Landowners Support Carbon trading

The PNG Forest Authority (PNGFA) has confirmed that landowners and the various provincial governors have given their support and consent to support carbon trading.

The PNGFA said they have given consent prior to any such permit issuance and is a start of a process where these carbon projects will require ongoing consultations and consent at the village level and internationally recognised accreditation.

One of the developers PNGFA has been liaising with is Mayur Renewables and with its International Carbon development network are progressing a pilot program with Forestry whilst following CCDA regulation that seeks to be accredited by VERRA as a Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) project. 

Outgoing Minister for Forestry, Walter Schnaubelt said: “Critically in taking back PNG, the large majority of revenues and profits will go to the landowners, and such commitment has been legally enshrined in commercial terms and conditions and the permit conditions. The Government at its various levels will be the next largest benefactor then followed by the developer.”

He also thanked the governors of Western and Central provinces for their written support and assured PNG landowners that they will be legally entitled to the majority of profits secured under this arrangement, while protecting their livelihood and securing their land for future generations. 

This material shift in Forestry was foreshadowed in previous media late last year from Minister Schnaubelt where he said a “material change of approach in the management of PNG forests would start to occur, particularly when it relates to Forest areas already permitted for logging in highly biodiverse areas”. 

Mr Schnaubelt advised that the initiative, initially creates a number of pilot projects whereby the logging which would be conducted under existing Forest Management Agreements does not occur and these areas are permitted under the Forestry Medium Term plan as protected and conserved ‘Forest Estates’. 

“I am handing over the Forestry portfolio to the Minister Solan Mirisim with a platform established to see Forestry managed in a much more responsible way.” 

Minister Schaubelt concluded: “Being able to participate in the inevitable carbon trading market with our forest resources to derive sustainable revenue streams with a much larger share going back to PNG and to have programs that assist in supporting PNG’s industrialisation will be critical.”

He added that investors are clearly “gun shy” on industrial projects that do not have an opportunity to secure carbon mitigation allocations and are already choosing to invest or buy products that are achieving a level of carbon abatement with attached carbon credits.