Minister tells landowners not to hinder project


THE April-Salome Carbon Trade project in East Sepik is an important project of the National Government and must not be hindered by landowner disputes, Minister for Environment, Conservation and Climate Change Geoffrey Kama says.
Kama said this during the of signing an agreement with the landowners to restart the project after it had been halted over landowner disputes.
“After being briefed on the project by my senior management team from the Climate Change and Development Authority, I realised that this is a very important project for the entire country,” he said in Port Moresby last Thursday.
“It’s a pilot project on carbon trade; where based on the success, it can be replicated to other parts of the country and our people will be able to receive better benefits from their forest resources through the trading of carbon stocks.”
Kama urged landowners to work together and stop the disputes as it benefitted no one.
The disputes were about the creation of an umbrella company to manage the project located in the districts of Ambunti-Dreikikir and Wasara-Gawi in East Sepik.
The project covers around 521,500 hectares of forest that was preserved for carbon trade.
Kama said the recognised landowner umbrella company now was Hanstein Range Holdings Ltd and not REDD Holdings Ltd.
He directed Hanstein chairman captain Jacob Tom Yagi to amend the company legislation and conduct an urgent meeting to remove the current directors and shareholders who were from his incorporated land group (ILG), and replace them with chairmen of the other five ILGs that made up the April Salome Forest Management Area as directors and shareholders.
“Let’s do this quickly and get the project going again because it’s going on for close to 20 years and you as landowners, have yet to receive the benefits,” he said.
Yagi thanked Kama and said they would conduct the meeting and do the changes as directed.
He also asked for the Government to release a funding of K5mill that was allocated to the project.