in Papua New Guinea

Unanswered questions: UN-REDD in Papua New Guinea

The UN-REDD programme in Papua New Guinea has been very quiet about the on-going controversy involving carbon trading and REDD in the country. REDD-Monitor asked UN-REDD some questions in an attempt to find out what the UN-REDD programme has been doing to address the problems. Unfortunately, UN-REDD remains very quiet on the subject.

[UPDATE: UNDP replied on 7 March 2010.]

I wrote to Jacqui Badcock, who is (still) listed on UN-REDD’s website as the contact person for UN-REDD in PNG, to ask her, among other things, where UN-REDD’s budget of US$ 2,596 million has been spent (if indeed, any of it has been spent). Badcock left PNG five months ago. She forwarded my email to the new contact person David McLachlan-Karr. When he didn’t reply, I wrote again. A week ago, Freddy Austli wrote to me on behalf of the UNDP Resident Representative in PNG. “We will get back to you shortly,” he wrote. I’m still waiting.

From: Chris Lang
Sent: Tuesday, January 05, 2010 7:14 PM
To: Jacqui Badcock
Subject: UN-REDD in PNG

Dear Jacqui,

Greetings from Jakarta. My name is Chris Lang and I run the website REDD-Monitor. I’m currently working on an article about REDD in PNG and would be very grateful if you could answer some questions about the UN-REDD programme in the country.

1. As you are aware, there have been several media reports about the problems with REDD in PNG, with carbon certificates being issued and so called “carbon cowboys” have been signing up carbon trading deals with villagers, both despite the absence of legislation on carbon trading in the country. Meanwhile the government and the Office of Climate Change have issued seemingly contradictory messages about voluntary carbon trading in PNG. Could you please describe what UN-REDD has done to attempt to address these problems.

2. According to the UN-REDD website, the UN-REDD programme in PNG has a budget of US $ 2,596 million. Could you please explain how much of this money has been disbursed and what it is has been spent on.

3. UN-REDD’s partner organisation in PNG is the Office of Climate Change. According to a recent report by Australian Channel SBS, the Office of Climate Change has now been closed down. (The Post Courier also reported this news.) What does this mean for the UN-REDD programme in PNG? What happened to the money that UN-REDD paid to the Office of Climate Change?

4. The UN-REDD programme in PNG aimed to “assist Papua New Guinea to prepare a draft National REDD Plan for consideration of the Cabinet by 31 October 2009”. Was this draft National REDD Plan produced? If so, could you please send me a copy.

5. The PNG Signed Submission Form states “Lack of clarity concerning the OCCES process for carbon trading has been raised.” Apart from this (under)statement, has the UN-REDD made any public statements about the carbon trading scandals in PNG? If so, could you please send me a copy.

Please consider your response to be on-the-record. If there is anything else you want to add, please feel free. Thanks for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.

Regards, Chris Lang


http://redd-monitor.org


From: Jacqui Badcock
To: Chris Lang
Cc: David McLachlan-Karr, Jan Jilles Van Der Hoeven
Date: 5 January 2010 22:06
Subject: RE: UN-REDD in PNG

Dear Chris

I left PNG 5 months ago and am referring you to the new Rep David.

Jacqui

badcock


From: Chris Lang
To: David McLachlan-Karr, Jan Jilles Van Der Hoeven
Date: 13 January 2010 16:07
Subject: Re: UN-REDD in PNG

Dear David,

Last week I sent some questions about the UN-REDD programme in PNG to Jacqui Badcock, who is (still) listed on the UN-REDD website as the UN Resident Coordinator, Papua New Guinea. She informed me that she left PNG five months ago and referred me to you (and copied my questions to you and Jilles Van Der Hoeven).

As I’ve not heard anything from you in response to my questions, I am resending the email. I would be grateful if you could answer the following questions before the end of this week.

1. As you are aware, there have been several media reports about the problems with REDD in PNG, with carbon certificates being issued and so called “carbon cowboys” have been signing up carbon trading deals with villagers, both despite the absence of legislation on carbon trading in the country. Meanwhile the government and the Office of Climate Change have issued seemingly contradictory messages about voluntary carbon trading in PNG. Could you please describe what UN-REDD has done to attempt to address these problems.

2. According to the UN-REDD website (http://bit.ly/580bsJ), the UN-REDD programme in PNG has a budget of US $ 2,596 million. Could you please explain how much of this money has been disbursed and what it is has been spent on.

3. UN-REDD’s partner organisation in PNG is the Office of Climate Change. According to a recent report by Australian Channel SBS, the Office of Climate Change has now been closed down. (The Post Courier also reported this news.) What does this mean for the UN-REDD programme in PNG? What happened to the money that UN-REDD paid to the Office of Climate Change?

