Category Archives: Environment

NEC approves 5yr extension for registration of land groups

 
October 20, 2017 
Source: The National
 
 
THE National Executive Council (NEC) has approved a five-year extension for the registration of Integrated Land Groups(ILGs).
 
Lands and Physical Planning Minister Justin Tkatchenko told The National that it would be welcomed by the business community, especially in the agriculture sector, resources sectors and industries.
 
The extension is expected to give time to landowners to clearly identify their land.
 
The deadline lapsed in February.
 
“NEC has approved for the five-year extension for the ILGs to be identified and certified as requested by the industry and business houses, especially the New Britain Oil Palm, Mineral Resources Development Corporation, Oil Search and the big companies that deal with landowners in their developments and activities,” he said.
 
“Whether it’s agriculture, mining or development, whatever the area is, the ILGs can now be properly and correctly identified.”
 
Tkatchenko said a lot of ILGs had still not been clearly identified when the deadline lapsed eight months ago.
 
“Customary landowners and ownership of this ILGs have not been properly identified,” he said.
 
“So there was a request for the business side of things and for our big corporate companies that deal with customary land and landowners in our country.”
 
Tkatchenko said it was part of the 100-day plan that Treasurer and Deputy Prime Minister Charles Abel had put forward.
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PNG and Europe Continue to Work Together on Development, Trade and Environmental Issues

Papua New Guinea and the European Union will expand co-operation in the implementation of development projects, the deepening of business and engagement on global environmental issues.

The commitment to further strengthen relations was made during a courtesy call to the Prime Minister, Hon. Peter O’Neill CMG MP, by the European Union Ambassador to Papua New Guinea, H.E. Ioannis Giogkarakis-Argyropoulos.

The Ambassador, who is now beginning his third year in Papua New Guinea, also delivered a letter from European Council President, H.E. Donald Tusk, and European Commission President, H.E. Jean-Claude Junker, encouraging a deepening of co-operation.

“The European Union is a very important development partner for Papua New Guinea and we value this relationship,” the Prime Minister said following the meeting in Port Moresby.

“This is an engagement for which we now commemorate 40 years through the Lomé Convention with Europe.

“Development co-operation has strengthened a number of areas in Papua New Guinea, including enhancing environmental management, strengthening public financial practices and promoting of renewable energy.”

The Prime Minister said the EU is also very encouraging of European trade missions visiting Papua New Guinea to promote increased commerce and investment.

“We will have a trade Mission from Sweden coming to Papua New Guinea soon, and more to follow in the coming year.

“Increased people-to-people contact, particularly with high level business people, highlights the investment potential of Papua New Guinea.

“There are many Europeans who are only now beginning to find out about our country, and consuming our fish and other exports.

“We will continue to grow the European market for Papua New Guinea products.”

PM O’Neill said Leaders and Officials from Papua New Guinea will also continue to work with their European counterparts on global environmental issues, that includes climate change and the sustainable management of oceans resources.

“Europe has a clear interest in protecting and enhancing the natural environment, and we will ensure that we work together in international forums to promote sustainability.”

Source: PM’s Media October 12, 2017 at 4.37pm

30 Million Hectares Intact: Tomuriesa

 

 

BY MATTHEW VARI of Post-Courier

PAPUA New Guinea currently has 30 million hectares of untouched pristine rainforest cover in the country.

This does not include an additional six million hectares currently subjected to human activities.

Minister for Forests, Douglas Tomuriesa announced the figures for the country’s forest inventory at the launch of the country’s National REDD+ Strategy (NRS) 2017-2027.

“I am pleased to inform the gathering today that about 75 per cent or 30 million hectares of our forest are still intact with very little or no human disturbances,” he said.

He said maintenance of natural resources should be recognised by the global community, and the priority of government rests with the wellbeing of the people, who own almost all the forests.

“The international community has time to involve Papua New Guinea and is able to talk with us about elements of REDD+ because of the abundance and quality of our forests.”

“We are thankful that out of these efforts and outcomes of performance-based approaches in the NRS, PNG will qualify for the revenue flows from the international climate change funds.”

“Of the 46 million hectares that constitute the total landmass of PNG, 36 million hectares, or 78 per cent, is under forest cover,” he said.

He said the country is aware of its global responsibility to protect the biodiversity of its natural forests, but other countries take on the approach.

“Our forests are critical to our development from biodiversity as well as from our source of economy perspective.”

“In PNG, forests are essential to our environment, our economy, and our society.”

Annually, the forest sector contributes significantly to the country’s GDP, and government revenues, and is a source for forest resource owners who constitute 85 per cent of the population in the rural areas.

The minister pointed out the main group in the country that needs convincing to maintain forests remains, are the landowners.

Proposed policy to declare revenue

Source: Loop PNG

9th October 2017.

 

The Department of Mineral Policy and Geohazards Management (DMPGH) says it is working to introduce a policy for stakeholders in the mining industry to declare any revenue received or made from mining projects.

 

Secretary Harry Kore told Loop PNG that the policy idea came about during consultations for the Revised Mining Act.

 

He said while there are reports of mining revenue generated, a lot of locals impacted by mining activities claim to not see any tangible results.

