Value of Carbon Not Fixed

Post Courier: 24/09/09

The value of PNG’s 96 million hectares of forest when traded for carbon credits is yet to be worked out, a senior officer from the Office of Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability has said.

Karl Sopol, policy manager at the OCCES, said it costs about 29 Euros per ton of carbon stock on the international market, but the cost of PNG’s 96 million hectares of forest is yet to be worked out. Mr. Sopol told media representatives attending a sea series lecture yesterday that financing costs of climate change effects and related projects will be massive and that the Government needs to invest in this area.

He said PNG’s current budget of about K7 million, where K4 million goes to pay public servants, leaves only K2 million to operate with and that is not enough. “There will hardly be a budget to tackle climate change issues and projects,” he said.

Mr. Sopol said many people were confused that carbon trading was being practiced when it was not. Instead there existed a voluntary market where two forest projects had been chosen as trial projects. “We have many landowners coming to our office to inquire and we tell them there is no funding until the mechanisms are worked out,” Mr. Sopol said.

He said a draft Climate Change Bill is expected to go before Parliament in November.


5 thoughts on “Value of Carbon Not Fixed

  1. Hi Manu,

    Carbon trading is a very interesting topic. Papua New Guinean stand to gain alot from this area. However, as Mr. Sopol rightly puts it, there is not a fixed value to it. There are several things that needs to be done before a value can be reach. calculating the total land area is not the way to find the actual value.

    There needs to be a bio-diversity analysis to determine the “carbon sink” in the forest. This carbon sinks gives you an idea of how much your forest will cost under the new arrangements in Copenhagen.

    Here is a list a friend of mine put together to start the process… we should start doing some of these things to be ready…


    Have you done,

    1. Social Mapping
    2. Registered ILG
    3. ILG constitution
    4. Profile (arises from the ILG Constitution)
    5. Land use planning
    6. Registered interest with the Office of Climate Change and Environment Sustainability (OCCES)
    7. Consult Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) to do Bio-diversity assessment
    8. Identifying of Project Activity as REDD or CDM Projects
    9. Have a genuine credible carbon consultant recognized by OCCES to carry out forest appraisal to determine carbon content

    1. Social Mapping

    An important component in which it maps,

    • The distribution of people between groups
    • The distribution of people between resources
    • The distribution of resources between people
    • The distribution of power between people and
    • The distribution of products between people

    2. Registered Incorporated Land Groups (ILG)

    Registered ILG refers to land title issued and gazette by the government which groups people to the land as theirs which is marked with identifies map coordinates held at the dept of lands and physical planning. Registered ILG are issued land title certificates. The ILG certificate is obtained through the Department of Lands and Physical Planning. Know the status of your land!!

    3. ILG Constitution

    ILG Constitution refers to the set of laws or rules/guidelines and activities that protects the interest of the registered ILG incumbent to engage themselves in the project between the government, carbon consultant and the people who are registered under the ILG. The constitution safe guards and protects the activities of the people, groups and resources indentified in the social mapping and ILG.

    4. Profile

    A profile is the summary of the group that comprises of people as recognized and being registered as part of the ILG. A profile should include a general account of the ILG and its activities and its interest to part take in carbon trade and its spin off activities.

    5. Land-use Planning

    This is the planning of how the land is going to be used. Whether you should have all the land use for carbon trading or manage some land for gardening and other agriculture activities such as coffee, tea, vanilla, cocoa settlement and such.

    6. Register Interest with OCCES

    The Office of Climate Change and Environment Sustainability is the Government Department responsible for all matters related to Carbon Trading projects. It works closely with PNG National Forest Authority (PNGNFA) and the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) as well as other government department and NGOs.

    This office too will advice you whether the forest you are using to trade carbon falls under the Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD), Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) or Voluntary Carbon Agreements (VCA) which is an option where PNG doesn’t want to take.

    7. Consult DEC (EIA & Green House)

    This Government Department is responsible for all bio-diversity assessment. The assessment covers endangered species, critically endangered species, and species count of both flora and fauna. They administer key legislations and perform their functions which also include environmental policy development, administration of PNG’s international environmental convention agreements with respect to environment.

    There are also private environmental consultants where their services can be use. Again consult with DEC and IPA for their history and legitimacy of their operation.

    8. Identifying of Project Activity as REDD or CDM Projects

    Through the OCCES, DEC and PNGNFA you are able to confirm whether your project activity on your land is a REDD or CDM project. The only two government department responsible to identify your project is the OCCES and the PNGNFA Research Institute (PNGFRI).

    9. Genuine Carbon Consultant

    This consultant should be responsible for appraisal of carbon content from the above and below ground bio-mass in the different sinks. They should be able to do calculations of the amount of carbon stored in the different sinks. They must be recognized by the OCCES and have close consultations with DEC and the PNGNFA and other governmental departments and NGOs. As a precaution to know whether the company is a legitimate business entity in PNG, they must be registered with Investment Promotion Authority (IPA).

    I personally think it’s only after having all this in place and have a valuer to value your land including all the appraisals and assessments of bio-diversity and carbon content of sinks, and then you will truly appreciate how much your land is worth. For instance, during a biological assessment, a new species of plant is found that could lead to new medical drug to cure breast cancer etc or even a rare/endangered species of animal. Put an economical value to that!!!

    Another reason why I came up with this check-list is to protect our people from being exploited by dubious so call carbon dealers in agreements and in signing any agreement that is not recognized by the government thru OCCES. The dealing should be legitimate and have a foundation with all plans that would help in MTDS etc.

    Here you will also see that I am emphasizing on governmental departments because the Government is taking a leading role in carbon trading in PNG. As a requirement to push for our rainforest into the carbon trade concept, for our resource owners to be issued with Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) from a seller in countries committed to emission reduction, a legal framework must exist. The Copenhagen meeting by the end of this year (2009) must be a reality. The success or failure to push for the legal framework for our forest resources in carbon trading lies with our Government.


    1. Rex you have written so many mistakes, it is shameful,
      There is no International mechanism and Copenhagen could not and the UNFCCC will never deliver except for a huge price to the forest owners and the Government of PNG not Wari Iamo’s “Government’ as he suggests.
      The only true standard that can create a ‘carbon credit’ that the “real” buyers of the world reconsie is the VCS(so far).
      Unfortunlatley left wingers ,Australian Government public sevants and PNG DEC like Wari Iamo are informing the PNG people incorectly in fact the office DEC has no such instrument to state as written and said to the media.
      I would also inform you and Wari Iam and his crooks that you are liable as told by forest owners and you will be charge very soon.
      If you dont believe me ask Wari Iamo.

  2. Thank you very much Rex, about time someone showed us the way to help ourselves as much as possible here. Sure its complicated but the more we understand ourselves the better off we will be if and when all this Carbon Trading gets legitimized.

    Thanks again Rex and I shall do this up as a separate post soon.

  3. Hi Manu,

    Great… am looking forward to that separate post.
    Of the list above, the two most important is;
    1. Social Mapping
    2. Bio-diversity assessment.

    This process is tedious and needs to start now for any land group before the actual policy framework is done. I’d love to talk more on it.


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