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02 March 2010

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Do we really know what the Carbon Credit Schemes are about?

Check out the following article (I've included two quotes from it below):

http://www.probeinternational.org/node/7086

Another alleged scam unearthed in the carbon markets

Carbon markets are again facing allegations of a scam involving the trading of carbon credits. Reuters reports the Australian company WesternField Holdings Inc. has been accused of defrauding investors down under of A$3.5 million ($3.2 million) through a telemarketing swindle. Although blacklisted by the country's securities regulator, the firm continues to operate.

-------- and ----

Patrica Adams, Probe International’s executive director, describes carbon markets as “political constructs controlled by politically empowered regulators who will be gatekeepers to a multi-trillion dollar market. The regulators themselves would become too numerous to regulate.”

“This then becomes the tried and true recipe for good old fashioned and widespread corruption.”

The Wall Street Journal appears to agree. A recent op-ed concluded that a fresh scandal in the European carbon market could be read as a “cautionary tale in how quickly environmental policy engineering degrades into rent-seeking for the fortunate few.”

Forest Minister Namah may be right about carbon cowboys and carbon trading in PNG at this point in time, which is illegal as there are no laws or policies in place, but it is the government of which he is part of that is driving PNG.

At this point in time, PNG is going sideways and backwards much faster then in the last 30 years.

In the past there has been illegal and unsustainable logging and now we have carbon trading, which is very very complicated subject. NGOs must ensure the people of PNG, especially in rural areas, fully understand the implications.

But the ultimate decision, whether good or bad, rests with the government of the day, and the consequences of their decision will be felt by the simple people of PNG including Kenn Mondiai and his NGO colleagues who have put their lives on line despite many threats from loggers and have stood firm for their country, people and environment.

Bless the people of PNG, they really need a responsible government. PNG EFF and NGOs in PNG keep up the fight and continue doing the good work you are doing.

- Bush Kanaka Mangi

The National (17 March 2010)
____________________________

South Australia-based company Carbon Planet has told investors that it has secured 25 potential projects in PNG and invested A$1.1 million.

It, however, did not identify the projects.

The company warned that “emerging carbon economy is complicated; (while) unscrupulous traders with phony schemes are taking advantage of a confused marketplace and a lack of education amongst buyers”.

Founder and chief operating officer Dave Sag has refused to elaborate on Carbon Planet’s own involvement in PNG and, in particular, it relationship with self-proclaimed “carbon kingpin” Kirk Roberts.

In December, Sag walked out of an SBS TV interview when asked about Roberts and PNG.

Rossco, any chance of a competition debate now? Do yourself a favour. Don't ever read the news papers. It's 99.99% rubbish and incorrect information.

Just keep sitting on your Victorian fence throwing stone; thinking of the good old days in PNG; drinking your Cootumundra red. Stay safe Ross.

Be careful, as the times are a changing and other countries agendas are most certainly not transparent or as simple as once was.

The bottom line here is the ILG's received f--k all for working at the Jap paper mill and their environment has been bugger up. As to now people are very sick.
The question is to what cost and who shall this be accounted.

Hi Bottle Top, Sorry I didn't get back to you last night when you responded to my last post.

Am I a winner? You want to believe it! I sit here with a glass of my finest Coonawarra cabernet and know that when I look at the death notices in the paper tomorrow morning my name won't be there. You bet I'm a winner.

And are you a winner? I have you categorised already in the knowledge that you couldn't respond until you had spoken to the puppet master, sorry, boss.

However, let's get back to the debate, oops, discussion. Don't bother going to all that trouble about the Gogol because if you click on this link it will confirm what you are saying. If it doesn't open, just paste it in your browser:

http://books.google.com.au/books?id=XhtMKVXt7mwC&pg=PA359&lpg=PA359&dq=Jant+Gogol+Valley&source=bl&ots=tqJSsdEQpj&sig=-2ag1gZ8dOI_0-80XFK6yDF07WU&hl=en&ei=FVmdS8unNtKHkAWtlZnKAQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=7&ved=0CBcQ6AEwBg#v=onepage&q=Jant%20Gogol%20Valley&f=false

Again, I will point out to you and the ventriloquist that you have both missed my original point about using the Gogol Project as an example. Everyone knows that it has ended up an environmental disaster.

My point was that the original concept was designed to ensure the best of both worlds by providing a sustainable income over a period of time, employment and income for the local population and restoring the land to a forested state.

Don't point the finger at the Japanese. JANT was a joint owned company and they were only doing what any company could legally do, both then and now - offset loan amortisation against income to minimise taxation.

In terms of pay for the national employees, they received a fair wage, governed by and overseen by the Department of Labour. Don't try and compare it to today because that was many years ago and the cost of living was much lower then.

Unfortunately, public servants overseeing this project were either transferred or retired and oversight became less effective leading to the diminished and finally non-existent reforestation program.

