you admit you prefer not to, and you contracted sales for projects that had such a massive delivery risk, and you used these “Contracted to date” values to promote a merger while you knew that the country risk meant that the actual delivery of credits was very very remote.

    To determine fact from fiction you need external expertise injected into the debate, and this is why I have done so.

    Dave, I look forward to your response.

    Rob Cawthorne (Emissions Trading Consultant)

      1. Thanks Greenie Cap,

        Unfortunately the market for Voluntary is not growing as expected and the GFC defiantly reduced demand for our services, in spite of this we have still expanded and turned our first profit last financial year. With 14 staff and 2.5 year under our belt from a business perspective we are very happy with what we have achieved so far.

        Our voluntary program resulted in approximately 40000 tonnes of offsets being purchased and surrendered last year being and probably double that was abated through our reduction strategies. With over 160 certified companies and hundreds of products we are proud to be driving action beyond the actions our government is taking.

        As far as real business, it is still difficult to get larger businesses to do anything other than token action, problems like certifying one product rather the range, or wanting to charge the customers for carbon offsets without reducing their own footprint.

        Rather than promote my business on this form, you can read more and find my contact details if you wish at

        Rob Cawthorne

  64. Dave –

    One additional point regarding My statement

    2. A question of ethics – If I can prove that your credits are non additional, will you be willing to show your ethics by destroying all non-additional credits. I wonder if commercial imperatives take priority over the greater good and your desires to tackle climate change.

    If this occurs you will not need to destroy these credits you will simply have to sell them on the appropriate compliance market price of around $5.00 per credit, not the $23.00 you are currently charging.

    By the way it is generally considered best practice to surrender voluntary credits on behalf of a company taking voluntary action, not to transfer the credits as there is a risk they could be sold on again falsifying anyclaim using the credits.

  65. Dear everyone,
    you have no idea how much I’m enjoying this thread!

    Rob thank you for your illuminating questions. One slight question I would raise with the valuation of the voluntary carbon market is that if a deal was done in Copenhagen that included large number of forest carbon offsets in a mandatory market, would the voluntary market then not expand dramatically as people started to trade options to deliver REDD credits as actual credits but at a discount?

    It came as a surprise to me to learn earlier this year that such REDD credits (as options) are already trading on the voluntary market. Might it not be reasonable to expect that a deal at Copenhagen would dramatically increase demand for these kind of credits?

    If that were the case, is it not possible that anyone who has done ‘deals’ with forest landowners in advance of Copenhagen might be able to make a quick exit by selling them on, albeit at a fraction of their ‘worth’. The selling point would be that these credits would eventually be fungible with the mandatory market, although obviously there is a risk there. A sort of pile em’ high sell em’ cheap strategy? Just a thought.

    Kind regards, from London which is both fresh and warm today thank you Mr Greenie cap.

  66. @Rob
    Thank you Rob for giving us another industry players perspective. It pays to shop around in any industry and while most people are waiting for Copenhagen I have been very interested to see how other players have been operating.

    Has anyone seen ‘The Burning Season’ yet and what are your thoughts on it.

    Thanks Natahsa for joining in, I was actually expecting you to join us earlier in the thread but thanks for your input as I am an avid reader of your blog regarding this topic.

    Would you have information on where Voluntary Markets are currently operating?

    Just a thought, could this whole thread be turned into an article of sorts for the Economist?

    Oh and our weather here today is cool and cloudy 🙂

    I know you and Nupan are getting allot of flack at the moment. But on a serious note what stage are you both up to now in regards to your projects?

    Dorjee Sun states that you can only see a true value of carbon credits after you have proven over a 30 year period that you have actually stopped deforestation in your specific forestry area. What are your thoughts on that?

  67. Hi Natasha,

    Unfortunately I am not enjoying this thread as you are; it is an indication of how hard the real battle is going to be. Industry cowboys continue to muddy up the waters with miss information, and governments (particularly ours) are going to look for tricky accounting methods that achieve nothing but make them look good, and REDD is simply one of these mechanisms.

    With the whole of the state NSW (Australia) on a fore ban today, and considering we have just come out of winter, today will be more than 30C. This happened a little latter last year but seams to becoming far more regular, if the low rainfall pattern continues vast amounts of South Eastern Australian forests will disappear over the coming decades.

    As for the market, avoided deforestation accounted for less than 1% of the total Voluntary market in 2008, and simply has no real demand. If I only cared about money I would probably buy some options taking the gamble, but I would only take it up if they became compliance credits. I suspect this is the case for most of the options, but I will need to do some research over the coming weekend.

    Chris Halliwell from TFS would have a very good idea of the real demand, and his comments sum the market up well. They are copied from –

    “In terms of the forecast market demand of voluntary credits, it is by no way even up to the volumes that I’ve seen promoted as imminent from REDD projects,” said Chris Halliwell, a senior emissions broker for TFS Green in Melbourne, Australia. “There seems to be a mark-to-market valuation but not really supply and demand analysis.”

    With regards to REDD itself, I have some questions about REDD that suspect will need to be addressed in Copenhagen, and this is why I don’t believe REDD will ever get accepted.

    1. How does locking up a bit of forest in PNG, stop forestation? – does it somehow reduce the demand for land and wood?

    2. If the Carbon Market is flooded with REDD credits from forests that would not have been chopped down for quite some time what will happen to the carbon price and therefore the cost pressure for polluters to reduce the emissions output?

    3. If we lock up enough forests in REDD projects what will happen to the price of timber, if so how much would this increase illegal logging?

    4. With an increasing world population will the demand for wood, land and particularly food outweigh the need to maintain the carbon store?

    5. How do we argue to a starving family that it is more important to burn coal and use these trees to offset it than it is not to burn the coal in the first place and use this land for food?

    6. Considering that our current carbon accounting method bases climate change impacts on 100 years of global warming potential from that gas existing in the atmosphere. How does the recipient or supplier of a REDD credit insure that that carbon is still stored100 years latter?

    REDD is only an accounting mechanism that will mask the real actions required to genuinely reduce our global emissions output. It will reduce the Carbon price removing pressure off the fossil fuel polluters and while there is other forests to chop down and the same demand exists for wood and land it will save not one tonne of greenhouse gas from being released into our atmosphere.

    Once the non-REDD forests have disappeared further price pressures will occur on the existing REDD forests, including a significant increase in illegal logging. In the future companies and governments, particularly less wealthier nations like of PNG and Indonesia may well choose that it is better to fail Kyoto commitments and take advantage of the valuable wood they now have.

    While we need to save our forests, the only genuine way to do so is to decrease demand for wood products, decrease the demand for land and increase the volume of recycling and plantation timber.

    REDD will ultimately make our climate crisis worse, it will reduce no greenhouse gases and will reduce the financial disincentive to release greenhouse gasses on the heavier polluters.

    These issues are too difficult to overcome, and this is why there is limited voluntary demand as well as low chance of REDD becoming a compliance mechanism. We would never recommend that someone purchases a REDD credit for a voluntary marketing claim, as that claim could be misleading their customers, as no real abatement has occurred.

    Rob Cawthorne

  68. Dear Rob
    the reason this is thrilling for me is that lots of good things are happening. One is that we are getting some kind of transparency and accountability. The other is that we have a really wide range of stakeholders represented here, all discussing the ins and out of REDD. This forum, and others like REDD Monitor, has convinced Dave Sag to be more open about what his company has been doing in Papua New Guinea.

    When I started working on this story around May of this year, I found it very hard to get any answers from Carbon Planet and Nupan. Indeed, after I finally managed to get an interview with Carbon Planet/Nupan, I was then told that they would not speak further with me.

    Now although we don’t have all the answers we want, for example, what is their cut of the deal, how exactly they intend to sell on, and how much money the landowners get under their deal, we have made a lot of progress.

    I’m not an expert in REDD but might I have a go at answering some of your questions?

    1. How does locking up a bit of forest in PNG, stop forestation? – does it somehow reduce the demand for land and wood?

    – No, which is why a number of other things are part and parcel of REDD. If a country is not deemed able to be able to have a national baseline which it aims to reduce–because it is not capable of working at a national scale, then you work at the project level but within a national baseline. In other words, say you protect Kamula Doso but your national baseline for deforestation doesn’t go down because the deforestation leaks somewhere else, then you don’t get any credits at all.

    -That is why it is necessary to have a bunch of other plans alongside of your national REDD strategy in order for it to work, such as 1. low carbon development plan 2. ways to increase agricultural productivity (which reduce demand for land) 3. plans for social improvement and anything else that will address the drivers of deforestation. Of course this all has to fit in with national legislation that governs the market.

    -The thing about incentive payments is that they are necessary but not sufficient. You have to have them to provide an incentive to landowners not to cut. This is a breakthrough idea and is what makes REDD different from previous international plans to slow down deforestation which have largely been ineffective globally as htey have involved tiny amounts of aid ffunding in exchange for a few forestry laws that are ignored.

    2. If the Carbon Market is flooded with REDD credits from forests that would not have been chopped down for quite some time what will happen to the carbon price and therefore the cost pressure for polluters to reduce the emissions output?

    -The carbon market will not be flooded with REDD credits. Because I am told that the REDD will be scaled according to demand. If we get strong cuts at Copenhagen then much of these cuts will be delivered by REDD. IN other words the size of the carbon market will be increased at the same time as the supply is increased. This is a market created for a policy purpose and there is nothing like it among global markets. It is generated by policy for a particular outcome, so the carbon price is therefore manipulated by global and national policy.

    3. If we lock up enough forests in REDD projects what will happen to the price of timber, if so how much would this increase illegal logging?

    -Price: Good question. Don’t have a good answer for this. It is reasonable to assume that the price will go up. It is something that people talk about called ‘feedback’. The reason this is a concern to REDD is that teh payments to landowners need to provide an incentive not to cut. If the price of timber goes up, then the price of the incentive necessary may increase. The reason that price is difficult to judge is it also depends on the alternatives. Timber is used for construction and furniture. It may be that alternative materials would become economic to use. There are a couple of new technologies that are able to turn softwood into hardwood through chemical processes, so it may be that the demand for wood can be met through sustainable forestry programmes in other parts of the world.

    Illegal logging: If REDD works then illegal logging will be reduced. Simply because there is a financial value in keeping the trees standing will motivate a lot of people to make sure that they do. But illegal logging may well be the hardest part of the issue to deal with, so I think there is a concern.

    I’m going to omit 4 & 5 on the grounds that these are beyond the scope of the discussion we are having and above my pay grade. 😉

    6. Considering that our current carbon accounting method bases climate change impacts on 100 years of global warming potential from that gas existing in the atmosphere. How does the recipient or supplier of a REDD credit insure that that carbon is still stored100 years latter?

    -Well credits are created just by having the forest standing, because carbon is locked up every year, so standing forest creates carbon offsets year on year which can be verified. Of course if the entire forest burns down, it creates a lot of carbon. (Its the same problem as coal in that you don’t know down the line whether someone will decide to burn more coal.)

    One idea is that you would deal with this by having some kind of pooled insurance risk. So someone would take a cut of the credit according to the fire risk in the country (or region), and this would be pooled to create an inurance fund that would pay out in the case that hte forest burnt down. I’m not sure what happens then though! I guess the point is that if you expect 15% of your forest to burn down in a ten or twenty year period, then your credits will sell at a 15% discount. This would then motivate forest owners to reduce the rate of fire loss, in order to try and recoup those credits later down the line. I realise this is not a complete answer to your question. But it does answer part of it.

    REDD is only an accounting mechanism that will mask the real actions required to genuinely reduce our global emissions output.

    – Its a way of quickly reducing global emissions becuase everything else is hard or expensive like efficiency or windmills in the short term. Plus, if we don’t get any cuts then we won’t get any REDD mandatory market so the question of whether it is ‘just an accounting mechanism’ doesn’t seem as relevent. And there are huge benefits to keeping forests beyond the carbon stored.

    – There are lots of questions about how REDD will work and I suppose my greatest fear is what the negotiators will agree to in Denmark in order to get a deal done. But there is an enormous amount of care and attention being paid to all of the questions that you ask. I think more broadly if there are issues about how it might work, organisations like CIFOR (they have a very good book on REDD), or IIED, or the Rainforest Alliance might be able to shed light on how REDD might work in practice because lots of people are working this stuff out.

    – What is clear is that the drivers of deforestation are different in *every* country, so the national REDD plan will vary but absolutely must address those drivers. The real problem comes when those drivers are external international forces such as the demand for palm oil, soya or beef. There are a number of ideas for addressing these. My greatest concern is Indonesia. The vast returns possible from palm oil make REDD a tough sell. But if consumers do start to wake up to the forest killing properties of their soaps and margerines, there is a strong possibility that change could happen. There are also projects like this, which aim to increase the institutional risk of doing business in a way that leads to rainforest destruction.

    – Making incentive payments to landowners, is really just a small part of the plan. When you try to find some high ground to figure out what REDD is, it turns out that it sort of involves everything.


  69. Looks like the National Alliance and its gang of cowboys have much to answer


    Papua New Guinea’s suspicious carbon trading deals

    By Ilya Gridneff of AAP

    A Papua New Guinea governing party power broker was paid 200,000 kina ($A85,000), ultimately funded by Australian environment firm Carbon Planet, for “consultation” on carbon trading deals central to a pending investigation.

    Koo Management managing director James Kond at a recent Melpa Lutheran Women’s Group launch at Dobel, Mount Hagen, WHP, PNG. Picture by Mal Taime.

    James Kond, PNG’s ruling National Alliance (NA) party vice-president, received the money on May 14, 2008, as part of Carbon Planet’s $1.1 million spend with companies in PNG for carbon projects they predict are worth a billion dollars a year.

