Papua New Guinea Not Ready for International Forest Protection Funds

Greenpeace report points to Government corruption

Press release - 25 October, 2010
Nagoya, Monday 25 October 2010 - Today, at the meeting of the parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) being held in Japan, Greenpeace Asia-Pacific released a report (1) explaining why the Government of Papua New Guinea (PNG) is in no fit state to receive international funds under a global deal to stop deforestation and mitigate climate change.

Greenpeace also presented the Government of PNG with a ‘Golden Chainsaw’ award for demanding unconditional, fast-track money to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) from the international community, even though it continues to destroy rainforests. (2)

Sam Moko, Greenpeace Asia-Pacific Forests Campaigner from PNG, who is in Nagoya to launch the report and announce the award, said:  “The Government of PNG is hungry for international forest protection funds but has no plans to stop destroying its rainforests or to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. Under the current direction of this Government, PNG is not ready for REDD.”

The new report, ‘PNG not ready for REDD’, recommends that PNG only receives funding when it has enforced a moratorium on all deforestation, tackling both corruption and illegal logging. It also urges donor countries to put strict preconditions on any REDD funds they give PNG, to ensure stringent safeguards are in place to protect biodiversity as well as indigenous peoples’.

At the last REDD+ Partnership meeting in Tianjin, China, PNG was criticised for trying to derail progress on the REDD deal for its own ends. With only weeks until the UN climate summit in Cancun, efforts to fast-track forest protection funds could come to nothing if PNG continues to use its position as co-chair of the negotiations to undermine efforts to ensure the funds are spent effectively.

“Decades of industrial logging in PNG have not delivered the promised benefits of employment, improved health and education. We urgently need an alternative to protect our forests and our future. REDD offers real hope for PNG but instead of taking a leading role for the good of its people, its forests and the global climate, the Government is only motivated by greed,” concluded Moko.

Notes to editors:

(1) For the full report, visit: http://www.greenpeace.org/australia/issues/deforestation/resources

(2) PNG has the second highest proportion of national greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions caused by changes to land use in the world. This is due largely to widespread forest destruction. WRI -World Resources Institute (2008). Climate Analysis Indicators Tool (CAIT) Version 5.0. Washington, DC: World Resources Institute (WRI). http://cait.wri.org