June 9, 2009
ELAW partners at the Papua New Guinea Eco Forestry Forum announce that the National Court has issued injunctions to stop the Office of Climate Change and the Department of Lands from taking further steps to issue rights over the forests of Kamula Doso in PNG's Western province.
Press release (PDF, 61KB)
Friday, 5th June 2009
Press Release: Court stops carbon deal
The National Court has issued injunctions to stop the Office of Climate Change and the Department of Lands from taking any further steps to issue rights over the forests of Kamula Doso in Western province.
The injunctions were sought by the PNG Eco-Forestry Forum which is disputing the allocation of logging rights over Kamula Doso to Rimbunan Hijau in a judicial review case started in 2006.
Despite the National Court already having issued an injunction restraining the PNG Forest Authority from allowing any logging in Kamula Doso two other government departments appear to have been independently trying to allocate rights over the forests to different parties.
Firstly, in November 2008, the Office of Climate Change issued a certificate granting the rights to 1 million tonnes of carbon from Kamula Doso to a company called Nupan Trading limited. This certificate was issued despite PNG having no laws that allow trading in carbon rights and the Office of Climate Change not having obtained the informed consent of landowners.
Then the Minister for Lands, Puka Temu, gazetted a Special Agricultural Lease over the same forests in April this year – granting the rights to the forests to Tumu Timbers Limited. This was despite the rights to those forests already having been allocated in the previous deals.
“The forests of Kamula Doso belong to the local people but we now have three government departments, the Forest Authority, the Office of Climate Change and the Department of Lands all acting illegally in trying to give away those forests to three different companies” says Kenn Mondiai, Chairperson of the Eco-Forestry Forum.
“There could be no clearer example of the mismanagement of our natural resources and why our government cannot be trusted in international climate changes negotiations”.
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