    Documents obtained by AAP show Carbon Planet’s money went through Hong Kong-based company Forest Top, that then paid a number of entities including Australian businessman Kirk Roberts and his PNG company Nupan and its local facilitator Kond.

    On April 16, 2008, Kond signed a memorandum of agreement with Forest Top, Roberts and Nupan assuring his work would earn him “10 per cent of the net cash flow generated from carbon credit sales”.

    Kond’s Western Highlands Province-based business Koo management was: “to liaise with and advise the PNG government” on Nupan’s deals that Carbon Planet would then broker for the global voluntary carbon market.

    Kond stands by the deal and says there was no conflict of interest.“It is a confidential business arrangement and none of your business about the way we do business,” he said. “I’ve been deputy NA leader for 10 years and doing my part to improve PNG and to help policy (and) there is no need for these investigations.

    “I have not dealt with Carbon Planet, I invited Kirk (Roberts) to PNG and receive money from Nupan as their country representative.” Adelaide-based Carbon Planet declined to respond to questions.Kond’s other Nupan responsibilities included: “to bring together all of the parties and other persons required to achieve the commercialisation of the carbon credits from the specific present and future projects in PNG”.
    In a series of letters obtained by AAP, Kond writes to Roberts on December 28, 2007, suggesting PNG’s Kamula Doso forest in Western Province and April Salome forest in East Sepik as potentially lucrative future carbon trading sites.
    “I will personally be there to assist you to secure endorsement of these projects for carbon trading from the PNG government as I am part of the PM Somare government through being an executive member of the NA ruling party that has direct influence on shaping government policy,” he writes.

    In February, 2008, Kond urges PNG Prime Minister Michael Somare to meet him and experts from Australia. “I am delighted to inform you we have already secured two projects for this carbon trading program,” he said.

    “I am now seeking a formal appointment … to brief you on this matter.”Somare’s media spokesperson Betha Somare, who has seen the letters, said: “The PM has never met Kirk Roberts or his associates”.

    AAP understands PM Somare’s then chief of staff Theo Yasause met Roberts and also met several members of Carbon Planet. Yasause later became PNG’s Office of Climate Change (OCC) director but was suspended pending an investigation that includes why the office went bankrupt in less than a year of operating.

    Kirk Roberts (center) at the signing of a forestry agreement in Mt Hagen, Western Highlands Province
    The investigation will also delve into a series of “sample” carbon trade documents Yasause signed as OCC director as well as a mandate to assure international carbon deals. Acting OCC director Wari Iamo in a newspaper advertisement on August 31 said PNG was waiting for United Nations endorsed carbon trading rules, expected after the Copenhagen climate summit in December.

    “Carbon trading agreements cannot be legally signed over these (PNG) lands until the government has put in place an appropriate policy and legal framework,” he said.
    Carbon Planet in July announced a merger with Australian publicly listed company m2m Group, saying they had 25 potential carbon trading projects in PNG that could generate $1 billion a year.

    But Carbon Planet has not said where their PNG projects are, what the landowners benefits are, nor do they recognise that the 800,000-hectare Kamula Doso forest is subject to a court injunction on projects.

    Carbon Planet’s merger with m2m is “continuing with some delay arising from the complicated and novel circumstances of this emerging industry,” m2m said in a statement.It always saddens me when the guys in government have the upper hand to manipulate the system and sign deals that suits their interests

    1. Our investigations have discovered that,

      Ilya Gridneff is writing incorrect stories by use of information of a ex-employee of Roberts during court proccedings.
      Quote’1.2million given to Dr Theo Yasasue or OOCC– “incorrect” as investigated by the NEC of PNG.
      a fraudulent statement.
      As it was explained that there is on going court case with a ‘David Leamey’
      regarding his crimminal activities and stolen properties from Roberts.
      Mentioned, a full report will be supplied to the media on completition of the matters.
      Mean while information regarding can be obtained from the Olongapo City Courts Philippines or the Australian NSW Law Society.
      Roberts has no comment to the media until the project is finished,and is concerned of people like Gridneff bringing PNG into disrupute.

  70. このことを証明できますか?博士Yasseurについてのあなたの階はうそとして、7月に証明したし、されたことは、フィリピンの犯罪のための情報を取る非難されている。

  71. 9月29日VRSは7月

    google translate for you

    Sept 29 vrs July
    Truth vrs crap
    that’s it in a nut shell

  72. それはどのように、いわゆる”多くの専門家などのごみを聞いているインテリジェントの”悲惨されます。 7月には、このYasseur(?)人のすべての架空請求は彼に対しては、メディアによって築かのクリアされました。のいずれかを取り消すか?いいえ、彼らはterminityている(?)を再び非難を発行します。私はこのサイトは、多くの人のように、REDDの議論には無関係となっているんです。
    google translate

    It is distressing for any intelligent being to hear such rubbish from so many so called “experts”. In July this Yasseur (?) person was cleared of all the fictious charges laid against him by the media. Did any one recant? No, and they have the terminity (?) to publish the accusations again. I’m afraid this site, like so many others, has become irrelevant in the REDD debate.

    1. Ahso San,

      Have you ever heard of the cliche “where there is smoke is a fire”? This blog has NOT become irrelevant to the REDD debate as you are trying to make us believe. I feel that there are still a lot more unknowns than there are knowns as far as REDD is concerned, and the more we get people interested in it, the better it will be. Because we can ask questions and coerce the truth to come out.

      It is up to the entity or person who possess ‘the truth’ to convince us about it. This is a free country and I am free to hold my opinion on anything until it is proven to be wrong in all material respects.

      I am a Papua New Guinean and I commend this blog and other media organisations and journalists who have had the nerve to stand up against whatever powers that may be and against popular beliefs to facilitate the debates.

      We are not going to shut up and allow anyone to force issues down our throats anymore.

  73. That’s a very good point Aho San. I’d say that my interests firstly for this blog are to educate and inform Papua New Guineans about what is going on with the purported ‘Carbon Trading’ industry.

    However along the way and especially in an unregulated industry you will always get skewed facts and figures, so although none of the reports are surprising if you look at them closely and understand the layers that they come in, you can get a better feel of who is who and who is doing what in PNG.

  74. では、なぜ実際に目にPNG形式では、この時の炭素取引ではコメントしないあなたは自発的な市場であり、Companiy法intrepretation対象?
    私agroforestery 15年用にPNG形式で作業されている、と私は物事のPNG形式のうち再生firest手を知っている。しかし、私はここで何を参照してメディアのいたずらを嘘と欺瞞に基づいています。
    例えば、知事の高地だと思う、炭素取引についての抗議行動は、まだちょうどこのqweekですイオス彼は製材purchassedており、Kalumu Doso森の中の道路を削減しようと明らかにした。

    google translate

    Then why are you not commenting on the fact th at this time carbon Trading in PNG is in the voluntary market, and subject to the intrepretation of Companiy Law?
    Why don’t you mention that if you visit’s site, you can see pictures and stories about land owner support for carbon Trading?
    I have been working in PNG for 15 years in agroforestery, and I know firest hand how things play out in PNG. But what I see here is media mischief based on lies and deception.
    For example, the Governor of Highlands I think, protests about carbon Trading, yet just this qweek is ios revealed he has purchassed a saw mill and wants to cut a road through Kalumu Doso forests.
    Where is the honesty in that?
    Please excuse my poor english.

  75. Thank you Ahso San, your english translation is just fine.

    And yes you’re right about companies being subject to company laws, I’ve made that point in my comments above against what Greenie Cap was talking about.

  76. エマニュエルサン、

    Emmanuel San,
    It seems the lot is thick in PNG. Acording todays newspapers, Nupan is again attacked on many fronts, old news really, but again presented as if it were new. They must be getting very close to having their project verified by the VCS. I read their methodology with interest, having been part of the team that worked on the japanese standard that may be used later this year. Perhaps the logging interests are trying to block carbon trading for their own selfish self interest? I am getting my nephed to write this for me, becvause my english is not so good as yours.
    Respectfully yours,
    Ahso San

  77. 否定的なメディアの幸運の逆転
    私は前方の新聞での謝罪を、すべての嘘と欺瞞のこのunparalled litianyを心配しております

    google translate

    reversal of fortune for negative media
    there are now four articles in the PNG press refuting gthe baseless accusations made by Illya (?) in his lastest poison pen piece.
    Yausseu (?) answers concerning the real position of the PNG Government and the OCC
    Kond answers concerning supposed payments made to him
    The real chairman of Tumu Timbers answers the false and misleading statements by the sacked acting chair
    And many real landowners from four different projects met in the gardens to demonstrate their support for Nupan and “roberts”
    I look forward to the newspaper apology to all concerned for this unparalled litiany of lies and decption

  78. From Guardian newspaper, UK
    Sep 6

    “UN’s forest protection scheme at risk from organised crime, experts warn

    International police, politicians and conservationists warn that the UN’s programme to cut carbon emissions by paying poor countries to preserve their forests is ‘open to wide abuse’

    A revolutionary UN scheme to cut carbon emissions by paying poorer countries to preserve their forests is a recipe for corruption and will be hijacked by organised crime without safeguards, a Guardian investigation has found.

    The UN, the World Bank, the UK and individuals including Prince Charles have strongly backed UN plans to expand the global carbon market to allow countries to trade the carbon stored in forests.

    If, as expected, this is agreed at crucial UN climate change talks taking place in Bangkok this week and concluding in Copenhagen in December, up to $30bn a year could be transferred from rich countries to the owners of endangered forests.

    But experts on all sides of the debate, from international police to politicians to conservationists, have warned this week that the scheme, called Reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (Redd), may be impossible to monitor and may already be leading to fraud. The UN itself accepts there are “high risks”.

    Interpol, the world’s leading policing agency, said this week that the chances were very high that criminal gangs would seek to take advantage of Redd schemes, which will be largely be based in corruption-prone African and Asian countries.

    “Alarm bells are ringing. It is simply too big to monitor. The potential for criminality is vast and has not been taken into account by the people who set it up,” said Peter Younger, Interpol environment crimes specialist and author of a new report for the World Bank on illegal forestry.

    “Organised crime syndicates are eyeing the nascent forest carbon market. I will report to the bank that Redd schemes are open to wide abuse,” he said.

    The significance of the felling of forests across great swaths of the world cannot be overstated – it is are responsible for about 20% of the globe’s entire carbon emissions. With governments anxious to find new ways to meet increasingly stringent national emission targets, a scheme which promises to benefit poor countries, cut emissions cheaply and not require any new technology is highly attractive.

    But most of the countries rich in forests are also home to some of the world’s most corrupt politicians and uncontrolled logging companies, who stand to make billions of dollars if they can get Redd projects approved.

    “Fraud could include claiming credits for forests that do not exist or were not protected or by land grabs. It starts with bribery or intimidation of officials, then there’s threats and violence against those people. There’s forged documents too,” said Younger. “Carbon trading transcends borders. I do not see any input from any law enforcement agency in planning Redd.”

    Hans Brattskar, director of Norway’s forest and climate programme, whose country is financially backing the UN Redd programme, said last night: “It will be extremely difficult to make it work. Law enforcement is vital because the corruption issued are very real. But we have to put in safeguards and we have to try. Redd can save up to 20% of all the world’s emissions. Without it, I believe it will be impossible to reach the target of stemming climate change and holding global temperatures to 2C,” the level judged acceptable by the European Union.

    Last month, Papua New Guinea, one of the countries pushing hardest for Redd to be accepted in the UN climate talks, suspended their climate change minister after allegations that $100m of fake carbon credits had been handed to communities to persuade them to sign up to forest protection schemes.

    Last night the UN admitted that Redd schemes were dangerously open to abuse. “Where countries are corrupt the potential for Redd corruption is dangerous. [In Papua New Guinea], people have tried to take advantage of the market in an unacceptable way and carbon cowboys are trying to get the benefits. We can expect more of this as Redd develops,” said Tiina Vahanen, a senior officer at UN-Redd.

    People setting up Redd schemes also fear that they may be discredited by fraudsters aiming to profit from public money. “The potential for Redd rape and pillage is staggering. Logging companies may turn into carbon companies. All they have to do is count, not cut. It’s like giving a mass murderer money,” said Rob Dodwell, a British conservationist setting up schemes in Kenya and Cameroon.

    The UN estimates that 25% of the world’s forestry emissions, or nearly 5% of total global carbon emissions, could be saved by 2015 if rich countries invest $15bn to set up Redd schemes.

    So far rich countries have put up $52m to establish nine official pilot Redd schemes in Asia, Latin America and Africa. In addition several hundred private schemes are being set up by bankers, conservation groups, and businesses who plan to offer carbon credits on the voluntary market.

    But academics and environment groups with long experience working with the logging industry and indigenous communities said that both government and private schemes are being set up with no guarantees to protect communities who depend on the forests. “Decisions are being rushed, communities are not consulted or compensated and the lure of money from cutting emissions is overiding everything,” says Rosalind Reeve of forestry watchdog group Global Witness.”

    1. regarding risk,
      short and sweet
      the answer is simply do not chop the trees , damage the bio-diversity, or polute the water ways.
      monitor the progress then report violations and then termanate the threat.
      re-coup the damage
      mitigate and account weather or fire desaster’s
      ignore propoganda and incorrect “news” spread my blogg’s and journ’s,
      support the social forest elements,
      keep politics seperate to the business.

  79. Thanks to Emmanuel and this website for exposing the possibilities of corruption and fraud.

    Some people on this thread are fervently trying to defend their evil intentions; plans of hijacking & boomeranging the amount of wealth tied to carbon trade.

    Thumbs up PNG patriots!!!

