Forum head voices concern over no-show by officials in Durban

National, Normal

The National, Monday 05th December 2011

THE Papua New Guinea Eco-Forestry Forum is disappointed at the lack of senior government representation in Durban, South Africa, for the United
Nations climate change conference of parties summit.
Forum executive director Thomas Paka said from Durban his concern as a Papua New Guinean was over the absence of senior government officials from agencies like the Office of Climate Change and Development, and the Department of Environment and Conservation.
“Senior government officers, on the delegation list are not here and the first week has gone with the ministerial sessions to be held next week (this week) for the leaders,” he said.
“PNG, as an island nation, proposed the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) in 2005. The COP 17 and climate change summit is crucial and we need a commitment to push the REDD agenda.
“Another thing I cannot understand is the representation of PNG by foreigners.
“We need Papua New Guineans to sit on the bench, not foreigners although they can provide expertise on certain issues that we may need assistance on,” Paka said.
Forum chairman Ken Mondiai shared similar sentiments, saying that the government was not taking the COP 17 seriously.