Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Papua New Guinea forests and carbon trading

From PAUL OATES in Queensland, Australia
There has been an announcement that carbon trading has commenced in PNG. This has been hailed by Mr Kirk Roberts, head of Nupan (PNG) Trading Co. who is quoted in the PNG Post Courier of 26th January 2010 as saying:  "This is a fantastic thing for PNG, who has chosen to take advantage of commercialised carbon trading while the rest of the world talks and talks. And the bottom line is PNG saves their rainforests from logging now, while providing a living and income for the landowners next 100 years." What Mr Roberts hasn't revealed however, is how his claim will be substantiated.

The claimed amount of around K200,000 that was distributed to the Incorporated Land Groups (ILG's) in East Pangia in PNG's Southern Highlands is remarkably similar to the reported K200,000 previously paid to a Mr James Kond, a business  associate of Mr Roberts and apparently for services that were never fully explained.

The article raises more questions than it answers. In any public business arrangement, there has to be transparency between those participating in the arrangement and public. Does the PNG government recognise this arrangement, given that the previous government Office responsible for these matters has recently been reorganised? Are the payments to be taxed or untaxed and who is responsible and accountable for the distribution of these public monies?

No details were provided as to where the funds originated or what those unnamed providers of this largesse expected in return for their contributions.  If K500 is to be distributed between the estimated thousands of people who were reported to be at the signing of the agreement it won't go far if everyone gets a cut. Speaking of cutting, it was claimed that these agreements will stop timber companies from cutting down the forests covered by the agreements yet exactly how this would be policed was not explained. The Southern Highlands reportedly contain regions that are virtually in a state of civil war with very limited government control. What happens when and if the initial payments are spent and a timber company then offers to buy the trees? Has there been a survey on which trees are in the area covered by the agreement and which trees are not covered? Has there been a full and independent examination of who are the rightful owners of the trees?

300 people signed up with Nupan (PNG) yet the details of what was apparently agreed to have not been provided. All this potentially nefarious agreement claims is it will; 'start a carbon trading project to prevent logging in the area and preserve their rainforests for future generations.'

An unnamed 'project scientist' is quoted as saying during the ceremonies that: "the people would need to actively work in the forests every month, to provide data and manage the condition of the trees." Exactly who the people would be reporting to and how this would be managed was not however revealed. The report then went on to claim: 'It is expected that thousands of jobs will be created by this process, which will provide employment for generations to come', but did not elaborate how this would happen.

For those who have seen these promises happen so many times before, without transparency and proper planning, the initial hype of a project such as this so often leads inevitable disappointment when the full details become known. Without further details, the potential for this to be revealed as yet another 'cargo cult' or 'win moni ikamap nating' is exceedingly great. If that does eventuate, it will only exacerbate the disappointment and frustration of the forest owners and further enhance the plans of the timber companies and their offers of buying and felling the trees. Where will Mr. Roberts be then I wonder?


   Tuesday 26th January, 2010

Landowners paid sitting fees

NEARLY K200,000 was paid to the Incorporated Land Groups (ILG) in East Pangia, Southern Highlands as the start of the proceeds they can expect from signing up for the carbon trading project.
The distribution, in the form of sitting fees, saw K500 paid to every participating ILG, an amount that was clearly significant given the tears and smiles as each ILG signing was celebrated by thousands of people at each Undiapu and Apanda villages.
The forests were recently under threat again, this time from a Madang-based logging company, who had requested that the Forestry Department revalidate the FMA issued some 17 years ago.
Upon consideration, the Forests Minister and the board set the application aside, so that the ILGs could have the opportunity to contribute to the discussion.
And that they did, with more than 300 signing with Nupan (PNG) Trading Corporation Limited last Saturday to start a carbon trading project to prevent logging in the area and preserve their rainforests for future generations.
A project scientist said during the ceremonies that the people would need to actively work in the forests every month, to provide data and manage the condition of the trees.
It is expected that thousands of jobs will be created by this process, which will provide employment for generations to come.
This is the second carbon trading project in PNG that has been facilitated by Nupan (PNG) Trading Corp.
The company's boss, Kirk William Roberts said: "Now we have two projects being developed to the VCS (voluntary carbon standards) verification standards, with Kamula Doso now moving to the PDD stage. Within the next five months, we expect to have at least another 30 projects being validated with credits issued in turn and then sold on the world markets.
"This is a fantastic thing for PNG, who has chosen to take advantage of commercialised carbon trading while the rest of the world talks and talks. And the bottom line is PNG saves their rainforests from logging now, while providing a living and income for the landowners next 100 years."


  1. Anonymous3:32 PM

    Australian firm linked to PNG's $100m carbon trading scandal

    Adieu all ye PNG fateful

  2. Anonymous3:34 PM

    Congratulations to Ilya Gridneff of the Associated Press in Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea who has diligently followed the trail of the Kamula Doso carbon credit story right back to its roots. A few hours ago he filed a story on the wires about the elusive Australian businessman, Kirk Roberts. Mr Roberts is the man behind the company Nupan Trading--which had a relationship with Theo Yasause, formerly at the Office of Climate Change. Nupan Trading is also behind this website.