    1. Kafu peg,
      who are you !!!!!
      what scandal , corruption and fraud.

      saving forests is a evil intention?

      have a look at the amount of illegal logging in PNG ‘authorised’

      you are strange

  80. Here’s another point of view.

    Greenpeace Says Model Forest Protection Project Proves REDD Offsets Don’t Work
    by Leslie Berliant – Oct 15th, 2009

    Today, Greenpeace released a new report, Carbon Scam, on the Noel Kempff Climate Action Project (NKCAP) in the forests of Bolivia.

    NKCAP — funded by American Electric Power, BP-Amoco and Pacificorp, and supported by The Nature Conservancy — is often held up as a success story, but that’s not what Greenpeace sees.

    The report uses the project to instead illustrate the failures of a carbon offset system, particularly one that relies on sub-national offsets to avoid deforestation and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

    NKCAP is a REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) project. It is similar to the United Nations’ UN-REDD program, which is designed to give developing countries financial incentives to preserve their forests, while giving businesses a way to pay rather than reduce their own carbon emissions.

    UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is a big proponent of the process and considers REDD to be a critical component of any international climate change solution. Deforestation accounts for 20 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, and it eliminates a valuable carbon sink — tropical forests store 25 percent of terrestrial carbon.

    Greenpeace see serious problems, though, particularly with sub-national projects.

    In its new report, it first points to The Nature Conservancy’s own data on the effectiveness of the Bolivian REDD project to reduce atmospheric CO2. From 1997 to 2009, the estimate for NKCAP’s potential emissions reductions dropped by more than 90 percent, from about 55 million to 5.8 million metric tons of CO2.

    The Nature Conservancy, responding to that criticism, says that the initial 55 million-ton estimate was just that, an estimate.

    “We came up with that number before anyone had much familiarity with what was possible with a project of this type,” says Karen Foerstel, explaining that the numbers were amended once they had some experience on the ground. “It was 13 years ago, before the term REDD was even being used.”

    Greenpeace also argues that there is no tangible evidence that deforestation practices stopped in one area weren’t simply shifted to another. In fact, Greenpeace reports that Bolivian deforestation has increased nationally during the years of the project. The Nature Conservancy doesn’t dispute that, but it counters that Bolivian deforestation rates might have been even higher without NKCAP.

    Rolf Skar, Greenpeace USA Senior Forest Campaigner, says it was just such problems with REDD offset projects that kept them from being included in European carbon trading systems.

    In response to the Greenpeace report, The Nature Conservancy, the Natural Resources Defense Council and a number of other organizations are defending NKCAP, calling it an important learning project to establish the science and methodologies needed to move toward district-wide and, ultimately, national level REDD implementation with funding through both private and public mechanisms (more details on The Nature Conservancy’s position are available here).

    “Sub-national REDD efforts — such as those discussed at the recent Climate Summit in California — are a critical part of protecting the world’s forests and combating climate change,” says Eric Haxthausen, director of U.S. climate policy for The Nature Conservancy.

    “The ultimate goal is to have countries implement national-level activities that can protect forests on the scale needed to effectively halt climate change. We need to get there as quickly as we can. Sub-national programs – at state, provincial and other scales — can be essential stepping stones that help countries quickly and effectively build the experience they need to launch national programs.”

    Greenpeace’s Daniel Kessler also believes NKCAP was a good learning experience, but he comes to a different conclusion: Sub-national offset projects will not deliver real and permanent emissions reductions. “We don’t have years to experiment and tinker with these projects anymore. We need to invest in projects that we know work and independent funding for forests works.”

    “Is this a learning process?” Greenpeace International Political Advisor Roman Czebiniak asked, adding “$10 million and 10 years, and there have been no permanent emissions reductions.”

    To be clear, apart from arguments over the quality and effectiveness of NKCAP, everyone agrees that REDD must be part of an international agreement, but how REDD should be funded and credited is a whole other, very contentious, issue.

    The Nature Conservancy supports cap-and-trade and the forest carbon standards in the Waxman-Markey American Clean Energy and Security (ACES) bill that passed the House of Representatives. The organization also takes the position that offsets must be part of any bill, though not the only revenue stream for REDD projects.

    “Allowing REDD investment is key to keeping climate legislation affordable,” says Sarene Marshall, deputy director of the Climate Change Program for The Nature Conservancy. “It keeps the price tag low for businesses.”

    Greenpeace, on the other hand, believes the 2 billion tons of offsets specified in both the House and Senate bills, including sub-national REDD offsets, render any actual CO2 reductions inadequate and might even lead to an increase in emissions. Greenpeace takes the position that REDD should be financed through pollution permits in order to ensure that funds are being used efficiently and effectively (more on the group’s position here).

    Czebiniak, of Greenpeace International, calls the push for sub-national REDD offsets a situation of “companies hijacking momentum for REDD for their own purposes.” Jake Schmidt of the NRDC sees REDD offsets as a bright spot where government, business and activists can agree. Some activists, that is.

  81. 森林をPNG形式にリアルタイムの脅威

    PNGの人々 – PNGの地主-知的、感情的、と声に出して、将来の世代のために森林を維持したい。炭素取引には、非の両方の伝統的なドメインを維持するための破壊方法を提供するとし、国全体の発展を自分たちの生活を強化することで生計を立てる。
    は、PNG政府は何年か前には、外の世界それを活用するためには、どちらかしようとなる森林を引き継ぐように、その炭素の可能性を試して、経済力や政治力を利用を実現しました。 UNFCCCの議論の森林クレジットの可能性に対処するためのラウンドを開始し、それはすぐには4つまたは5つの主要課題別の国で開発され、そのうちのどれもPNGの最善の利益をしていたが開発した。
    他の国々の社会的良心に応じて姿勢変化は、多くの選択と独自の社会の中に良いの両方の効果と排出量削減手法の可能性を理解するための議論を作成した。 PNG形式の戦略には、ゆっくりと保たれ静かにどのように人々の利益を守るために働いて、そのビジネスに関する向かったが、先住民族の土地所有者の権利を支持する、と市場への方法では、国際社会に認められていたが、森林をもたらす。
    一方、土地所有者や先住民族の人々に潜在的な商業的利益を最大化する一人の男は、父親に導かれ、何年か前に仕事、その森林の管理体制を維持PNG形式に役立つ基礎を理解することを始めた。 “ロバーツ”として、彼は広くPNGの全体として、知られている3年間の会議の村人、部族の長老たちのための国の直行を越え、政府は労働者、土地所有者は、リソース開発者は、文字通り誰の森林について、炭素のための潜在的な話をしたい取引。彼は、PNGの政府を有効にするとしながら自分たちの基本的な権利は、生計を維持したまま、自分たちの森林の管理体制を維持するためにリテラルの真相究明を求めた。
    CCBA -気候、コミュニティと生物多様性アライアンス-が、それは特に社会的に配向されているフォレストの基準は、それ自体が、実際にはVCSの標準部品の厳しさを提供していません。 CCBA REDDへの発展の潜在的な影響力として自らを参照してください。
    1日目、100会長、取締役は、土地所有者の公開庭園の中に大学の後ろに会い、いずれかの1つ、グループごとにインタビューされ、両方を検証して、ローカルの記者によって。気分、肯定的、途方もなくロバーツとNupanを支持する楽観的だった。 5つの個別プロジェクトのエリアは、参加者が存在することがすべて自分のイニシアチブでPNGの各地から旅を持つ表現された。一部では10日以上の期間にわたって歩いていた。
    我々の軽飛行機によるKamula Dosoプロジェクトの領域に3つの小部族の村- Awaba、湖キャンベルとSomogopaのみにアクセスを訪問し、次の2日間以上として良い一日の天気賢明なだけで。あらゆる方向に5000メートルの雲の上の山々の塔はしばしば、いくつかの興味深い飛行条件を行う地上わずか数百メートル先に座っている!の緊急性を常に思い出させて私たちがそこにいたのロギングのトラックの形で来て、私たちは常に上を飛んでキャンプ火災ログ。

    forgive me my poor english, I just found this report in a major publication in europe, google translate