4. The UN-REDD programme in PNG aimed to “assist Papua New Guinea to prepare a draft National REDD Plan for consideration of the Cabinet by 31 October 2009”. Was this draft National REDD Plan produced? If so, could you please send me a copy.

5. The PNG Signed Submission Form states “Lack of clarity concerning the OCCES process for carbon trading has been raised.” Apart from this (under)statement, has the UN-REDD made any public statements about the carbon trading scandals in PNG? If so, could you please send me a copy.

Please consider your response to be on-the-record. If there is anything else you want to add, please feel free. Thanks for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.

Regards, Chris Lang


http://redd-monitor.org


From: Freddy Austli
To: REDD-Monitor
Date: 14 January 2010 08:46
Subject: Re: UN-REDD in PNG

Dear Mr. Lang,

I am writing to you on behalf of the UNDP Resident Representative in Papua New Guinea, Mr. David McLachlan-Karr. We apologise for our delay in getting back to you. However, we will get back to you shortly.

With kind regards,

austli

 

Leave a Reply

  1. Dear Chris,

    I am based in Jakarta. I would like to share with you some issues regarding UN-REDD. Would it be possible to have a chat with you next week in person?
    my HP is:

    Miguel Fredes
    62.812 1079803

  2. These questions should also be sent to Somare and the UNFCCC office in PNG .

    Since returning from Copenhagen we have not heard any feedback from Wari Iamo, or the PM and his ambassador Mr Conrad, or UNFCCC or even from the so-called “peoples voice” – the ecoforestry forum. We also want to know what the two english models contributed and what Oshen sang about at Copenhagen as well as the next step for us to take re REDD so we can access the REDD million$.

  3. Dr Chris
    (Along w/fellow REDD Members),
    I want to start off by telling you that you are not alone and I commend you for your hard (not to mention) frustrating work! There will always be difficult times, especially when money is involved. The people thank you and I thank you!
    I will pray for you (May God Be With You!)
    Always remember! You are not alone!
    Regards
    Frank

  4. Dear Chris,
    I would like to support Emnau’s opinion. Your questions need immediate answers. It would be better to bring it out to the public like publishing it in the newspapers as PNG needs to know those answers too.You may have realised that the minister for forest and authorities concerned have very little of no knoweldge at all.(or are ignorant!)

    Keep up the good work Chris.

    AJ

  5. Deat Chris,

    I am a student at one of the universities here in PNG and Id like to thank you for the job well done. It is very rare and sometimes imposible for PNG journalist to do what you are doing. There is alot to be put out in the open but unfortunatley in PNG these issues of concern are most often not presented to the public.
    I am so puzzled as to why simple questions are not answered imedietly.
    Chris you are doing a good job!
    Lavi

  6. Dear Chris,

    Just a few questions for you to answer:
    Do you really care about PNG?
    Do you really care about deforestation taking place in PNG?
    Can you be able to put yourself into the shoes of any daily Papua New Guinea, and do what every PNGean is doing to best adress other little issues apart from the UNREDD Programme?

    If you cannot answer the above questions honestly than your motives are impure, and you are only using your accusations to leverage more funding for REDD Monitor_You might just wanna change the organisation’s name to illegal logging monitor, I think that would serve its real purpose;

  7. @Female Officer PNG (#8) – Thanks for your comment. I should point out that this post was written in January 2010. At the time it seemed to me that UN-REDD was ignoring the risks of REDD carbon trading in PNG and painting a rosy picture of REDD on its website. I thought it was worth pointing this out.

    Here are my answers to your questions:

    1. Yes, I care about PNG. I care about the rights of the people living there and about their rights to make their own decisions about their forests, rivers and livelihoods. And not to be ripped off by a series of bizarre carbon trading schemes.

    2. Yes I care about deforestation in PNG.

    3. No I can’t put myself in the shoes of people living in PNG any more than I can put myself in the shoes of anyone else on the planet. I don’t pretend that I can do so. This post is simply a series of questions for the UN-REDD programme in PNG. From the response (which came in March 2010) it’s pretty clear that UN-REDD has no intention of addressing the problems caused by carbon cowboys in PNG. I am fully aware however that the UN-REDD programme is probably not very high on most people’s agenda in PNG.

    You’ll probably be delighted to know that REDD-Monitor did not receive any more funding as a result of this post. In any case, I would have thought that writing a funding proposal would be a far more effective way of raising funds for REDD-Monitor.

    I agree that illegal logging is a serious problem. But the Somare government’s Special Agricultural and Business Lease concessions are also a major cause of deforestation.