Governor Juffa said this is needed, as the country currently does not have a regulatory framework by which it can regulate this particular emerging industry.
As a strong advocate for environmental protection and rights of resource owners, he urged the Government to go further and review any existing projects and suspend them until then, the Government established a robust regulatory framework in place to regulate the emerging sector.
“The moratorium needs to go further than just being a moratorium, it needs to put an end to all current carbon trade projects. Until such time, a thorough review has been conducted as to whether or not those involved are genuine entities and what the mechanics of those arrangements are.
“As far as I know, the price of Atmospheric carbon is so low that we should not even be considering Carbon trade as an option in PNG until such time those prices reach a level and we have a regulatory framework in place,” said Governor Juffa.
He explained that many of our people even the educated do not understand carbon trade and what it is all about and are easily fooled and their ignorance has taken advantage of various individuals and companies that are coming into the country, claiming to be experts in this area.
He said in the meantime while the moratorium is in its very infant stages he encourage landowners not to get involved.
“Many of these organizations are bypassing provincial governments, they are bypassing national governments and they are engaging in Carbon trade activities that may be illegal that are not based on real laws or that are based on laws that are non-existent at this stage.”
The significant negative impact on the country is the possibility that it can paint PNG as a no go zone for, those that are going to be genuine in the involvement in this particular stage.
He claimed that such examples were already evident and in his own province and he was surprised to learn that a company in India operating under the highly offensive company name Kanaka Management Services were claiming to be selling voluntary carbon credits from 380, 000 hectares in his province.
“As we all know the word ‘Kanaka’ is a very derogatory term. So how this company called itself Kanaka Management Services operates in India went to Oro Province and somehow engaged in Carbon Trade arrangements without the knowledge of the Provincial government is a concern.”
Governor Juffa is encouraging the government to go further than just to have that moratorium, to work on a national framework and with international organizations and other entities in country that can provide the expertise to establish a framework for carbon trade.