    The Real Threat to PNG Forests

    Much has been written in the world press about REDD, Carbon Trading in PNG, and the machinations of Global Warming and Climate Change. But so far, not a single article, blog, journalist or newsreader has addressed the single most important issue facing PNG – let alone the world.
    Do we want the forests in PNG to remain standing for future generations?
    Intellectually, many of us would say “yes”. But then just as many of us degenerate into conversations about the mishmash of standards, verification organizations, REDD, CDM, VER, VCU, and a plethora of acronyms that make the space race seem mild by comparison.
    Many articles have laboured the point that any Carbon Trading scheme in PNG must have the support of the local indigenous people. Every article and blog so far has assumed that the people and companies behind Carbon Trading in PNG don’t have such support.
    They are completely wrong.
    This writer, at the invitation of Nupan (PNG) Trading Corporation Limited, and the PNG Government, has been privileged to openly tour with two other internationally accredited journalists through many of the proposed Project Areas, to freely meet and speak with the local people in villages, towns, forests, and camps. We have also been given open access to Government officials and Departmental staff, to hear first hand what is really happening inside PNG.
    All told, we have now been involved with over 10,000 people, and filmed around 60 hours of speeches, sing-sings, commentary, and interviews, literally all over PNG.
    The people of PNG – the landowners of PNG – intellectually, emotionally, and vocally want to preserve their forests for future generations. And Carbon Trading offers them a non-destructive way to both preserve their traditional domain, and earn a living that can enhance their lives and the development of the entire country.
    The unambiguous and literal truth is that of all the Pacific Nations, PNG has done more to facilitate the organized and honest business of Carbon Trading that any other country – and that includes Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Samoa, the Philippines, Japan, Korea, and all the other Island nations combined.
    The PNG Government realized some years ago that the outside world would try to take advantage of it, and either use economic power or political power to try to take over the forests, and their carbon potential. The UNFCCC started a round of discussions to address the potential of forest credits, and it quickly developed that there were four or five main agendas being developed by different countries, none of which were in the best interests of PNG.
    Australia wanted to avoid doing anything at all until it had to about Emissions Reductions – but at the same time started a dialogue with the PNG Government that had at its heart a simple swap – continued Australian Aid for control of the forests. When that didn’t get a warm response, they tried to create a scenario where all the forests would be classed as conservation areas, effectively bypassing both the PNG Government and the traditional PNG land owners in one seemingly environmentally friendly swoop.
    And when that strategy failed, they cleverly inserted staff into the key offices within the PNG Government in the guise of “Aid” to try and control the development agenda. This is the situation that remains today – we journalists saw and experienced this for ourselves, as over the past few months fake stories and “facts” were consistently leaked to pliable Australian media contacts by Australians working in different Government departments under the guise of “advisors”. This stream of disinformation turned into malicious stories that at times have effectively challenged the PNG Government’s ability to govern the country.
    One such story about the Office of Climate Change and Carbon Trading (as it was originally called) cost the Director his job, tarnished his reputation, and created havoc within the PM’s Department, which created the Office. The PNG Government instigated a full and open enquiry, and within weeks found the claims to be totally and utterly baseless, only to have the matter refuelled by more malicious blogging and newspaper articles that ran and reran the same story for weeks on end. It is possible that a major financial institution is also involved in this under-the-counter power play, as their executives have been seen several times leaving the country with their tails between their legs, upset that their offer of taking over full control of the forests for a merge 15% return to the country hasn’t been readily accepted!
    The same institution also has a major shareholding in one of the newspaper groups that is continually republishing the “old” stories.
    It seems that today it doesn’t matter what the facts are, or when an issue is formally and honestly resolved, it’s okay to keep publishing the “old” story in the hope that people are hoodwinked into believing what the media want them to believe.
    In this case one has to ask what the Australian Government wanted out of all this malicious and fictitious dialogue, which if they didn’t overtly support, they certainly covertly provided the disinformation that formed the centre of the arguments.
    The answer is simple. Control of the PNG forests, at the lowest possible cost to the Australian Government.
    The USA also took the stance that they would do nothing until they were forced to by either world opinion or a Pacific Island sinking into the ocean. Only since the election earlier this year has the US started the political process of establishing some form of cap and trade scheme – albeit one flawed from the start with “forgiveness slips” to high emitters reminiscent of the dark ages when the Church was still trying to conquer the world.
    Other countries took varying stances depending on their social consciences, with many choosing to create debate within their own societies to better understand both the effect and the potential of Emission Reduction Schemes. PNG kept to their strategy, and slowly and quietly went about the business of working out how to protect the interests of their people, support the rights of the indigenous landowners, and bring their forest to market in a manner that was acceptable to the international community.
    One man, guided by his father, started work some years ago, to understand the fundamentals that would help PNG keep control of their forests, while maximizing the potential commercial return to the land owners and indigenous people. “Roberts”, as he is widely known as throughout PNG, crossed the country nonstop for three years meeting villagers, tribal elders, Government workers, land owners, resource developers, and literally anyone who wanted to talk about the forests and the potential for carbon trading. He sought to find the literal truth that would enable the PNG Government and the people to keep control of their forests while retaining their basic right to earn a living.
    The answer lay in PNG Corporations Law. Under this, indigenous landowners are able to form groups – incorporated companies – that have the full authority of a normal company, with all the legal and social responsibilities of any business inside PNG.
    There were several critical issues that this business model addressed elegantly – not the least of which is the strong tribal, cultural, and social focus of the country, as well as the fact that there are over 820 different languages to cope with.
    There is evidence that some of the land tenure elements have been a work-in-progress for thousands of years. In fact, we saw a customary map that had been crafted before the time of Christ, attached to a current ILG certificate with gave full title and rights to a specified area of land that this particular family had lived on for as far as their tribal memory could recall.
    So, to simplify, a number of Indigenous Landowners group themselves together by either tribal, cultural, geographical, or social tenants, and form a company – an Incorporated Land Group (ILG) – they form a constitution and a set of bylaws, elect a Board of Directors, and establish themselves under PNG Corporations Law as an entity able to enter the nascent Carbon Trading market.
    Roberts discovered that there are over thirty separate commercial and legal processes the ILG’s have to manage before they are even able to have a designated Project Area. These processes establish the legitimacy of the land tenure, the role of various Government Departments such as Forestry, Environment, Fisheries, OCC&ES, and establish the fact before Law that the people want to preserve their forests and not log them.
    This is the critical issue at the heart of the PNG dilemma – for many years, PNG has relied on logging to provide a meagre income for its people. Cutting down the forests has been going on for generations, and in one way or another, it is embedded in the culture of the country. To establish Carbon Trading, the whole concept of logging has to be revisited.
    There are some unpalatable facts about PNG, facts that many countries try to ignore in their own self interest. Mining, Oil, and Gas projects take all the resources out of the country, and return minimal revenue to the Government and the people. The Government “owns” the rights to anything below two meters, the people own everything above. So the commercial world has been able to effectively establish huge projects inside PNG and not necessarily return a fair reward for the resources that they have milked from the land.
    In fact, the people own the forests. For over nine thousand years, land tenure has evolved through tribal battles and indigenous wars to the point where you now challenge the ownership of the land at your peril.
    And to its eternal credit, the PNG Government has recognized this legitimate traditional claim, and has enshrined it in both politics and Law.
    When you read about Land owners locking out the workers at the Hides Gas Plant, they do so with the implicit support of the police, army, and Government. They settled their dispute peacefully, but made the point very clear – land tenure and land ownership is now a growing power within PNG, and if you want to succeed, your first discussion must be with the traditional landowners or your project will fail.
    Numerous issues about landowners have been reported in the last six months, and many more will be in the next six months, all to do with developers forgetting just this one little fact – the people own the land, the people control the land, and the people are now empowered to manage and control their land.
    And the people want to move from logging and into Carbon Trading.
    The path is clear, but littered with pot holes, obstacles, and uncertainties, the biggest of which is the disparate and somewhat Romanesque standards against which a voluntary forest Carbon Credit must be verified, certified, and finally listed.
    The VCS – voluntary carbon standard – has been built around the CDM – clean development mechanism standard, and consequently while offering considerable rigor in the mathematics of carbon accounting, is found wanting in terms of the realistic elements of baseline calculation, leakage, risk, and non permanence. For example, the base comparison is taken from a dead tree, with no consideration for the biomechanics or biodiversity of a real forest.
    The CCBA – Climate, Community and Biodiversity Alliance – has a forest standard that is particularly socially orientated, but by itself does not really provide the rigor of parts of the VCS standard. The CCBA see themselves as potential influencers in the development of REDD.
    And recently, there is a new social standard that has evolved within Brazil, and offers a truly remarkable opportunity to link a strong social content into any carbon standard.
    “Roberts”, after consultation with all the Standards organizations, many Governments, and even more forestry vested interests, finally decided to complete a verification process under the VCS for the first “demonstration” project to evolve within PNG. And this he is doing step by laborious step, funded almost entirely out of his own pocket. In fact, while a lot has been written about Roberts, most of it derogatory, no one found time to mention that he had sold his family home and a few blocks of land that he had accumulated to provide the majority of the funds he has expended in getting this far.
    As a part of this process, it was suggested that representatives from a Verifier Organization visit the country, to see first hand what the mood and the attitude of people was, and to see what level of public consultation had been embarked on. This writer cannot comment on behalf of the verifier, but having been present during the week long visit, we can give a first hand report of what we saw and heard.
    Day one, around one hundred Chairman, Directors, and landowners met in the public gardens at the back of the University, and one by one, group by group, were interviewed, by both the verifier and a local reporter. The mood was upbeat, positive, and tremendously supportive of Roberts and Nupan. Five separate project Areas were represented, with the participants having travelled from all over PNG on their own initiative to be present. Some had walked in over a period of ten days or more.
    Day two saw yet another group of representatives from ILG’s taking part of their own accord, and again, nothing but positive statements were heard and constant praise for Roberts and Nupan. The level of awareness of the issues and the opportunities was high, and we were all surprised by the sharp questions we were all asked. Why are you here. What do you think of PNG. Why does the outside media write such bad articles about us. Why don’t they come and see us for themselves.
    Day three required us and the verifier to fly to Hagen, in the central highlands of PNG. We had to fly in, as there is no road that links Port Moresby to Hagen. It takes a bit of mental adjustment to realize there is no national road system in PNG, and many of the cities, towns, and villages are literally disconnected without power or services we take for granted.
    Over the next two days we visited three small tribal villages in the Kamula Doso Project area – Awaba, Lake Cambell, and Somogopa, only accessible by light aircraft, and then only on a good day weather wise. The mountains tower above five thousand meters in every direction and the clouds are often sitting just a few hundred metres above the ground, making for some interesting flying conditions! A constant reminder of the urgency of what we were there for came in the form of the logging tracks and logging camp fires we constantly flew over.
    The reception was amazing.
    At the tiny village of Awaba, we were greeted by warriors in full war paint, and hundreds and hundreds of children and parents who formed a continuous line down the mountain to their village, where with great ceremony Roberts was reaffirmed as the Project Developer. This was no village meeting – the local member of Parliament was there, the Tribal Council was fully represented, and the ILG’s were represented with Directors and Chairmen. It was made patiently clear that the people wanted no logging, but to save their forests for future generations, protect their cultural heritage, and benefit from Carbon Trading.
    The obvious question we all had was how much did the local people know about Carbon Trading, and we were constantly surprised by both the quality and depth of the answers, and the penetrating questions we were asked in turn.
    What did we think about the village; what did the media attack PNG so much; and why is the Carbon Trading Project taking so much time.
    We asked Roberts about this, and with a crooked smile, he simply said that one the one hand while everyone said they wanted forest based carbon trading, they then did everything in their power to prevent it from becoming a reality.
    Lake Campbell was a beautiful location, this time a thousand people had walked in for the ceremony, and the welcome and positive reinforcement for Carbon Trading was evident. Towards the end of the ceremony, a gentleman in a grey set of working overalls asked a critical question. It hushed the crowd, and the speakers all looked to Roberts to respond.
    After a somewhat pregnant pause, and after checking with the other speakers, he answered, “yes”. The question was from a representative of a logging company, sent in to embarrass the village. His question was “is carbon trading the best way to use the forest?” Interestingly, he was shown great respect by the people, and he asked a few more hard questions, all of which were then answered by the indigenous representatives. You got the feeling that he was saddened by the turn of events, but in the face of such a cohesive response, he retired to the back of the crowd.
    We interviewed him on camera before we departed, and he expressed his disappointment with the village, as they had not “come out” as strongly against logging before. I asked him what might have changed their minds. He looked me straight in the eye, smiled, and said the promise of keeping the forests intact and still making a living from them was irresistible. We asked him what he was going to do now, and he smiled again. The logging company was paying him to go village to village asking the same questions. We would see him again.
    Somogopa village was the smallest of the three, and the ceremony was held in a long hut, with the visitors escorted by warriors and singers and hundreds of children whose faces never ceased to light up at the sight of the strange white people and their cameras.
    At each village, there had been a similar story – A Forest Management Area had been declared many years before, but then nothing had happened. Yet illegal logging was apparently rife in all the surrounding areas. The villages reported that with logging they get, literally, a few cents per cubic metre, their land destroyed, and the biostructure irrevocably changed for a hundred years. If you have even seen a rapaciously logged area, you will know what we mean.
    Back to Port Moresby, where the verifier met with representatives of the Government Departments involved in both logging and Carbon Trading, and again the frank, open and honest response was hard to ignore. The Government clearly supports the commercialization of Carbon Trading. The Government clearly supports the landowners making their own decisions with respect to logging and Carbon Trading. The Government is clearly both supportive and facilitative in their approach to helping the fledging ILG’s make their mark on behalf of the people of PNG.
    And the Government is clearly supportive of Roberts and Nupan in their efforts to bring orderly and conformal Carbon Trading to PNG.
    The following day we had the opportunity of talking quietly with the film crew that had been accompanying us on the trip. Their response was sobering, and insightful. They believed that they were in a privileged position, to witness first hand the very start of a transformational process that would benefit the next generations of indigenous people in PNG in a manner that they cannot yet comprehended.
    We think they are right.
    The real threat to PNG Forests? Media ignorance and bias, outside Government interference, and worldwide politics concerning the final shape if REDD. If you want to save fifteen percent of the world’s remaining rain forests, right now, today, all you have to do it let PNG get on with it, and get out of their way.
    It truly will be a breath of fresh air.

  82. What is the Carbon Debate actually about?

    What are the REAL issues?

    Climate Change – well the Earth’s climate has repeatedly changed over the millennia. Why is it so important now? Probably it’s because there were never so many people in the world that would be affected. Who is responsible for having so many people? Not the Earth’s climate surely?

    Carbon – Why is it so important? Carbon Dioxide along with Methane and other poisonous (to humans) gases are the original make up of our planet. When plant life first started to use Carbon Dioxide to grow and so released free Oxygen into the atmosphere, eventually animal life developed that used this free Oxygen to live. Hence the symbiosis developed between plants and animals that still exist today. However there have been periods in the Earth’s history where there were significant changes in the amounts of free Oxygen in the Earth’s atmosphere. During the Carboniferous Period, there was so much plant life that the free oxygen was over 20% of the atmosphere rather than today’s average of 16%. At this time, the basis for our coal and oil deposits were laid down by these plants dying and being converted to Coal which is mostly carbon. We are now digging and drilling this carbon up to release the energy that these ancient plants trapped from our sun millions of years ago. The more carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere, the better plants like it to grow. Therefore if the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increases, we should get an increase in plant life which will redress the balance. Wrong. We won’t get an increase in plant life because basically human activity is using the plants at a faster rate that they can naturally regenerate.

    Ownership – By chance good fortune, some humans have been born into countries that have desirable natural resources available for use. These resources were needed for the current human civilization to develop. Coal and iron ore are two of the original most important resources that have recently been joined by oil. Given our use of oil is depleting the available reserves and that it takes millions of years to produce oil, the importance of this substance will continue to become rarer and more expensive. Not so coal, where there are conservative estimates being bandied around about having at least 300 years supply at the current usage rates.

    Control of Resources – So who owns these resources? Logically, possession is nine tenths of the law. Staved of resources 70 years ago, Japan was arguably forced into a war that logically, she had a poor chance of winning. Therefore, by sharing the available resources, the risk of heightened tension is reduced. But as soon as these resources are sold, the seller ceases to have any control over there use. Can there be any way of preventing unethical use of a product that is ethically sold? Does the current imposition on the sale of uranium for only peaceful purposes stop the buyer from the production of weapons grade material? Doubtful!

    The Struggle for Power – Demonstrably, were developed countries to stop their industry and power production they would very quickly become on par with those countries that are today euphemistically called ‘developing countries’. So are the governments of developed countries going to say to their voters “Stop using your vehicles, and turn your computers off for a start”. We have to stop using power than is creating carbon dioxide”? Not on your Nelly! So what is the answer? Charge more for using the same product thereby hoping to reduce demand. But then this creates a voter backlash so those people who can’t afford the price increases have to be subsidized by the same government who increased the prices by taxation in the first place. This strategy would be laughable if, by its own simplicity, it wasn’t so insidious.

    What to do with Excess Carbon Dioxide? – One of the most incredible shams that is being foisted on the world stage is the theoretical principle of ‘Carbon Sequestration”. The theory goes that excess carbon dioxide will be somehow ‘harvested’ and turned into a liquid and pumped underground. Based on this unproven and totally bizarre notion, the general populace is supposed to breath a sigh of relief and concentrate on more important issues life whose going to win ‘the footy’ this week. They won’t be breathing anything however if the oxygen we need to live is steadily removed from the atmosphere and pumped into the ground along with the unwanted carbon. The only answer is to revert back to the natural cycle and have plants ‘sequester’ the carbon themselves. But this relies on one very important point. Will the plants be allowed to continue to exist?

    The law of Business or that of Profit and Loss – If governments and their power providers start charging more for their product, what happens to the surplus virtual tax monies reaped by artificially increasing the cost of electricity and use of coal and oil? Clearly there needs to be a way of assuaging public concern that they aren’t being screwed once again by their leaders? Enter the politics of ‘green power’. “Feeling guilty at being told you’re wrecking the planet and depriving people of their way of life? Add a ‘top up’ on your next electricity bill for example, and we’ll tell you it’s a ‘greening levy’. There now, don’t you feel better already?” But in this modern age where some media still can investigate and report on what is actually happening, something has to actually be done.

    Enter ‘Big Business’. A viable business must turn a profit to survive, unless of course it’s owned by a government. The developed world is addicted to the use of carbon based energy production. Until recently, everyone was being encouraged to use more. Governments who ran the power generation plants were reaping indirect taxes by people doing so. Now, with power generation from carbon being a ‘dirty’ concept, governments are divesting themselves from power generation and wherever possible, distancing themselves from the industry. Why? Well they can’t tell people that power generation from carbon burning is bad if they are the ones doing it, can they? So business has been given the role of the ‘villain’ who must come up with a solution to stop ruining the world. But how can it do this when this exercise must entail making a profit?

    Enter the politics of Green Power’ – Add a little extra to the cost of power generation and call it good for the world. But what does a business (or for that matter a government), do when it is held accountable for charging more to save the world? Why it goes back to basics and creates a new term called ‘Carbon Sinks’. This technology will save the world and naturally in the process make some very rich. All one has to do is create the idea that if a forest ‘sequesters’ carbon, then we’ll plant new forests or look after that few that are left.

