Hiri-Koiari MP Keith Iduhu has asked in Papua New Guinea Parliament for an update on a proposed amendment by the Forestry Authority to include forestry produce under its authority.
This would include classifying carbon emission under its authority and as a result prevent “carbon cowboys” from taking advantage of PNG’s lack of legislation around the matter.
Iduhu said currently it is a grey area between the Forestry Authority and Conservation and Environment Protection Authority resulting in PNG losing out on the carbon credit scheme implemented in various countries.
Iduhu said: “At the tail end of the 10th Parliament there was much talk of the value of our resources and more specifically towards carbon trade. There are some very important projects in this country that have been initiated, very big land masses that have been pledged for carbon development to monetise this very specific but special area.”
Iduhu pointed out one specific example of Manolagas in Northern Province, which was launched last year as a pilot forest carbon project.
However, Iduhu added: “There’s so much yet not much is realised by our people. This very special area in my mind still sits without a regulatory regime and its floating CEPA or Forestry.
“My question is whether this forest produce, carbon trade considered as forest produce, therefore come within the ambits of the Forestry Act and a legislative reform that the regime would be seeing in this parliament.”
Iduhu sought out to see if the review of the proposed legislative amendment could be implemented.
In response, PNG Forest Minister Salio Waipo stated that through the department carbon will be incorporated with the Forest Department as one.
He acknowledged Iduhu’s previous role as board chairman of the forest board and said he would work with him on the matter.
Waipo added that a brief from the department on the matter would be provided in the next sitting.
Currently, the Forest Authority only has powers to grant and permit the harvesting of round logs and the subsequent exporting of the resource.