CONTROVERSIAL “carbon traders” James Kond and Robert Kirks claim they have signed up 92 projects in the country worth K20 million to be traded on the carbon market.
Both men were speaking in Port Moresby on Tuesday to villagers who had travelled from different parts of the country for a public forum on carbon trading.
Mr Kond is an executive of the ruling National Alliance party, while Mr Kirks is a former horse trainer from Australia.
Both are partners in Nupan Trading, the company signing up villagers and their blocks of forests for carbon trade with promises of millions of kina.
Mr Kond told the forum organised by the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) for awareness on the Copenhagen meet in December that there was nothing to hide as they were already in the process of trading carbon.
Mr Kond said they did not need the Government’s approval to trade in the voluntary carbon market.
“There exists a provision under the voluntary carbon market to trade without Government regulation. But the Government is denying that fact. This is stopping resources owners tapping into the opportunity to trade.
“This provision allows for carbon trade outside of the regulated or compliance carbon market where any carbon deal or trade has to be regulated.
“To put things on record, I have 92 projects nationwide at a cost of K20 million and the Government is denying this opportunity for the landowners to benefit directly from their forest resources,” Mr Kond said.
He said under the voluntary carbon market, it did not require a trade policy and forest resources owners could directly trade right away with any buyers of their own preferences.
Dorothy Tekwie, a forestry campaigner with Greenpeace Australia, did not agree with Mr Kond.
Mrs Tekwie raised concerns over how carbon trading could take place when there was no policy framework in place for it, whether under the regulatory or the voluntary market.
Gwen Sissiou, the DEC’s deputy secretary for policy coordination and evaluation, yesterday made it clear that any carbon trade activities were not sanctioned by the Government or the Office of Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability.
She warned forest resources owners that any current carbon trading that was not recognised by the Government should cease until after the outcome of the Copenhagen deal when PNG would present its interim national climate change plan that covered all aspects of climate change and carbon trade.
Mrs Sissiou said though they acknowledged the existence of the voluntary carbon market, it would be proper to have all carbon trading activities monitored for a long term benefits for the resource owners.