    So who benefits? – Well clearly those who are ‘in’ at the start. This is a mega industry in parenthesis. Vast amounts of green money is involved so vast amounts can be made. The question is: Who will end up with this ‘Green Taxation’? If one is a cynic, the answer is very simple. Whoever manipulates this operation to help themselves.

    New Forests versus Old Forests – Planting new forests is a very difficult issue. Forests will only grow where the conditions are suitable. Many places on Earth where forests used to grow are now covered by concrete and houses. Agriculture has been pushed out into the ever more marginal periphery of the big cities where conditions are increasingly more difficult to sustain. If the agriculture that is necessary to sustain a growing population is becoming more difficult, ‘silviculture’ (the growing and harvesting of trees) is becoming vastly more so. Drought, fire and pests compete with poor soil and lack of attention to destroy any newly planted forest.

    Existing or so called ‘Old forests’ are therefore becoming ever more sought after. But these existing forests are very few and far between and their ‘ownership’ is therefore very much sought after.

    Where do countries like PNG come into this Equation? – It has been claimed that PNG has one of the few natural rain forests left in the world. But why is this so? Primarily, this is because other countries like Brazil have continually cut their rainforest down for economic reasons. Brazil has just recently said it will work to reduce the speed of which their forest is being cut down. What Brazil did not say is that the felling of the forest would stop.

    So what are the guarantees that if the billions in ‘green taxation’ from the developed world are available to ‘buy’ the existing world’s forests, who will then be held accountable for the continued existence of the forests that have in this way, already been ‘bought’?

    The government of the particular country? Governments often change regularly and therefore can’t be held accountable.

    The business that made a profit from the deal? Not likely. Business can fold overnight and cease to exist, although if the recent financial crisis is any indicator, only after they pay their CEO’s a huge gratuity.

    The people who have been lucky enough to be born where there is currently a forest or the future generations of these people that may well need the forest to survive?

    A cynic might observe that the whole process is an Aladdin’s Cave’ of potential for the right people or persons to REALLY make some serious money. Afterall, who really understands what is going on and who is really interested?

    ‘Carn th’ Blues’, I say……. and pass the meat pie will ya’?

    Whoever heard of “Bread and Circus’s” anyway?

  83. One further thought: When I was posted to Wau in the early 1970’s, the timber company operating in Bulolo had to plant at least three new Klinki pines when they felled a tree. This process was designed to ensure there would be a continual supply of Klinki pine for the foreseeable future.

    I understand when this company was bought out by a company from a country north of PNG, all the forest was reportedly felled to provide disposable eating utensils. No reafforestation plans apparently existed at all.

    When a forest is clear felled, it takes decades to regenerate if it ever does. Sustainable logging is one answer however this requires VERY careful management to ensure the rest of the forest is not disrupted and that there are new trees of the same species planted to replace those logged.

    Is there effective and enforceable forestry management being practiced in PNG today? If not, what will change with the introduction of a Carbon Credit scheme? Also, what happens when there is a ‘trickle down’ of funds from any such scheme? Retaining the forest in perpetuity is a lovely idea but surely one of fantasy?

  84. I am a patriotic PNGean, mr greenie cap. Yes I want forest to be saved, but what I do not like is making decisions on based on misconception & deceptions. What do you say about reports such as an excerpt below, by a major publication in Europe in circulation around the world. It drives me mad, real mad, in fact I loathe you Australians, you overtly operate under the pretext of advisory posts, feeding shit intelligence info on PNG to Canberra. Pls let PNG digest the pros & cons on Carbon Trade schemes etc…and decide for itself. Ship out with your avaricious plans (its lies when it comes to money & economy).
    This is the situation that remains today – we journalists saw and experienced this for ourselves, as over the past few months fake stories and “facts” were consistently leaked to pliable Australian media contacts by Australians working in different Government departments under the guise of “advisors”. This stream of disinformation turned into malicious stories that at times have effectively challenged the PNG Government’s ability to govern the country.

    In this case one has to ask what the Australian Government wanted out of all this malicious and fictitious dialogue, which if they didn’t overtly support, they certainly covertly provided the disinformation that formed the centre of the arguments.
    The answer is simple. Control of the PNG forests, at the lowest possible cost to the Australian Government.
    Who are you? the prodigal mum?

    1. I do not live in Australia.
      and you are starting to get the picture,
      sorry if I hurt your feelings previously,
      but I think the penny has now dropped.
      it is right what you say the forest people of PNG must stand up and be counted.
      I have wittnessed this first hand in PNG, its extrodinary how a developer has progressed single handed and the amount of support he has.
      Good luck PNG!!!

  85. Hi Kafu,

    I think you’ll find that the quote you are referring to was not made by an Australian (see the post above my last) so you’ve got to assess the perspective of the person who actually made this accusation.

    Don’t feel that there aren’t Australians that are very much supportive of their PNG friends and neighbours and agree with you that PNG has to sort out this problem out herself without outside interference.

    Mekim save wantok.

  86. yep, Paul & greenie cap, my point all along is informed decision making by us forest owners.

    Give us the pros and cons, convince me why I need to save one single tree, talk about money later…maybe this is the better approach.

  87. G’day Kafu Peg,

    I suggest no one should really need convincing that they need to keep their trees. Examples of what happens when the natural forest cover is removed from anywhere on the planet is clear for everyone to see.

    In Jared Diamond’s book ‘Collapse’, the author, who incidentally maintains a high level of interest about PNG and visits your country a lot, effectively presents the results of no forest conservation. Professor Diamond clearly shows the effects on the environment by those who then suffer the consequences of their own actions. Desertification, landslides and lack of sustainable food resources all lead to the total collapse of the society and the ruination and death of these unfortunate people.

    North Africa was once the food bowl of Rome until it was farmed to death. Easter Island was a classic example where the people arrived and bred up to the point where the available trees were all used and they had no way of leaving the island because their only resource to make canoes had been used up. Take a look at Haiti today as an example of where overpopulation and over use of the available farming land has created a nightmare for the local people and their neighbours. Ethiopia is now requesting food aid again after the last famine killed over a million people.

    Just look at the recent examples in PNG where landslides and mudslides are ruining the gardens and devastating people’s lives. Wherever trees are removed to make gardens, in a tropical environment especially, the soils quickly become infertile and easily washed away from the hillsides.

    All this evidence should have nothing to do with ‘Global Warming’ and ‘Carbon Trading’ you might say and ordinarily you might be right. The fact is however that irrespective of the debate over global warming and the reasons for it, the ownership of the trees and forests that are still left in the world has become ‘ a hotly debated issue’. Why? Well due to the escalating concerns about global warming and the notion that people must stop using carbon based electricity generation and coal based industry, someone has come up with the idea that you could continue to do what you like about burning coal and oil IF you can promote a process whereby the Carbon Dioxide (CO2) so produced, will be reabsorbed back into trees. This is called a ‘Carbon Trade Off’. The trouble is that small trees take a long time to grow and start absorbing CO2 in any quantity so therefore existing large trees are essential to this methodology.

    Unfortunately, much of all the world’s forest have already been cut down and countries like PNG, who still have some trees left, have suddenly become very desirable to try and involve in the world carbon trade. Countries outside of PNG that have already cut most of their forests don’t want to lose any more of their own. So now there is a conflict of interest between a number of different priorities.

    Priority One – PNG people need their forests to preserve their environment, help protect their soils and gardens and provide a food and a timber resource for today and tomorrow’s expanding generations. PNG forests are being continually reduced by business interests that need land for broad scale farming to grow products like Oil Palm. The oil from Oil Palm is not actually much use to the landowners and they must use any rental or proceeds to buy food and necessities they could have got from their forests in the first place.

    Priority Two – Timber companies need trees to produce ‘value added’ timber products like furniture and houses. If the local timber in the Timber company’s own country has all been used, then PNG forests have become a resource that can be and can be accessed for very little return to the landowners and vast profits to the foreign timber company. Have a look at the ‘Barnett Report’ on the PNG timber industry that the dedicated Judge Barnett risked his life to provide the people of PNG. Even the proverbial ‘Blind Freddy’ must be aware of how PNG’s forests are being devastated by foreign owned timber companies. PNG News reports constantly highlight this aspect yet nothing seems to change. Again, poor old ‘Visually Challenged Freddy’ knows why and why no one is stopping this activity.

    Priority Three – Every time a Natural Disaster occurs in South East Asia and PNG, people’s homes must be rebuilt. Yet the timber to rebuild these homes comes from the same quickly diminishing forests where previous indiscriminate logging and garden making often caused the landslides and mudslides in the first place. Whoever is operating the timber mills to produce the timber to rebuild people’s devastated homes then might make another ‘killing’ out of milling the new timber.

    Priority Four – The Western world has been whipped up into a frenzy of concern about Global Warming and how carbon (in Carbon Dioxide) is the big villain. Whether this is completely true has become totally irrelevant as the governments of people who have become concerned about Global Warming look for easy answers of how to mollify their voters, sorry people, about what they, the government is doing to stop Global Warming and reduce CO2? Of course no one actually expects that THEY (Joe or Jill Blow), will have to do something themselves It’s just a problem for their government isn’t it? So their governments have come up with the brilliant idea where you can CARBON TRADE AWAY the results of producing energy from coal and oil by paying those people who still have trees to use these trees as a CARBON SINK and so balance out the amount of CO2, a minor gas (I understand around 0.5%?) in the atmosphere.

    Priority Five – Enter the debate between so called ‘Developed Nations’ and so called ‘Developing Nations’. Whatever is the difference you might ask? Well under the jargon being used at the moment, those countries who have ‘developed’, (read have a high individual capital wealth per person), have to stop using their carbon based technology and those countries who are ‘developing’, (read low capital wealth per person), can still use coal to continue developing. There doesn’t seem like a clear benchmark is available to determine at what stage a country ceases to become ‘developing’ and becomes ‘developed’. What will happen however is that if the so called developed countries, stop or curtail their use of carbon based power generation, they will slowly or quickly, depending on the rate of restriction of use of coal, quickly shorten the difference between the two levels of wealth. Guess who is pushing for this to happen? The informed or the uninformed?

    Priority Six – Wealth generation – Suddenly the ownership of available and still standing forests has become a very desirable commodity. BUT who actually owns these forests? In PNG one could easily say, the landowners. Yes, that’s true in theory however show me where the actual landowners have received anything more than a pittance or token payment for their timber in the past? Again, read the Barnett Report. So then, who is set to PROFIT big time by the billions of dollars being bandied around to pay for Carbon Credits? Clearly these deals are done at government level so suddenly it seems, governments are now the owners of their country’s forests. Of course the landowners will eventually get these payments … errr won’t they? The problem is, these forests still standing are also worth BIG PROFITS if they are cut and used to produce saleable timber products.

    So what will stop the sale of the potential Carbon Credits today for trees that will be cut down tomorrow?

    Now that is the first BIG Question?

    What is to stop the ACTUAL owners of the trees from using their own forest resources for their own needs?

    That is the second BIG Question?

    Who will monitor whether future generations, who might need these trees to help themselves and their families exist, from cutting these trees down AFTER they have already been notionally ‘PURCHASED” using Carbon Credits?

    The third Big question is whether the developed countries will be made to reduce their carbon emissions while the developing countries (primarily Chine and India) are ‘allowed’ to continue to produce more and more CO2? Copenhagen is supposed to provide this answer so watch this space for further developments.


    So Kafu, you can see where PNG fits into this world imbroglio and where the actual landowners who might think they have some say in the use of their trees, may actually have very little say at all. Why? Because they aren’t involved in the REAL issue affecting their trees and their own livelyhood.

    This is where blokes like you come into the equation. Providing education and explanation to the PNG people and the owners of the forests will help bring them into the equation. People like me can only provide the information. People like yourself must generate a ‘conduit’ to your people so that they become ‘empowered’ and can take a rightful part in the world debate over their own resources.

    1. Thankyou Paul Oates.

      You’ve finally given us a decent and objective analysis of this whole issue.

      Much of the debate on this space has been centred on how to monetise the value of our trees and shrubs, and no one has really addressed the real issue about why we should not devour our forests at the first place.

      Your choice of Priority 1 is indeed THE NAMBAWAN PRIORITY for us. Forget carbon trading, people still need their forests for their basic survival. PNG needs to conserve her forests for this purpose, first and foremost. Everything else is secondary.

      Perhaps it will become a lot clearer for us if we approach this whole issue from that angle. The fancy stuff about carbon trading can come later. Monetising the conservation of our forests should be the LAST in a long list of reasons why PNG should stop cutting down her trees.

  88. Hi Anada Dave,

    thank you for your feedback.

    On my small farm I have sought to preserve all the trees I can. These trees provide shade for my cattle and help reduce salinity by keeping the water table down. I have set aside 1 tenth of my property specifically to grow trees for the future and we now have a small forest developing. I collect the seeds of all the commercially sought after trees that naturally grow in my area. These were the tree species that were mostly cut down over 100 years ago. I germinate tree seedlings and look after them in pots until they are ready to plant out in the next rains.

    When the original trees were cut down in our area, our climate changed and many local ‘old timers’ reminisce about when the climate was better and ‘wetter’.

    Growing trees is not as easy as some would think and requires years of experience and the resources and dedication to look after the young trees as they grow. Its therefore a lot easier to look after the trees you have now standing rather than try to recreate a forest. Forest management requires a long term plan and the rigid co-operation of landowners. Recreating a forest requires the knowledge of what a forest needs and how to provide that environment. The resources of the forest are also not easy to bring back after they are killed off in a clear felling.

    There are some timber millers in Australia that are now certifying that they only use timber from properly managed forests. These forests are being run by the landowners themselves and are certified by ‘Green’ authorities as being responsibly managed with practical regeneration plans in effective operation. The landowners are therefore directly benefitting from their own resources and yet, still keeping their forests intact.

