The Interim REDD+ Partnership started badly in March 2010, when it held a closed door meeting in Paris. Two months later, in Oslo, where the Partnership was officially formed, the Partnership appeared to be taking at least some notice of the views of civil society and indigenous peoples. But the members of the Partnership appear to be suffering from collective amnesia.
Two new Project Development Documents have recently been posted on the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Alliance (CCBA) website, relating to REDD-type projects in Papua New Guinea: Kamula Doso Improved Forest Management Carbon Project and April Salumei Sustainable Forest Management Project.
On 27 May 2010, Sir Michael Somare, the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, gave a speech at the Oslo Climate and Forest Conference. Much of his speech amounted to little more than a request for Norway’s money. But the speech included the outlines of Papua New Guinea’s new plans for REDD – a plan that involves doing away with any safeguards.
In Papua New Guinea, the forest carbon trading fiasco continues, as does the logging. But you wouldn’t notice anything was amiss from the UN-REDD website. On 5 January 2010, 13 January 2010 and again on 15 February 2010, REDD-Monitor wrote to the UN-REDD programme to find out what UN-REDD has been doing to address the problems.
A month ago, I wrote to the UN-REDD team in Papua New Guinea to ask, among other things, what has happened to the programme’s budget of US$2,596 million. I am still waiting for a reply. Last week, I sent a reminder, along with a new question about the PNG government’s investigation into the Office of Climate Change, the key documents of which, it seems, have disappeared.
The UN-REDD programme in Papua New Guinea has been very quiet about the on-going controversy involving carbon trading and REDD in the country. REDD-Monitor asked UN-REDD some questions in an attempt to find out what the UN-REDD programme has been doing to address the problems. Unfortunately, UN-REDD remains very quiet on the subject.
This week, activists protested outside a Carbon Trading Summit in New York. Executives from JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Duke Energy, American Electric Power and other corporations mingled with representatives from government, carbon credit aggregators, hedge funds and carbon traders.
Here are two more REDD-related news items from Papua New Guinea. The first is an article from Ilya Gridneff, a journalist with Australian Associated Press in Port Moresby. Carbon Planet has invested A$1.2 million in projects in PNG.
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'”.
On 16 July 2009, Mekere Morauta, the leader of the opposition in Papua New Guinea, made a statement in Parliament about carbon trading and the role of the Office of Climate Change. Having received no answers to his questions, he produced a new media statement at the end of August 2009, repeating his questions to the prime minister.
Kevin Conrad, Papua New Guinea’s Special Envoy and Ambassador for Environment & Climate Change, has spent much of the last three years travelling around the world promoting REDD and carbon trading.