    As Gridneff reports, Mr Roberts is a colourful character. A disgraced former horse trainer, he is currently working in the cock fighting industry in the Philippines (and currently under investigation by the immigration department in this country). In 2007, he was fined $2,800 by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission for failing to assist liquidators and failure to provide reports to the liquidator. Mr Roberts told Gridneff, "I am the most beneficial foreigner to this country (PNG) right now."

    Mr Roberts is undoubtedly referring to his work all around Papua New Guinea signing up landowners for big carbon trading deals in advance of negotiations to trade forest carbon as offsets between countries. Although Mr Roberts declined to offer more details about where his forest carbon deals are to be found in Papua, we know there could be a number of them. Carbon Planet previously revealed that it provided $1.2m Australian dollars of project finance to develop carbon trading projects around the country, with $100,000 in finance for each deal. Of course the one deal that we do know about is Kamula Doso.

    The story so far sheds a spotlight on the impact that international discussions over avoided deforestation are having on forests around the world. Avoided deforestation markets will not just include the UN's REDD credits. The climate bill passing through Congress at the moment also allows for the trade in credits generated by avoided deforestation.

    Some of those involved speak of an orderly arrival of this market. Nonetheless, the absence of a deal does not stop the private sector from speculating that a deal will be done, or even trading on the basis that they will do. In 2008, REDD projects made up 14% of the forest carbon credits traded on voluntary markets. So even though REDD credits do not formally exist, a way is being found to trade them as options. REDD “credits” trade at a lower price than other kinds of forest carbon credits, a signal that the market recognises their risk.

    Economists would see nothing wrong with this, and might well argue that such advanced trading is stimulating investment in avoided deforestation projects. The problem is that the information vacuum over forest carbon deals puts landowners at a serious disadvantage.

    Landowners who don't really understand what is going on, and who really cannot be expected to fully understand, feel pressured into signing confidential agreements. In the absence of an international consensus about how the profits of such deals should be shared between landowners, local and national governments and traders, how can landowners negotiate a fair deal?

  3. Anonymous3:41 PM

    Have you heard of CLIMATEGATE and the fraud exposed on the whole Carbon Trading Scheme?

    Climategate: CBC on the greatest scientific scandal of our times


    BBC Climate Correspondent Was Forwarded CRU Emails Five Weeks Before They Were Made Public
    Further indication that “climategate” data was leaked by an inside source
    A BBC Weather presenter who was discussed by scientists in the “climategate” emails says he was forwarded the material more than five weeks before it was made public on the internet.
    Paul Hudson, a weather presenter and climate correspondent for the BBC, notes on his blog “I was forwarded the chain of e-mails on the 12th October,”.
    Hudson says he saw the exact emails that were either hacked or leaked from the Climate Research Unit at East Anglia University placed on the internet last week.

    Also see

  4. Anonymous3:42 PM

    Obama’s Science Czar John Holdren involved in unwinding “Climategate” scandal

    Lift up a rock and another snake comes slithering out from the ongoing University of East Anglia Climate Research Unit (CRU) scandal, now riding as “Climategate”.
    Obama Science Czar John Holdren is directly involved in CRU’s unfolding Climategate scandal. In fact, according to files released by a CEU hacker or whistleblower, Holdren is involved in what Canada Free Press (CFP) columnist Canadian climatologist Dr. Tim Ball terms “a truculent and nasty manner that provides a brief demonstration of his lack of understanding, commitment on faith and willingness to ridicule and bully people”.
    “The files contain so much material that it is going to take some time t o put it all in context,” says Ball. “However, enough is already known to underscore their explosive nature. It is already clear the entire claims and positions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are based on falsified manipulated material and is therefore completely compromised.
    “The fallout will be extensive as material continues to emerge. Reputations of the scientists involved are already destroyed, however fringe players will continue to be identified and their reputations destroyed or sullied.”
    While the mainstream media is bending into pretzels to keep the scandal under the rug, Climategate is already the biggest scientific scandal in history because of the global policy implications.

  5. Anonymous3:47 PM

    Carbon offset trading fraud -- huge criminal activity

    Obama Intimately Tied To Carbon Trading Scam

    President helped fund profiteers of carbon tax program he is now seeking to implement

    A combination of interesting mainstream and alternative media reports reveal compelling links between president Obama and a privately owned carbon trading group, which also has direct ties with elitist groups such as the Club of Rome and the Trilateral Commission.
    Judi McLeod’s excellent article for Canada Free Press, which she expanded from a Fox News piece, highlights how years before he became president, Obama helped directly fund a carbon trading exchange that will likely play a critical role in the proposed cap-and-trade carbon reduction program.
    The charity was the Joyce Foundation on whose board of directors Obama served and which gave nearly $1.1 million in two separate grants that were “instrumental in developing and launching the privately-owned Chicago Climate Exchange, which now calls itself “North America’s only cap and trade system for all six greenhouse gases, with global affiliates and projects worldwide.”
    Essentially Obama helped fund the profiteers of the carbon taxation program that he is now seeking to steer through Congress