    If more people demanded this type of certified product, maybe it could provide a ‘win/win’ for both growers and users.

    1. Hey Paul, thanks for the comprehensive information. It does show you understand our problem, your statements are genuine compared to others who have lavishly debated monetary benefits forefront.

      I agree with Anada Dave that Priority 1 – should be the top of agenda when advocating the need to preserve forest.

      Your choice of Priority 4&5 as mentioned above, is rather very interesting. To me it does not solve the problem of Global Warming. Why don’t we look at alternate solutions to use of coal & oil. I am irked by the fact that my government agreeing to carbon deals will benefit me least, if you know what I mean.

      Lithium for example should be mined for battery powered vehicles & replace oil, solar power, wind power & harnessing earth’s thermal energy etc. If the developed countries are so serious in giving away money to carbon trade, surely they have considered other option? All of what I mentioned as alternates have been in existence for some time now. I am guessing the corporates & Gov gonna lose billions of dollars if the world starts embracing alternative energy solutions.

      Yes, the need to save forest is vital for PNG’s future generation. But the nagging need for money, or simply envisaged improved lifestyle, is pushing us villagers to devour more trees in terms of farming & logging. So, yes the developed countries have studied us, that if they give more money to trade off a “CARBON SINK”, they can keep their coal & oil energy establishments. Is the world solving Global warning for real?

      In summary while the world can trade carbon credits, it should look at alternate energy solutions. Thanks Paul, so many management policies of saving forest is there to adopt help preserve forest except the reducing CO2 emission by developed countries is solved by money, don’t you think??

  89. Hi Kafu,

    My use of the expression ‘Priority’ was really only to show a few of the conflicting priorities that are faced today by those who are involved in the carbon debate. They were not meant to be read as alternatives in order of preference.

    Only by being better informed can those landowners who still have trees make better decisions affecting their forests. Once a forest is cut down, it rarely if ever regrows.

    The arguments for sustainable energy are another story. Clearly, energy derived from methods other than coal and oil are preferable however they are also very expensive to produce up front. The figure I’ve heard bandied around is about three times the energy to initially produce solar power and wind power generators in comparison to the equivalent electricity from coal fired generators. However, since I’m not an expert on these matters, I have taken he time to listen to what others who are experts are saying. If you have an opportunity, check this BBC program out on the internet.

    I do agree that the simplistic argument of trading off carbon credits in order to continue doing what you are doing is essentially nonsense. It’s being pedalled by those who don’t want to change. Some of the ‘pie in the sky’ notions being used to justify continued use of coal would be laughable if they weren’t so serious. Carbon sequestration is an easy answer that has been claimed as a way of getting rid of excess CO2. Compressing and liquefying the CO2 and pumping it underground is one method being touted at the moment, albeit unproven at this stage. No one seems to have worked out what we will breath when all the Oxygen (in the CO2) is also pumped underground or how the costs will be paid for and whether will the CO2 will remain locked up, etc..

    I also see that to restrict nations in exercising their right to develop is grossly unfair.

    Whether we can affect those changes going on in the Earth’s climate is a question I don’t have an answer to, given that some nations, who are accused of creating the problem, are not going to change. Whe all these changes in climate are man made is another question.

    The REAL problem is that the world’s population is growing at an exponential rate and the Earth cannot support even our current population (6 + Billion) at the same standard of living currently being enjoyed by the so called ‘developed’ world. Its claimed it would take 2 and 1/2 Earth’s to do so. So someone, somewhere is going to have to give up something.

    The governments of the world are trying to divert attention away from this fact and are hoping everyone will forget about the REAL problem while there is so much attention and money being devoted to Global Warming and the Carbon Debate.

    History says it will be either war, disease, famine of a natural disaster that sorts this mess out. These are the ways in which excess population has been killed off in the past.

    Lukluk long wanem ol gutpla samting ol lida ibin wokim na mekim pastaim. Husat emi save mekim mauswara na giaman tok emi samting nating tasol. Rausim em tasol a?

  90. The truth shall set you free. This thread seems to have finally reached the true intended ending, I presume.

    I think if someone was to start from the beginning of the “carbon trading under more scrutiny” page, a very good understanding of this topic was discussed here; these informative debates are immensely invaluable.

    Thank you to all for great contributions.

  91. Hey Kafu,

    It does seem as if no one else has anything else to add doesn’t it?

    In Oz yesterday, on an ABC program called ‘Landline’, they showed some more insights into the so called ‘Carbon Sink’ debate that has been going on in the US. Farmers there has been selling Carbon Credits to others based on their ability to ‘sequester’ carbon on their properties and farms. The theory is that if they don’t ’till’ or plough their farms and let the residue from previous crops lie of the surface on the land, this will increase the amount of carbon being trapped in and on the soil and in their crops. The ‘Credits’ they have sold however have started to decrease in value over the last few years. I believe people have started to see through this convenient claim and the credits are losing value (and credibility) on a downhill slide. Let’s face it: If the argument is that the carbon being trapped in crops is ‘sequestering’ carbon, that’s clearly not true. What happens to the crops eventually? They get eaten by humans who then BREATH out the carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere. The only ‘sequestration’ going on is in the increasing human population yet no one wants to acknowledge this potential time bomb.

    The value of your existing forests are immense and long term. To instantly convert them into a small amount of today’s money could be a very short term gain for a long term pain. That’s not to say that you as landowners should not benefit from your resources however. Careful management and control over your assets can ensure they continue to be available for generations to come. That’s the essence of the debate over the use of your forests. Do you have effective control over your resources? If not, why not? and …. Who actually does have control your resources and why?

    As to the smoke and mirrors over the carbon debate, the ABC commentator uttered some very true words. “Caveat emptor” he said. That’s Latin for “Let the buyer beware” however I believe he was referring to the ‘buyer’ of the concept, not actual buyer.

    Wantok. Lukluk na kisim save gut long dispela kain toktok a? Yu mas salim toksave igo long ol pipol bilong yu na bihain bai oli save gut sapos oli harim giaman toktok. Opim ai bilong ol. Diwai bilong ol emi samting olgeta mas larim istap long graun bilong ol na yusim em olsem isi isi a? Nupla diwai imas kamap na senisim diwai oli laik katim. No gut bihain bai ol pikinini em kamap na askim yu olsem, “Eh Papa, diwai bilong mipela istap we? Mipela ino nap mekim haus na ol samting bilong lain bilong mipela wantaim kunai na rabis kapa na pipia istap nabaut.”

    Lukim yu poroman,

  92. Interesting article from Jakarta Post and Carbon Positive web site –

    Indonesia warns of REDD carbon cowboys

    Monday, 26 October 2009

    The Indonesian government is warning local authorities to be wary of those purporting to be carbon brokers promising big financial gains for future REDD projects. The Jakarta Post reports that bogus operators are attempting to sign up local governments and landholders on the promise of developing lucrative forest preservation projects, which in many cases are a con.

    REDD is the term given to the emerging international initiative to develop a global financial mechanism to pay for the saving of tropical rainforests. This is seen as vital to efforts to reduce the world’s greenhouse gas emissions and restore a balanced flow of carbon between the land and the atmosphere. Payments would go from rich countries to developing nation governments, their landholders and forest communities in return for preserving their forests.

    In Indonesia’s key rainforest provinces, fraudsters are extracting land commitments through memoranda of understanding (MOUs), the government says, which are then used to attract large amounts of finance from carbon investors overseas. In many cases, none of the money has yet been seen by locals in Indonesia, says Wandojo Siswanto from the country’s Forestry Ministry.

    “They are promising regencies or cities huge rewards if they commit to REDD projects, but in fact are not offering any concrete programs,” Wandojo told the Jakarta Post. “It has already happened, in Kalimantan and Sumatra.” He says there are about 20 foreign carbon brokers active in the country currently.

    The government in neighbouring Papua-New Guinea last year moved to establish its authority over all forest carbon transactions citing similar concerns, drawing opposition from local landowners. However, the government’s climate change agency was itself implicated in a scandal that saw local landowners signing over forest land access rights to carbon brokers after being shown fake carbon credit certificates.
    The agency’s director, Dr Theo Yasause, was stood down although a subsequent investigation has cleared him of corruption. His replacement, meanwhile, Dr Wari Iamo, has warned landowners not to sign any voluntary carbon market agreements in the absence yet of regulations to govern REDD deals.

    Indonesia has developed rules for REDD projects, the first country to do so, and they determine how financing should be shared among local communities, the various levels of government involved and foreign project developers. But recent reform of government in Indonesia to increase regional autonomy has made it hard for Jakarta to intervene to thwart the bogus operators’ practices, Wandojo said.

    Efforts to draft a robust international REDD system at the UN have been slow as negotiators wrestle with the challenges of balancing a range of conflicting climate, social and wider environmental considerations involved in such a scheme. The rights of forest communities and indigenous peoples are one of these major concerns.

    Jakarta Post 26/10/09, Probe International 6/10/09

  93. Another warning about private REDD schemes from The National…

    “Iamo warns about con groups in carbon trade

    THE public has been warned to be wary of certain groups registering clans to participate in the carbon trade.
    Office of Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability (OCCES) acting executive director Dr Wari Iamo issued the warning after receiving news from East Sepik province that a group was registering clans to participate in the carbon trade from the Hawain Forest Area.
    Such activity is also occurring in other rural areas where cunning educated individuals are targeting illiterate rural people and cheating them of their hard earned income while misleading them on carbon trade issues.
    “Right now, there is no climate change legislation and frame work and we cannot go around creating Reduction Emission from Forest Degradation and Deforestation projects.”
    The OCCES is still working on the legislation and frame work.
    He said police cannot arrest and charge those carrying out this activity because there was no Climate Change and Carbon trade Act to use.
    “OCCES is the only authorised organisation to handle carbon trade issues in PNG,” he said.
    Dr Iamo urged all landowners not to enter into any agreements with private companies involving in carbon trading until the rules, policy and legal framework have been determined for carbon trading in PNG.”

  94. Peter,
    The public need to be warned about Dr Wari Iamo.
    who is overseas at present and that supposed warning was written by one of his office workers who is from that Sepik village.
    Dr Wari Iamo is officed with Enviroment and Conservation,OOCCC and Forestry, that conflict of interest is a crime.
    Is and has tried to sell forest peoples forests to logging companies with out their consent by using illegal assumptions by miss quoting and understanding of the Forestry act.

    Wari Iamo performs corrupt criminal actions and will be challenged very soon.I believe his days are numbered.

    He does not understand the Carbon Trading business and does not want to understand, because he is in business with logging companies.
    However the Hawain Forest Group project has been under carbon trading construction for the last 2 years with the original PNG Carbon Trader as documents prove.

    The company at present trying to persuade ILG’s are cons and have been trying to trade in PNG illegally.

    It is now common knowledge this blog encourages corupt media rubbish in PNG.Illiya Gridneff is a perfect example of the mischevious propoganda produced to confuse PNG and promote AAP and the Australian Government.

  95. hey Tim,
    Sapos Dokta Wari Iamo, em asua na mauswara giaman paol na long long nogat save lo carbon trade, WHY PUT HIM IN CHARGE??


    Relax mate, if you have forest, just put a stop to logging, knowing on the hindsight, carbon trade is coming. I hate impatient people, jumping to grab every dung goodies told to them at first earshot without probing.

  96. kafu peg,

    Well said!

    Only people who have something to hide will come out and rubbish everything that has been discussed on this thread thus far. It has been an excellent source of information and gives us a chance to consider the issue from every possibe angle.

    Wanwan man ken skelim olgeta toktok long wei blong yu yet. If you have evidence about Dr Iamo’s corrupt dealings which you alluded to, then wonem samting stoppim yu long karim go givim Ombudsman Commission, which is the right person to complain to?

    If only we started doing more of such detailed and relentless probing starting from 34 years ago!

    As I said earlier, if you possess the truth, then it is up to you to convince us about it, rather than taking short cuts and shooting down the messenger.

  97. OK. I have been following his debate for some time, as my wantoks have asked for my advice , but as yet have I no clear opinion on what is the right course of action.

    Some things I think we can all agree on –

    = It is better to preserve forests rather than cutting them done, so any genuine initiative to this end is good.

    = We should have a free and open debate about the issues without prejudice or acrimony.

    = Allegations should be backed up with evidence.

    = Benefits should flow to the local people in a free and transparent manner.

    = There is NO international consensus on how to set up a REDD carbon credits scheme at a national and international level. Maybe this will come out of the Copenhagen conference.

    = PNG has an unfortunate history of exploitation of its resources at the hands of foreign companies through corruption and exploitation.

    For what it’s worth, I think everyone should stop and wait until until international mechanisms are in place likewise national policies and legal frameworks.

    By the way, my sis works for DEC under Iamo and she has a high regard for him and his integrity so I don’t accept the criticisms of him unless evidence is presented. And we have yet to see the policy framework that DEC is working on.

    I just don’t want to see my wantoks shafted by foreign companies yet again!

    Lukim yu!

    Over and out,


  98. Tim – if not DEC, then who is working on the policy framework?

    This is from their web site –

    “New Strategic Direction

    The global and domestic policy framework within which DEC’s new Strategic Directions has been framed includes the following policy initiatives:

    * The Millennium Declaration and Millennium Development Goals, in particular MDG7
    * Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation
    * The three Rio environment Conventions and the Global Environment Facility
    * Medium Term Development Strategy
    * Strategic Plan for Supporting Public Sector Reform in PNG; and
    * Decentralization and the Organic Law on Provincial and Local Level Government “

  99. DEC/OCCES is responsible for the REDD strategy

    The joint interim REDD strategy for PNG is being developed by DEC and OCCES. It comprises at least six main activities in preparation for the upcoming Copenhagen meeting. It is due for completion by the end of the month.

