Wednesday, 28 April 2010
The people in Oro and elsewhere in PNG are warned that they should not jump into signing agreements to give away their land for Carbon Credit deals under the Volunteer Market Mechanisms, with out first checking to ensure that they will benefit from such deals.
This warning is made after numerous Carbon Cowboys have been in and out of villages in the Oro Province taking advantage of the ignorance of village people to get some village groups to pay upward of K1,000 to register to be able to benefit from the carbon credit schemes, they claim will bring billions of kina.
Amongst these Carbon Cowboys is someone called Sammy DW Toti, who is claiming to be a professed Dr and Scientist in Climate Change and Carbon Trade. In recent weeks he has been courting the Oro Provincial Government through some senior Public Servants in the Department of Oro to convince the Provincial Government to make available between 3 and 4 million Hectares of Forests in the province for a promised ten, (10) Billion Kina return in just two years.
OCEAN believes that Sammy DW Toti is not a Scientist in Climate Change and Carbon Trade as he claims to be as on many occasion OCEAN had representation in both National and International participation on Climate Change forums and have not come across a climate and carbon scientist by the name of Dr. Sammy WD Toti amongst all the resource people at these forums.
From our email correspondences with Professor Simon Saulei , one of the only three recognised experts of Climate Change science in this country Professor Saulei denies any affiliation with Sammy DW Toti and the Natural Resources Management Consultants group and denies his involvement in this project. Professor Saulei says, an we quote; “I was involved with his company some time back, but since 198 I am totally off from him and his company. He may say that I am with him, but the fact of the matter is that I am no longer with him.” End of quote. Some people who also know him personally have made references of his past sinister activities and confirm that he is not what he claims to be. He is not a Dr or a Climate Change and Carbon Trade Scientist.
OCEAN is a network of 19 Community Based Organizations in the Northern Province, with 14 of them formerly registered with the IPA committed to defending the rights of resource owners in this province takes this opportunity to demand the Oro Provincial Government, National Forest Authority, Department of Environment and Conservation and more particularly the Office of Climate Change to inform us as to what Natural Resources Management Consultants has been engaged to do. If there is a pilot project in this province it will certainly involve our forests. As affiliate Community Based Organizations of OCEAN our forests collectively make up 2 thirds of the total remaining pristine forest stands in this province.
To date we have not mandated, any body including our elected representatives to decide for us how our forest should be used. We are committed to managing and utilising our forests using traditional decision making mechanism as our ancestors and our forefathers have thought us. We still hold fast our traditional consensus building processes and therefore to date we have no knowledge of any formal agreements for the exploitation of our forests or for the development of large-scale agro-forestry projects as it appears on the National Forest development plan.
On behalf of our member CBOs we call upon the Oro Provincial Government and the Administration to exclude any plans for our forest suggested by Sammy DW Toti and his group of consultants either by his own accord or on the directions of DEC, NFA or the Office of Climate Change.
It is important also to take note that the Whole of the Managalasi plateau is currently being prepared to be certified as a Conservation Area whilst the Chiefs of the Collingwood bay Communities have issued a Joint Communiqué stating their objections for the proposed oil palm and tree plantations on their customary land summed up in the following statement. We quote; ““……The Chiefs of Collingwood Bay in exercising the authority vested upon us by our people reject any supposedly landowner companies that claims to represent our interest in dealing with our land. Under no circumstance shall we delegate the responsibility of deciding the fate of our people as land is our life and as such any decision about land is the total prerogative of the chiefs…….” End of quote (Copy of the Joint Communiqué is attached.)
Further more we wish to continue to raise awareness that to date there is no Law governing Carbon Credits Schemes in this country and that resource owners need to be very careful with what deals they are entering into.
For more information contact the author on 73390726 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Program Officer/Forest & Land Rights Campaigner
Issued at Wanigela 24th January 2010 under the authority vested in the Traditional paramount chiefs of the 9 tribes of Collingwood Bay representing 326 clans
Following an awareness workshop requested by the people of Collingwood Bay
In light of the exploitation and attempts to exploit the forest resources within the Collinwood Bay area for logging and the proposals to introduce and develop oil palm estates, we the Chiefs supported by our people unanimously express our opposition to any large scale development that would have an adverse effect on our people, their way of life and their environment.
We will determine on our terms how we wish to pursue development and investment opportunities on our traditional land using our natural resources on both the land and our maritime boundaries in the best way we see fit.
We demand that all current plans for intended logging operations in the Collingwood area cease immediately and any further logging proposal be discussed with the people in their communities presided over by the chiefs.
We also protest in the strongest possible terms any plans to introduce the oil palm industry in the Collingwood Bay area.
We do not recognise all supposedly landowner companies, Keroro Development Corporation, Aisor Development Corporation and any other formed to date and claim to represent the interest of all Collingwood Bay landowners
We do not recognise any partnership arrangements entered into by Aisor Development Corporation and Keroro Development Corporation using names, places and tribes in the Collingwood area with foreign investors namely Victory Plantations, ANG Agro Forestry Management Ltd and Cashew International Ltd.
As of this day, we the traditional owners of our land, will be masters of our own destiny and will determine on our own terms the best options for developments we want for our people.
Any development proposals for the Collingwood Bay must be done in consultation with the landowners.
We appeal to relevant Government departments such as The National Forest Authority, Environment & Conservation, Agriculture and Livestock, Lands & Physical Planning, Provincial Government, Member for Ijivitari and the Local Level Government to assist us to protect our right to our land and to protect our heritage.