New Environment Minister takes over

The Climate Change Development Authority and Conservation Environment Protection Authority are among a number of achievements of former Minister Sir John Pundari.

Also on the list is the Protected Areas Policy, the rehabilitation of the Varirata National Park, and the Kokoda Track and Interim Protection Zone around the Brown River Catchment.

Yesterday, the Member for Kompiam-Ambum handed over the reins to new Minister Geoffery Kama, who now takes custody of these establishments.

The member for Kompiam-Ambum, since 2012, was Minister for Environment and Conservation, a portfolio he held since the Peter O’Neill-Sir Leo Dion cabinet, and subsequently after the 2017 election in the O’Neill-Abel government.

Among his other achievements in the ministry, are the development of the National Forest Reference level for REDD Plus to the United Nations Convention on Climate Change and the development of PNG’s Biennial Update Report to the United Nations Conference on Climate Change.

“I want to say thank you to God for all of you and all of your support that you have given me as your minister,” said Sir John.

“Let me thank God for the elevation of my brother, the member for Karimui-Nomane, Geoffery Kama, and the leader of THE Party, to the Ministry of Conservation, Environment and Climate Change.”

Sir John, in handing over the reins of the ministry to Minister Kama, acknowledged all the staff of the ministry for their effort in the past six years.

“If I have upset any of you in any way, I’m only human, I hope I can go away with the grace of your forgiveness.”

In taking over the ministry, the new minister congratulated the outgoing minister for the recognition and award bestowed on him by the Queen of England who knighted him recently for services to PNG and the community.

Kama said while it is imperative to conserve PNG’s environment, ecosystem services and biodiversity, it is equally significant to use sustainably the ecosystem to create wealth and revenue for the country.

(From left: Former Minister Sir John Pundari, incoming Minister Geoffery Kama and former Triumph Heritage Empowerment Party leader, Don Polye)

Sally Pokiton