    1. Are you serious.
      what is due at the end of the month. ?
      What is expected at Copenhagen from PNG.
      are you a Australian public servant.
      did you know that many leading nations are not supporting the UNFCCC or the 10m they expect to be put on the table.
      REDD is becoming the ‘fiasco’ of the century
      Copenhagen is a meeting to explain how the UNFCCC and World Bank can get there cut from carbon trading.
      PNG policies will be then how the Government can get its cut out of PNG.
      another sham uncovered.

    2. you are totally wrong!!!!!
      were is the instrument regarding to drive the Depatment of Enviroment and Conservation.
      The so called REDD strategy is a myth.
      Who in Copenhagen will entertain this so called strategy as of the recent IPEC discussions.
      Does Dr Wari Iamo and the Australian Gov actually know what they are talking about? or do they want to keep wasteing tax payers money in Aust and PNG.
      Please worry about your own business and stop writing about things you do not understand.

  100. 私の国であることになってきた国連の文書では、REDDのは間違いなく2015年に設立される予定/ 2016の言葉。

    from google translate I think

    In a UN publication that has come to in my country is says that REDD will definitely be established by 2015 / 2016.
    Could this be true? How do we save the forests until this long time away?
    Ahso San

    1. Ahso San,
      A very good question and the answer to this question was delivered by the PNG developer nearly 2 years ago.
      The developer in a meeting in PNG discussed and annouced that through his investigations and reliable information through European contacts, that the world would not be able to reach a compliance to save the worlds forests untill at least 2015.
      PNG Forest People through their developer have a ‘methodology’ in place to secure Voluntary Carbon Credits to their Incorporations for their ILG’s and the people of PNG.
      The said credits will form a foundation of finacial security much needed in PNG through the ‘Desinating Developing Process’.
      The developer also warned 2 years ago that the international agenda is to ‘trick’ the PNG people through ‘conservation’ land grabs.
      PNG Forest people are aware and did take notice and have made it clear that they will manage their resource through their own Incorporated act of PNG.

  101. よくUNFCCスポークスマンはこの日、報告されてEUの財務担当者の会議には、”REDDの+”があるので、多くの技術的なハードルは、”EUと米国befoe決めることができますユーロと労力の何百万年かかると明らかにした。私の国では昨日は声明は”日本の科学者たちの助けを借りて、日本農業と森林生産者は”広いに関係なく、”おそらく、多くの年の離れた”REDDのための国際標準に使用されますREDDのプロトコルを確立していたが、”可能性がありますもないEU、中国と米国の間でdisputations”のために政府帰着

    from google translate please forgive my bad grammar

    well UNFCC spokesperson this day is reported to have said to meeting of EU finance people that “REDD+” has so many technical hurdles that it will take millions of euros and years of effort” befoe the EU and USA can decide. In my country yesterday there was a statement that “Japan with the help of its scientists, has established a REDD protocol which will to be used for japan Farmers and forest holders” without regard to the wider “and possibly many years away” international standard for REDD which ” may not even eventuate due to disputations between EU, China and USA” government officials.

  102. Dear Tim
    because it is gong to take years for a global UN deal on forest finance to be figured out lots of people are working hard to establish interim or emergency finance package for forests.

    Interim means the period between now and when the UN can pull its finger out.

    Go and visit the website of the Office of the President of Guyana, and check the item “Guyana could get as much as $250m…”.

    “With the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Guyana and Norway to protect Guyana’s tropical forests today at the bucolic Fairview village, Region Nine on the banks of the mighty Essequibo River, Guyana could receive as much as US$250M by 2015 to support the implementation of the Low-Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS).”

    Or check out reports from the Prince’s Rainforest Project meeting in London today which just had a promise of $275m for REDD next year from USA. I was at this meeting. A lot of minds are focused on finding money right now. Already the World Bank and Government of Norway are spending hundreds of millions of dollars on readiness work.

    All over the world, there are pilot REDD projects starting up… including I may add in Papua New Guinea, April Salome is a pilot REDD project with the sanction of the government.

    Some people commenting here, such as yourself, have gone with private developers in PNG. You said your developer promised money through the Voluntary Carbon Standard. This means that credits are sold on the voluntary market (say people wanting to offset plane flights), rather than in bilateral deals of the kind I’ve mentioned above.

    The voluntary market is one way to go if you own forest. And landowners are also entitled to their opinions about any other projects or schemes trying to do finance for forests.

    But can we just have a dose of reality please?

    Just because your “developer” or “broker” tells you he is offering the best deal in town, doesn’t make it so.

    Guyana is getting a low carbon development plan for the whole country, plus work to improve agricultural productivity. In Juma in Brazil, they get schools and healthcare, and a credit card with cash on it. So have you really got the best deal possible? Or did the developer just tell you it was the best deal? You probably can’t say because you signed a non-disclosure agreement along with that exclusivity clause they tied you up with.

    If your developer told you there would be no money before 2015 unless you go through the voluntary market, it should be clear from these examples that this is wrong.

    Secondly, if they told you the international agenda is to ‘trick’ the PNG people through ‘conservation’ land grabs, I believe this is simply untruthful.

    Timber concessions can steal forests through land grabs because they can remove the trees. But conservationists need trees to remain standing absorbing carbon dioxide, and that isn’t possible unless you convince landowners that they are worth more standing than cut. The government could designate the whole of PNG a conservation zone but it would not make one iota of difference if landowners still felt compelled to cut trees down. The only way this will ever work is if landowners are given some form of financial incentive to maintain the forest. The only reason to suggest that conservationists are out to steal land is to make a private developer deal look better. Don’t swallow it. Or ask for evidence please and report back here so we can judge for ourselves.

    By all means Tim, go through a private developer and sell your carbon onto the voluntary market. That is your right, and your choice. And it may be that this choice is the right one for you and makes you the most money.

    But don’t tell everyone that your way is the only way going. It isn’t.

  103. Prince Charles announces funding scheme to protect rainforests

    The Guardian, UK

    A global emergency funding scheme to drastically reduce the destruction of tropical rainforests over the next five years was announced by the Prince of Wales today, with the US pledging $275m (£165m) towards rainforest protection.

    The plan relies on developed countries paying rainforest nations such as Brazil and Indonesia to reduce rates of deforestation and thereby cut carbon emissions.

    Currently, the lucrative trade in logging, cattle grazing and palm oil, means tropical forests are worth substantially more dead than alive to developing countries. The plan, agreed by 35 governments of the Informal Working Group (IWG) and published at a meeting at St James’s Palace, aims to make trees worth more alive. The group hopes to achieve a 25% reduction in annual deforestation rates by 2015. The felling of forests causes almost a fifth of global carbon emissions.

    However, environment groups last night said the “devil was in the detail” and expressed concern over whether the scheme could achieve its aims. There were calls for the UK government to pledge money to the scheme.Tony Juniper, special adviser to the Prince’s Rainforests Project (PRP) and former director of Friends of the Earth, described the agreement as a breakthrough and said: “This is the first time there has been a consensus among governments on a mechanism to deal with the underlying causes of deforestation, which are mainly economic.”

    Funding for the plan, which was set up by world leaders after a meeting convened by Prince Charles in London in April, would cost between £13.5bn and £22bn over the next five years. The money will initially be sought from governments.

    Addressing delegates, including Ed Miliband, the energy and climate change secretary, and Guyana’s president, Bharrat Jagdeo, Prince Charles said: “I have been enormously encouraged to hear the findings from the IWG report. It does seem that we have arrived at a consensus on how emergency funding might be deployed in the near future.”

    Miliband said a deal at next month’s crunch UN climate talks in Copenhagen on funding for reducing deforestation – a key theme – was “now closer than it’s ever been”.

    Issues of land rights, indigenous people, risk of corruption and verification have dogged the deforestation talks.

    An example of how the scheme could work was given as the historic agreement between Norway and Guyana last week, in which Oslo pledged $250m to the forest nation by 2015 to continue to prevent deforestation.

    Simon Counsell, executive director of the Rainforest Foundation, said: “We have to be very careful that any emergency funding will result in a real reduction in deforestation or forest damage.”

    1. How would that $250m be distributed and what would the real cost be to Guyana?

      How would the 13.5 billion to 22 billion pounds be met and paid.?
      what is its actual use?

      How can we know that the $275 US pledged funding is actually being used for its proper purpose?

      In all we have heard about these insentives for years, but have hardly seen the colour of the money or progress of their publicity.

  104. I think the best thing to do in the meantime is to promote conservation to the landowners until some plan is put in place. I was just in the Sepik region last month, and it seems the logging companies have not been idle. We drove through a village that was in the midst of a townhall meeting with a logging company. They were promising money and work in exchange for permission to cut trees. This shows the logging is still moving ahead while conservation sits on the discussion table.

    PNG needs to save its trees as they could possibly be its most valuable resource in the near future.

    1. Joseph,
      Not only Sepik but from the south,east ,north to the west illegal logging has become more rampant in PNG.
      The reason being is because illegal has less red tape and is much quicker and more profitable.
      Conservation is not the way as it will become simply as written on this blog a land grab.
      The forest owners will retain their forests under their Incorporations and have VCS , CCBA Carbon trading under construction by the PNG developer for a return of revenue to maintain their forests.
      It is so important that the people retain their forests and utilise their protection for a return.

  105. The essence of this debate is surely ‘Who owns the trees?’

    It’s all very well for someone from elsewhere to say ‘look after your forest’. Don’t cut down your trees when they don’t own that forest.

    That forest however is not just trees. It’s a resource that has been standing for a long time. Many generations have depended on that forest for their livelihood and the resources to survive. Many future generations will also depend on that forest. Look what happens when the trees go. Landslides, mudslides, soil quickly exhausted, no timber to use, polluted water resources, etc.

    If a forest is cut down, everyone knows it will never regrow unless a large and expensive regeneration discipline is enforced. Even then, only very limited and selective felling can be done otherwise the dynamics of the forest will be changed and the trees will be unable to grow. Take a look at anywhere that has cut down their trees. Scrub and grassland and finally desert take over.

    It is not just a case of denying a quick return from a timber company. There will always be a few who want that and it is their right to voice their opinion. Everyone needs to look at what happens if a timber company comes to town however.

    The first fact is that any payment for cut timber is usually a small fraction of what the cut timber is actually worth when it reaches the market. What is actually being offered by way of payment is a change in lifestyle that comes from a small amount of money and then no ongoing benefit. Also, what happens to any money so obtained? It ends up being quickly squandered on consumables and material goods, often sold by the people who want to cut the trees or their countrymen.

    The second fact is that foreign timber companies HAVE to cut trees in another country because they have ruined their own forests. They aren’t in the business of renewable forests or they wouldn’t be coming to PNG.

    The third fact is that the trees are actually owned by generations of people, both before and after today. Look at what constitutes the houses and materials needed to live. By cutting down a forest, what will future generations have to use?

    The fourth fact is that any promised benefit from so called carbon trading is in reality, very hard to administer and will usually end up being snaffled by the central government and used by corrupt politicians. It will be impossible to audit and is a diversion from the real issues already stated. Carbon trading schemes are smoke and mirrors and only attract those who don’t own their own trees by allowing them to dupe their own people into taxing more and still continuing to pollute the world.

    So who actually profits from the current trees and forest and who profits if they are cut down? That’s the real question that should be asked?

    Liklik win moni igo long wanem samting a? Bihain bai emi baim bikpla hevi aiting.

    1. Paul.
      97% of PNG is owned by Land owners PNG people.

      it is now my pleasure on your behalf to tell PNG landowners what you have just stated on this blog, I will transfer it to the POM newspapers.

      Paul you are incorrect everywhere and I suppose you are a Journo from a poor public Australian school.

      The planet is in trouble, it is crying, any forest or enviroment including ‘trees’ hydrology and ‘ALL” its bio-mass needs to be protected and managed,

      I am sorry but you are a Richard Head of the first degree by reading all your blogs.

      The land owners who own the forests as ILG’s as share holders of their Incorporations, will receive and manage their Carbon Trading returns.

      That means no PNG Central Bank , UNFCCC World Bank come Australian corrupt scamms.

      The ILGs Incorporations will then pay their Incorporated Tax to the PNG Government, and yes that means all you Australian shonks will get nothing’ is that what you are really writing about, or is that what you and Dudd didnt want to hear.

  106. Dear greenie cap,

    Firstly, I’m at least honest enough to use my real name and not to hide behind a pseudonym. Secondly I would be delighted if you were able to tell all PNG landowners (if that were possible) what I have said in previous posts. I stand by my opinions and I don’t represent anyone but myself. One of the relevent issues is that most PNG landowners may not be able to obtain all the information they need to make the right decisions for the future.

    If you had in fact read all my previous posts you would know who I am and where I’m coming from. Name calling does nothing to progress any logical debate.

    I have an abiding concern for PNG landowners and it is this very aspect that causes me to raise some issues concerning the Carbon Debate. PNG landowners can be caught up in a web of misinformation that is most unhelpful when they have to decide what to do with their forests. The question I raised in my last post was metaphorical in nature. While landowners may think they have control over their trees, the fact that many may not be actually informed as to the real value of their timber raises the real question of who is in control. The price landowners may receive ‘at the tree stump’ so to speak, is a very small part of the overall value when the timber products are manufactured and ‘value added’. You might care to investigate this aspect. Secondly, it is well documented in many news reports (including the other Masalai site) that most timber milling companies are not owned by PNG people.

    As to the necessity to protect and manage the bio mass of our planet, I totally agree with you. As I previously explained, I too am a landowner and plant and look after trees for the future, albeit in a small way. So what I’m doing is putting my experience and conviction on the table as evidence that I do understand what the problem is. Are you able to say the same?