Also, from the stories I have heard and read, some on this blog under other topics, there was no political will or, in fact, possible corruption of the public service and politicians, that would have actively inhibited continuance of the program.

Just think of it, if I can refer back to my previous posts, the best of both worlds: a thriving logging industry with a continuing reforestation program that could be used as the basis for carbon offset. How good would that be carbon trading over a logged area. Just think of it!

The public servants who thought of and developed that contract condition were light years ahead of their time, and carbon trading had never been thought of. Sadly I can't take credit for it. I was just one of those who had to manage and oversee the program for a short time in the early days when it was actually happening.

Why don't you tell your boss to promote this again in all the ILGs and you and he will both get the credit for a fantastic idea, and perhaps, more money.

I promise I won't tell anyone where you got the idea from. Cheers for now

Ross, Again this is not a debate or a competition. Give us two weeks and we will complete and audit the 'exact' returns from Gogol Valley paper mill to the forest people also the environmental damages will be added as a debit.

The boss says are you really a winner, Ross? If so put your money where your mouth is, as this project was a commercial flop for profits to the ILGs.

Do you how many kina an hour these people worked for then? Do you really think the Japanese would leave any cream anywhere?

Well Greenie Old Boy, A debate by any standards is any discussion whereby people assume sides to the discussion. It doesn't have to have limitations in the formal or legal sense nor time constraints and an adjudicator's decision as to who is the winner.

However, if you want, we could ask the moderator of this site to declare a winner. Unlike political debates, where the winner is the party elected at the next election, I doubt that we can find such a winner in this one but, most certainly we know who the losers will be!

By the way, in which camp are your feet planted? Are you a landowner also or merely the puppet of Roberts? Or are your family members of an ILG and you will benefit in time from Roberts munificence.

Unfortunately you seemed to have missed the whole point of my Gogol example as your reply is way off the mark as indeed they are with your replies to other contributors to the debate.

The Gogol timber harvesting controls was, at that time, an example of the government protecting the interests of the local landholders.

This occurred through retaining a major share of the local profits of the joint-venture company, protecting the forests for future generations through reforestation but also providing royalties from the harvested timber and greater local employment.

But, I guess from your replies, sorry, Roberts' replies, that you are just not interested in the greater good.

This whole saga is just a sad indictment of both the PNG government's ineptitude and individual politician's greed as well as that of your benefactor, Roberts. Just don't hold your breath when he cuts and runs!

Cheers Old Boy.

Paul, your questions have been answered so many times. Probably because you have your beak in so many blogs you may not 'understand'.

However, Roberts has asked me to entertain you and answer questions without going against the instructions of the ILG's re 'commercial in confidence'.

1 - The government has been given simple instructions by the Incorporations that they do not want to log their resources (you have been told that so many times).

2 - Roberts has been travelling to the remote areas of project sites since 2006, cross-checking the real ILG's. Roberts and the ILG people have been working together with Nupan scientists for a long time before you knew what was going on, Paul.

Roberts has never promised millions or billions, as the media suggests, and he can assure you that you will not just take your hat off, as you could be made to eat it.

PS, watch out for 'questions without notice' next week. Could be entertaining.

Greenie Cap, me ol' china, there are really only two questions you need to answer.

1 - How can you prove you can deliver what you have claimed, given the current state of PNG political involvement, disputation and already existing business agreements with timber companies?

2 - Will you deliver what you have claimed, given that you hold all the strings and the forest owners (or those who claim to be forest owners) have absolutely no control at all over their business arrangements with you?

If you are able to ensure that PNG forest owners (and there are queries about who is and who isn't an owner) get a fair and equitably distributed return for their trees and, at the same time, preserve their trees in perpetuity, I will take my hat off to you.

The fact that you haven't demonstrated how you can deliver on these two questions hangs around like a bad smell.

Ross - Numerous components have not been revealed as the project is 'commercial in confidence' at this stage and its trading rights are strictly private to the board and its shareholders.

Conflict of interest does not exist as you see it. This blog is not a debate. I am only answering rehashed media comments and some questions that can cause propaganda and confusion as most people have no idea what they are talking about, or are blogging about other people's business.

Example - do you think that Bank BSB would leak is current trading position today? Or would the PNG Treasury allow information on how it's servicing the 2 billion loan from the UAE? Transparency is a fine line in business.

The PNG Government has not the ability to run carbon trading in PNG. Everybody in the world knows that. Investors will not invest if that was the case. Full stop.

The incorporated land group (ILG) clans do not want to be in business with the PNG government because it cannot perform and does not have a mandate from the ILGs.

Have you questioned the Gogol Valley people regarding their satisfaction about returns from the Japanese paper mill? Fifty-one percent commercially taxed for the cubic square meter royalty return for these people is criminal.

I thank you for your comments and public servant attitude.

