Sam Moko (right) presents Federica Bietta, Papua New Guinea's representative to forests and climate negotiations with Greenpeace's "Golden Chainsaw" award in Nagoya, Japan this morning
Today I gave Greenpeace’s Golden Chainsaw award to the representative of the Government of PNG at talks on REDD (Reduced Emissions from Deforestaion and Degradation) taking place here in Nagoya. The government representative's name is Federica Bietta and she is also representing PNG as co-chair on special REDD Partnership negotiations with stakeholders, including NGOs like Greenpeace.
Myself and the team, including a photographer from Tokyo, got up early to make sure we wouldn’t miss Ms Bietta for the 8am stakeholders meeting at the hotel. We all had to study pictures of Bietta, so we could recognise her, since none of us had seen her before and we needed to spot her right away. I’ve been working on forestry in PNG for 9 years and I’ve yet to meet her. Today was a good opportunity to meet her face to face – after all, she is the face of PNG for these important talks on climate and forests.
She seemed very happy to meet me and receive the award- but really it’s sad and unfortunate for the government of PNG to win Greenpeace’s Golden Chainsaw award – which is normally reserved for illegal and destructive logging companies.
Throughout the past 6 months the Govt of PNG, led by Ms Bietta has continually tried to stop NGO participation in REDD talks.
Greenpeace released today a report entitled: Papua New Guinea: Not ready for REDD. It details how PNG is failing the REDD progress and the steps the government must take to improve. You can read the full report here.
Essentially it says that PNG is not ready to receive funding for REDD because corruption and illegal logging continue to be major problems in PNG and indigenous peoples’ rights are being abused.
I was invited last week to give a presentation at Ministerial talks on REDD happening tomorrow but today found out that I would not be able to speak. I can’t help but think that this is PNG’s doing. Last night we met with officials from another country who told us:
“There are 60 countries party to the REDD talks and 59 of them are welcoming of NGO participation”
It was clear who she meant.