    I suggest that you should re read my posts and you’ll see that I’m not for anyone except those who face the unenviable task of trying to decide whether to sell their trees for some small profit, look after their trees for the future or become unwitting pawns in the great carbon tax swindle that our politicians seem to be sinking into, whether by omission or commission.

    Happy to discuss any of our concerns but I suggest that name calling and heated emotions aren’t going to help find some genuine answers. Use your passion for positive means, not negative.

    Poroman, nogut yu bel hat long mi na ai bilo yu pas long as tru bilo toksave bilo mi.

    Kind regards,

    Paul Oates

    1. Again total rubbish everywhere, absolutley hopless Paul, you have no idea, and it is because of theories like “yours” the world is in its present state.

      I could debate with you, but Paul it would just to boring and a waste of time.

      Simliar to talking to a brick wall.

      Do your self a favour and actually read and try and understand what you write before you press send..

  107. Ah… greenie cap, me ol’ mate,

    the rubbish your talk about is in the eye of the beholder. When it comes to advancing an emotional argument, logic always seems to take a flying leap out the window.

    As to understanding what has been previously written about this subject and an appreciation of where those who have written it are coming from, I suggest that the people who read our posts will make up their own minds on that score.

    Painim gutpla sindaun na kisim win pastaim a?


    1. Please Paul do not think that you write logical information regarding the Protection of Rain Forests.
      In fact a so many of your comments are really out there, no logic at all or purpose for the Forest People of PNG to earn a return for the natural maitainance of the their forests.
      If fact most of the dribble on these posts is constant negativity inaccurate information and re used media rubbish.

      Unfortunlatley,your attitude will not help any continuing chances of evolution to its potential ,,you Paul have been found wanting.

  108. OK, for the sake of those who may be reading this exchange, I’ll try again.

    The logic of preserving a forest is there for the owners to see IF but ONLY IF they:

    1. are informed about the benefits or otherwise of felling their trees,
    2. are allowed by their government or leaders to protect their trees,
    3. aren’t misled by those who wish to make a profit from the forest,
    4. are the real owners of the forest.

    Why is it that forests the world over have been cut down and the world’s rainforests are shrinking daily? Because those in power allow it to happen.

    But who is in charge and therefore responsible? The owners of the forest? Well who owns the forest? Is it those who claim ownership or is it past, present and future generations of landowners? If the present generation is paid to have their forest cut down, where does the profit go to? Who will end up with the money and will that compensate for the future loss of the forest for future generations?

    So are the owners who claim to own the forest actually in charge of their trees? Can they effectively ensure that only sustainable timber felling is carried out? History says they can’t because they don’t have the power or knowledge to do so. That is not to denigrate the landowners where the forest grows. That is a fact that has been repeated over and over again. Illegal logging and complicit government leaders have continually allowed unsustainable logging to occur to the detriment of those landowners who claim they own the forest.

    So can landowners benefit from a forest? Yes! They can benefit by allowing the forest to remain and using the resources it provides to help them live as they have done for thousands of years. If carbon credits are provided to keep the forest alive, then so much the better.

    The real problem is, who will actually get the proceeds of these carbon credits (read new tax on consumers)? As tax money, it will be absorbed by governments as consolidated revenue. The landowners won’t see much of it if at all. Consequently, when someone offers them a deal for their trees, they will take the money and lose their forest. Governments in so called developing nations have been very slow to stop this happening. Consequently, land degradation and all the subsequent results and misery are happening daily.

    So Mr ‘greenie cap’, what is your solution? Castigating a person who is trying to help. Throwing up some positive and helpful advice to landowners?

    Chances are you are sitting in a nice air-conditioned office using someone else’s computer to throw up some negative thoughts that may confuse the issues rather than try to find practical solutions. Tell me I’m wrong.

    Well, I’m off to look after my trees. See you later.

  109. BTW, Who said these brave words below and what has he done to save his country’s forests?
    Ladies and Gentlemen

    In Papua New Guinea, our ‘old ways’ have allowed our 834 tribes to survive for over 50,000 years in a very challenging natural environment. But, these ancient traditions have struggled to keep pace within an increasingly complex future.

    Without true valuation for our vast environmental assets, we have struggled with schools that cannot afford the best teachers and health centers with only basic medicines.

    Yet our rural communities still remember how to live sustainably, a skill many others have forgotten in the rush to get ahead. Therefore, whether we consider energy or tropical forests, the future is increasingly clear: together, we must reconstruct our value frameworks!

    New environmental service markets must support tropical countries striving toward sustainable development by generating ‘environmental capital’ from ecosystem services that humanity has so far been exploiting for free.

    From this vision, we must forge new hope!

    However, bold leadership is required on both sides of the economic divide to transform the way we value our environment.

    By saving the forests, indeed, maybe humanity will relearn how to save ourselves!

    Thank you!


    Wantoks, Read on………


    Sydney, 7 November 2008

    Ms Martine Letts, Acting Director Lowy


    Invited Guests

    Ladies and Gentlemen

    I am grateful for the opportunity to be here today to deliver a Statement to an audience organized by the Lowy Institute – an Institute that has over the years encouraged exchange of ideas and dissemination of information on Papua New Guinea.

    In a country where Papua New Guinea is often misunderstood, because of lack of accurate, or sometimes highly sensationalized reporting, I believe I owe it to the Lowy Institute to accept the invitation to be here today.

    Ladies and Gentlemen

    I was asked to address you today on Issues/Challenges facing the region. Consequently, I have chosen Climate Change and the need to rethink traditional economic theory and market constructs.

    As I have highlighted so many times, climate change is real and upon us! I know some skeptics in the scientific community ridicule this assertion as not supported by what they call unquestionable empirical evidence.

    Well, some of us do not need science to prove this phenomenon. We live it! Papua New Guinea and many of our Pacific Island neighbors, including Australia, are already suffering dire consequences.

    Symptoms and evidence of climate change are all there for everyone to see. They include, but not limited to: · bleached corals reefs that are starving our fisheries;

    · atoll based communities that are disappearing under the rising waves;

    · mosquitoes that are moving up mountain ridges and killing children;

    · we find beaches eroded away and suffocated by the swelling seas; and

    · mighty trees, once high up on the beach, now drowned, felled and sinking under the surface.

    Ladies and Gentlemen

    In fact, in my own village, we have moved for the fourth time in one generation in order to escape flooding on one side and sea level rise on the other. We are probably among the first environment refugees.

    Our mangrove ecosystems and, in fact, our very way of life is being destroyed. And the destructive toll grows steadily. We need to act and we need to act NOW.

    As we consider remedies for this growing crisis, we must look deep within. We must question past assumptions, redefine ourselves, and reach toward a new vision of sustainability.

    So often, we often tend to focus on the negative environmental degradation, catastrophic climate change, high unemployment, crippling poverty, and the list goes on.

    Ladies and Gentlemen

    My vision and that of my government is to transform these challenges confronting society, into a framework for environmentally and socially sustainable economic growth.

    Obviously, collective action is required now. Let me be specific. First, the world can no longer account for the environment as an ‘externality’. Our natural environment and her services are not ‘free’ to society. Once we lose these services and experience around the world suggest often forever, the costs may prove catastrophic for global society. Therefore, we must integrate ecosystem services into our global market constructs.

    Carbon sequestration must only be the first step. This must be followed by valuations for biodiversity, water purification, waste disposal, crop pollination, etc. For this reason, we must now transform our natural environment into ‘environmental capital’.

    These valuable ecosystem services must be harnessed as engines for wealth creation for those rural communities that have traditionally cared for these assets.

    Ladies and Gentlemen

    Let me try and lay out a historical parallel. Around 250 years ago, humanity began its dependence on a product of the earth’s geological services – hydrocarbons.

    Commercial coal production began around 1750 and was followed some 100 years later by the commercialization of oil.

    As a result, many of the rural poor became wealthy as hydrocarbons were discovered on their land.

    And, as many of you know, some middle eastern nations have leveraged this wealth to transform ancient nomadic societies into economic powerhouses with world class cities now rising above desert sands.

    However, our current economic addiction to fossil fuels has carried an increasingly dangerous side effect a contribution to climate change.

    As highlighted earlier, climate change impact is becoming increasingly vicious for the people of Papua New Guinea and many Pacific Island countries.

    And we have not remained indifferent to this plight.

    Ladies and Gentlemen

    Pacific Island countries have agreed to take certain actions to mitigate the effects of climate change. We have adopted the Framework for Action on Climate Change and the Disaster Risk Reduction and Disaster Management Framework for Action.

    As part of this process we have agreed to implement individual action plans for climate change. Pacific Island countries, have also endorsed certain initiatives proposed by the international community under the auspices of the United Nations, Commonwealth as well as our regional partners on reducing green house gas emissions.

    In Bali, the international community agreed to a post 2012 Kyoto Protocol framework on climate change. The most powerful nations of the world, the G8, committed themselves to reducing further harmful gas emissions.

    Ladies and Gentlemen

    Pacific Island countries have identified climate change adaptation and mitigation as requiring special attention.

    While we contribute less to the pollution that affects climate change, we have a disproportionate responsibility to outlay huge resources to adapt and mitigate climate change effects on our countries.

    We need assistance in the transfer of appropriate technology that is eco friendly. Ability to harness and utilize solar power, wind power, hydro power, biogas, gas and other clean energy technologies will greatly help the global efforts to reduce green house gas emissions.

    There are resources available under the World Bank, the UN, the Commonwealth, the European Commission and from our other bilateral partners such as Australia and Japan. Pacific Island countries need to make full use of these resource envelopes. Hopefully, extraneous conditions are not imposed to frustrate access to these funds.

    Ladies and Gentlemen

    But all the efforts I have highlighted are not enough. We need to do more. Papua New Guinea believes a global paradigm shift is required. Today, we must correctly value a healthy and functioning natural environment.

    In the case of energy, with proper investment, such a transformation may energize our global economic growth from renewable resources – the sun, the wind, the sea, the rivers, and geothermal forces.

    For this reason, I have charged my new Office of Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability to determine if PNG can energize our future economic growth 100 percent from renewable energy.

    I am asking: can we indeed become ‘carbon neutral’ before 2050 while at the same time expanding our GDP per capital at least 10 fold? However, as I look to the future, it is clear that we must go further! Let me use the issue of deforestation and forest degradation as a case study! Deforestation is complex, but put simply – it is driven by the fact that the world values forests more dead than alive.

    Tropical rainforests are being cut down because we do not pay for their many valuable and diverse ecosystem services – such as climate stabilization, rainfall generation, water storage, water distillation, crop pollination, soil fertility, waste disposal, flood control, pest control and recreational services.

    Traditional economic theory – which considers ecosystem services a ‘common good’ and thus free to all is primarily responsible for this!

    So, with these services valued at zero, rural communities that depend on and care for forests must make a living in other ways.

    As they struggle to eke out an existence, keeping the land forested means sacrificing the opportunities to be gained by converting it to other uses. Many deforest their land so as to trade low value commodities like timber, beef, palm oil, soy, coffee, and cocoa. In fact, these international commodity markets have hardly changed from colonial times.

    Ladies and Gentlemen

    In many ways, these economic relics are increasingly perverse and nonsensical. The environment is devastated, rural communities stay poor, and the rich shift the blame. They cite lack of governance and corruption.

    But these issues are not drivers of deforestation, but symptoms of obsolete market constructs. Markets begin and end with demand, and this is where we need to find the levers for change.

    We must shift focus from symptoms to drivers, from blame to solutions. As the issue of deforestation demonstrates, we must empower rural communities, for the first time, to develop without deforesting, to develop without destroying their natural environment, and thereby creating sustainable wealth for themselves and future generations. For example, the latest estimate is that around $20 billion a year will be needed to halve carbon emissions from deforestation.

    But it would be a wise investment, even for this one ecosystem service alone. According to the IPCC, forests may sequester over 3.3 billion tons of CO2 annually.

    So, with today’s carbon prices around $33/tCO2, the rural communities owning most of them are effectively subsidizing the rich by $100 billion per year. In fact, this is more than total world ODA, which is around $80 billion per year!

    Some companies are now valued in billions simply for advertising trinkets while we surf the internet. Some countries make billions selling fossil fuels that pollute our atmosphere, others for producing low cost consumer products that humanity does not require.

    Google is worth $150 billion while the world’s last great tropical forests, left standing, are worth nothing. How can this be right?

    Ladies and Gentlemen

    In Papua New Guinea, our ‘old ways’ have allowed our 834 tribes to survive for over 50,000 years in a very challenging natural environment. But, these ancient traditions have struggled to keep pace within an increasingly complex future.

    Without true valuation for our vast environmental assets, we have struggled with schools that cannot afford the best teachers and health centers with only basic medicines.

    Yet our rural communities still remember how to live sustainably, a skill many others have forgotten in the rush to get ahead. Therefore, whether we consider energy or tropical forests, the future is increasingly clear: together, we must reconstruct our value frameworks!

    New environmental service markets must support tropical countries striving toward sustainable development by generating ‘environmental capital’ from ecosystem services that humanity has so far been exploiting for free.

    From this vision, we must forge new hope!

    However, bold leadership is required on both sides of the economic divide to transform the way we value our environment.

    By saving the forests, indeed, maybe humanity will relearn how to save ourselves!

    Thank you!

    1. Now understanding were Kirk Roberts is coming from and being able to listen to his Carbon Trading structures for PNG personally.
      To note his ‘methodology and project design template for PNG” and to be able to cross reference this progress of development with verifiers and his scientists.
      The amount of time and money and brillant people he has sourced to make this accomplishment , although palming off the media and Governments on the way.
      Kirk William Roberts is a Crusader of the first degree.

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