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CCDA is the national authority for ‘carbon trade’


PNG’s Masalai Blog in July 2009, posted a somewhat controversial article “Carbon Trading under more scrutiny in PNG” with a PNG-Government document showing evidence of pre-selling of carbon credits from PNG for almost four (4) prior to 2009 without proper legal policy framework in place.

Having gone to the attention of the public, the former Prime Minister and the then Opposition Leader Sir Mekere Morauta at the time 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 carbon credits behind our backs. This is a huge corruption,” he added.

As the blog stated in its post, according to the Office of the Prime Minister during the time there are also reports of carbon ‘conmen’ selling customary landowners permits to ‘bag’ carbon from the atmosphere to the Government carbon trading office.

The blog also reports 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.

At the time, Australia’s Macquarie Bank has pulled out of potential carbon trading investments in the country, citing a lack of carbon market integrity as the main reason.

While the PNG Government and the Opposition were throwing words back and forth on the fetus of the carbon revenue prospect, the international development partners had something to say at the time.
The World Bank was behind the idea to promote carbon trading in PNG, whiles the European Union (EU) did not favour the sale of carbon credits from developing countries like PNG into the EU carbon trading scheme.

Meanwhile, Greenpeace International and WWF Pacific oppose the creation of cheap carbon credits through unregulated means.

All these opinions, views, discussions, reports and expert comments and recommendations paved a way forward for PNG to setup its climate change national designated authority, the Climate Change and Development Authority (CCDA) under the Climate Change Management Act 2015 (CCMA), the regulatory body to coordinate and oversee all climate change and carbon trade activities in the country.

The CCDA under its REDD+ division launched PNG’s National REDD+ Strategy Plan (2017-2027) two years ago that looked at the possibilities of ‘regulated’ carbon trading in PNG. 

Starting last month, CCDA in association with UNDP has commenced stakeholder consultations across all regions with the first of four (4) stakeholder consultations held recently in Mt Hagen, Western Highlands Province (Highlands Region) and Lae, Morobe Province (Momase Region) of Papua New Guinea (PNG).

According to UNDP’s official website, this program of outreach will be followed by similar efforts in Islands and Southern regions, the last of which will conclude on 12 July 2019.

The regional stakeholder consultations aim to raise awareness on CCDA’s role as the Delivery Partner to PNG’s first Green Climate Fund Readiness Project.

The website stated this project aims to strengthen access to climate finance and assist in developing climate mitigation and adaptation projects that will build the resilience of communities throughout the country.

CCDA, with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has launched a review of the Climate Change (Management) Act (2015).

The UNDP website also published, it aims to identify ways to achieve more coherence, clarity and cohesion between various natural resource management sectors and associated legislation that better supports PNG respond to the cross-cutting nature of climate change.

The Managing Director of CCDA Mr Ruel Yamuna, on behalf of the newly appointed Hon. Jeffrey Kama as the Minister for Environment Conservation and Climate Change, welcomed and thanked all participants particularly Mr. Williamson Hosea, Provincial Administration of West New Britain for hosting this regional workshop.

He also delivered the message of the minister by reiterating the importance of involving subnational stakeholders to express views and share experiences on impacts of climate change in their lives.

As reported online, Mr Yamuna recognized, “The impacts of climate change on such stakeholders, whose dependence on agriculture for food and economic security, made them particularly vulnerable to climate change.”

Mr Yamuna also suggested, “A number of initiatives could be implemented to further strengthen Papua New Guinea’s response to climate change, among them empowering entities like Provincial Climate Change Committees (PCCCs) or similar institutions to tackle climate change issues at the subnational and ground levels.”

These regional consultations have and will continue to involve representatives from associated provincial and local level governments, private sector, non-government organizations, local communities and customary land owners.

Participants are provided with vital information over three days, giving them an insight into the possible opportunities and challenges of obtaining international finance for climate change projects in the country.

This includes advice on national financial procedures, requirements for accessing finance and the overall legal regime that ties this together.

This unique opportunity has been made possible through the support of a number of other development partners, namely the Climate Law and Policy (CLP), the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) and the USAID Climate Ready Programme as well as Korea’s International Aid Agency (KOICA).

Mr. Dirk Wagener, UNDP’s Resident Representative also emphasized the importance of this work stating, “Papua New Guinea is facing acute climate challenges. It has been striving to enhance its policies and legislation to further empower people in their fight against these impacts, particularly on ways to build resilience and develop new socio-economic opportunities to improve livelihoods while protecting their natural environment.”

Discussions to date have seen participants express the need for more local ownership of climate change projects. These observations highlight the importance of lending such mechanisms to easier grass-roots access which emphasize bottom-up approaches and ultimately community ownership.

Various proposals have been discussed during recent consultations, among them, establishing regional CCDA offices as one way of facilitating greater access to information, training and capacity building.

This, in a way, is basically in preparation of assisting PNG indigenous communities for carbon trade revenue generation coordination and implementation, an option for economic benefits amongst logging and timber harvesting and improving the lives of rural people by harnessing the current Prime Minister’s dream to see the world’s richest black Christian island nation.

Peter S. Kinjap is a freelance writer and a blogger, email: pekinjap@gmail.com

…..The End……………

Photos extracted from UNDP website. www.pg.undp.org

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