Beware of dubious projects


THE people should know the truth, let no blind man lead another of his kind.
Climate change is the most contested topic of our time.
Any action to curb it should be backed with scientific input and with appropriate methodology resulting in real solution being achieved, both in the mitigation and adaptation interventions.
While appreciating the project financiers, the recent media coverage by Minister for Environment, Conservation and Climate Change embarking to plant trees up in the Highlands to mitigate climate change must not go unchallenged.
I strongly believe the minister is being ill-advised and urge Prime Minister James Marape to intervene and save the proposed K23mil tree planting project.
Our MPs are making statements that are irrelevant scientifically.
The NCD Governor’s statement on bringing seedlings from Chimbu nursery to plant in NCD is totally not going to work.
A similar decision was made by the NCD Governor to allow bird of paradise to be taken to China to be kept there.
Plants and animals are site specific.
What is grown in the Highlands cannot perform well on the coast and vice versa.
Likewise, plants found in the tropics cannot grow further North or South of the equator – that is a scientific truth.
The Minister for Environment, Conservation and Climate Change is capitalising on the incompetency of Climate Change and Development Authority (CCDA) and Conservation and Environment Protection Authority (Cepa) officers to do things otherwise.
In the name of projects dealing with climate change mitigation and adaptation, we already have projects which have failed such as April Salumei and/or Suau REDD+ being good examples.
The K23mil USAID funding in my view should be used to implement the REDD+ Strategy which was launched in 2017 and had been shelved ever since.
Also, the funds should support the PNGFA ‘Painim Graun Planim Diwai’ initiative which is already happing throughout the country.
Planting trees in Chimbu is questionable for the following reasons;

  • Minister is from Chimbu;
  • LAND is a scare resource and highly valuable in Chimbu;
  • HUGE amounts of money is involved; and,
  • Goroka has enough land to plant trees than Chimbu.

Hence, the proposal for tree planting in Chimbu/Goroka will not mitigate climate change, and those projects won’t last because of the insecurity of land.
The issue of permanency in projects dealing with trees/forests is very important in mitigating climate change.
We are anticipating a failed project with opportunists benefiting from such huge amount that would have been used for projects and programmes that may enable more funding to address climate change impacts in the country.
I strongly believe this K23mil tree planting project in Chimbu/Goroka is a scam.
Marape should intervene to save this nation from such dubious projects by our elected leaders who know nothing or very little about climate change science and also the incompetent officers from CCDA/Cepa in the expense of the people of this nation.

Climate Change Advocate

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