The Japanese are only looking to help their own deteriorating country. They need cheap food now; paper has been put at the bottom of the list.

Did you study the environmental damage of this paper mill? And what that cost could be?

Greenie Cap indicates that the distribution of (carbon trading credits) is regulated by the various boards of directors of the ILGs. It has previously been alleged/reported that the ILGs have given Powers of Attorney to Kirk Roberts and that he "represents" the various boards.

What has not been disclosed in this debate is the number of ILGs that have been formed and the number of these that have given such power to Mr Roberts.

Apart from the appearance of a monstrous conflict of interest (and my training tells me that an appearance of conflict of interest is a conflict of interest) the arrangement appears to be the gathering of an enormous amount of influential power into the hands of one person for one person's benefit.

Also, my experience of PNG, albeit dated now, and tempered by my lack of knowledge of Mr Roberts' experience and understanding of PNG rural life and beliefs, suggests that the the ordinary PNG villager is being taken advantage of for one person's personal gain through this abuse of this conflict of interest.

Finally, my prior involvement in a government committee having oversight of the logging of the Gogol Valley (Madang Province) by a Japanese paper company, made me understand how a strong PNG government could protect the villagers and the environment whilst ensuring that all parties benefitted financially.

Firstly, the then agreement limited the amount of logs that could be exported by requiring a chipping mill constructed in Madang. This provided local employment opportunities.

Next, the agreement required that logged areas be reforested as each logging phase progressed. This ensured that at the end of the 25 year lease, the area was left with regrowth forest with a carbon offset capability.

This arrangement meant many things. The company got a second grade chip from the first harvest but a consistent first grade chip from subsequent harvests for the duration of the lease. Nationals got employment opportunities in the logging and chipping components of the industry as well as sharing in the royalties.

The government was a 51% partner in the export company as well as benefitting from taxation earnings. It also benefitted from a strong export impact on the economy.

Japanese nationals employed by the company were required to learn tok pisin and to appreciate local culture. They also loved the benefits of playing cheap golf and mixing with the Madang township.

So looking at the various comments posted in this debate, this system provided the best of both worlds - export logging income and its impact on the PNG economy and the capability to benefit from carbon offset trading.

Why doesn't this happen today and why don't Mr Roberts and the Minister embrace this system and its obvious benefits?

Ken Mondiai needs to go back to his beer and poker machines and stop playing as a double agent. There is only one developer in PNG who has completed the required International methodology to the most robust standard to encourage the most sought after buyers for the forest people of PNG.

The only thing that can damage the chances of a quality carbon credit 'price' is the government in all its wisdom and people like Mr Mondiai who is playing two hands, which everybody knows about.

Minister gets support

PNG Post-Courier (10/03/10)

By CALDRON LAEPA

PNG ECO Forestry Forum has backed Forest Minister Belden Namah’s call for landowners to be careful with carbon trade deals in the country.”

EFF chairman Kenn Mondiai said the forum backed the minister’s comments that were made in the media last week.

Last week during a forestry management agreement signing in East Pangia, Minister Namah said carbon trading could not be carried out in the country because there was no legal framework.
Mr Mondiai said at this stage people could be easily misled by “carbon cowboys”.

He said the dealers who were moving into local areas and telling people that they could trade carbon from them had breached Government laws.
“There are instances where these dealers have disregarded Government policies and legislations and the matters have been taken to court,” said Mr Mondiai.

He said one such example was the Kamula Doso deal, which is subject to a judicial review.
Mr Mondiai said resource owners should make sure that important issues were understood and informed consent given for good governance, equitable benefit sharing and sustainable land use planning were fully understood and before signing any deals for carbon trade.

Thank you for your excellent comments. In time the excuse for the developing nations to continue producing greenhouse gases will decrease because of the cost of their responsibilities accounted for by carbon trading, together with the monitoring of the forest project areas to stop logging. It starts a win/win structure.

Carbon trading is regulated through standards. The distribution is regulated by the boards of directors of the forest incorporations owned by Incorporated Land Groups.

See the VCS website (PNG Methodology) which is managed by an internationally transparent, approved structure which will be publicly advertised on completion of the projects.

The Minister has his belly full already and cannot deliver to the Asians. As well, he has skeletons in his closet which is other peoples money and will start haunting him this coming week. On top of that his appointment as Minister will be removed.

The Minister for Forests, Belden Namah, has to understand the social and biological ramifications of either logging or carbon trading in PNG.

He may have benefited from logging, which was why he reckoned logging would bring benefits compared to carbon trading.

But either have disadvantages that outweigh the benefits that he as Minister must understand - one has destructive biological consequences; the other offers an excuse for the developed nations to continue producing greenhouse gases.

I wish to educate the Minister that he has to research far and wide before making cheap comments and, if need be, regulate carbon trading. What is there to lose?

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