 

Kore said the policy will ensure stakeholders such as provincial governments, authorities such as the Mineral Resources Authority (MRA), Mineral Resources Development Cooperation (MRDC), as well as landowner association chairmen and landowner company CEOs declare revenue received for the benefit of all.

 

“You fail to do that and you will be held accountable and you will be penalised under the law. So it becomes a practise. Every quarter they just declare their interest. We know that so much money goes to our landowners but whether it trickles down to the peoples is another thing,” said Kore.

 

The policy idea is similar to a draft legislation currently being drawn up by the PNG Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative to make mandatory all revenue from the mineral, petroleum and gas sectors to be fully disclosed as per good governance standards.

 

Kore said they are yet to have formal discussions regarding the policy idea however, there is cooperation and the policy complements that of the work the EITI is undertaking.

 

Secretary Kore added that one of the agendas of the policy is to ensure there is sustainability in how revenue is invested back in the country.

Announcements On SABL To Be Made This Week

 

 

BY MATTHEW VARI of Post-Courier

A major announcement will be made this week on special agricultural and business lease (SABL), says Lands and Physical Planning Minister, Justin Tkatchenko.

 

These leases have been the subject of much debate both within and abroad in addressing the issues of illegally acquired land leases under the guise of the lease arrangement.

 

Mr Tkatchenko said since his appointment to the ministry, he has ensured that a high-level committee dealt with all the leases.

 

“As you know, we have set up the committee to go through every SABL file and the decision from the commission of inquiry.”

 

“With that, I will be making some very strong and firm and positive decisions on the leases that have already been investigated by the committee,” he said.

 

“There are some serious matters from these SABLs that have come up and the country will be very happy because we have had enough.”

 

He said there has been stealing of public, customary, and other land, where no consultations had ever been done, but his ministry would get to the bottom of the issues before the New Year.

 

“To all the customary landowners, the ILGs, bear with me. We are going to make sure that before the end of this year that most of these issues are resolved.”

 

Tkatchenko assured the landowners that the committee in place is a serious one that sits every week to deliberate.

 

“The committee is not just a giaman (fake) committee set up just to make us look good. They have to work and get outcomes that pleases the situation at hand.”

 

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill announced in November last year Cabinet’s decision to revoke all SABL titles.

 

Despite the decision, concerns were raised on the slow response of the department responsible in carrying out the revocation process.

Wash Policy Attracting Donor Support

 

Source: Post-Courier

BY MATTHEW VARI 

Picture: Loop PNG

The country’s first water, sanitation and hygiene (WaSH) policy has attracted the support of various development partners since its introduction in 2015.

 

With the national government’s commitment in having such a policy, it has since enabled focus areas identified to be addressed with increased expression of interest from development partners in the form of water and sanitation projects.

 

Program management unit co-ordinator, Takale Tuna said this when speaking at the Yumi Olgeta media event organised by the United Nations and European Union last week in Port Moresby.

 

As the result of the policy being passed by government we have actually been able to put together a lot of the development partners like World Bank has provided us a loan, EU has provided us some funding through UNICEF to address WaSH in schools and WaSH in health centres.”

 

“Also ADB is looking at peri-urban, which is basically the settlements, but also towns as well.”

 

“Also DFAT (Australia’s Department of Foreign Affair and Trade) have expressed interest and JICA (Japan’s aid program). So just because of the policy and the wash PMU (program management unit) that I head, there has been quiet great interest of the development partners to come around and help us address our water sanitation hygiene access.”

 

The WaSH policy aims to reduce water-borne diseases, reduce the amount of time that women especially spend their time collecting water, and equity issues to marginalised group in accessing water sanitation.

 

“Those are the main goals in terms of government improving the quality of life for Papua New Guineans,” Mr Tuna said.

 

PNG has never had a WaSH Policy and approaches to achieving national targets have been random and unco-ordinated.

 

As a result, access to improved water sources and safe sanitation has been declining in recent years as services fail to keep up with population growth and demand.

US agency funds K3.3m climate change projects

Source: The National
Photo: Mark Godfrey via Nature Conservancy

United State Agency for International Development (USAID) has funded four new community-based conservation and climate-change projects in the country at a cost of $US1.04million (K3.3million), a representative of the fund providers says.

 
During the project’s awards presentations to the four recipients in Port Moresby yesterday, Peter Collier, the chief of party at the Pacific-American Climate Fund which funded the projects, highlighted the strong partnership needed to produce durable results.

 
“The Pacific-American Climate Fund is committed to fund and improve environment protection and biodiversity conservation and climate change projects in the Pacific, including PNG,” Collier said.

 
“To realise tangible outcomes, all stakeholders and project partners at the national, sub-national down to the local communities need to work together to make it happen.”

 
Deputy managing director for the Conservation and Environment Protection Authority (Cepa) Dilu Muguwa said those donor agencies and multilateral partners were showing great interest in conservation efforts in the country though government support through funding allocation was less.

 
“The donor partners like USAID, United Nations Development Programme, Japanese International Cooperation Agency and other multilateral partners and donors are doing well to support conservation projects but the issue we have is working in parallel with the established state agencies like Cepa,” Muguwa said.

 
“So in the future, we are looking at addressing these issues so that there is proper management in place to ensure we have an effective and transparent management system in place so projects are managed well to tangible outcomes on the ground.”

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