Last week, Theo Yasause, the director of Papua New Guinea’s Office of Climate Change, was suspended while an internal investigation of the office is carried out, reports Australian Associated Press. For several weeks, the government of Papua New Guinea has been embroiled in a scandal over the issuance of a series of REDD credits, in the absence of any policy or legislation. Yasause denies having done anything wrong.
On 4 June 2009, Reuters reported evidence of a multi-million offer from carbon brokers to PNG’s Office of Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability. Reuters also reported on sale of carbon credits from an area of forest in PNG that has not been validated.
Eastern Highlands Governor, Malcolm Kela-Smith, states that Papua New Guinea’s Office of Climate Change and Carbon Trading (OCCCT) “is illegal and established without due regard for existing mandates”, according to an article in The National on 15 February 2009. Kela-Smith warned landowners and provincial governments not to enter into any deals solicited by the OCCCT.
The government of Papua New Guinea has warned that NGOs and carbon traders will be prosecuted if they start developing REDD activities without its permission. In a strongly worded public notice, the Office of Climate Change and Carbon Trading in Port Moresby has said that,