by Vasinatta Yama – EM TV, Port Moresby
According to a Transparency International report, Papua New Guinea’s forestry sector is characterised with lack of transparency and accountability mechanisms, persistent allegations of corrupt practices and significant losses to public funds.
This has prompted the corruption watchdog to be involved in REDD+ to promote and support transparent and effective forest governance structures, and address its surrounding corrupt issues.
TIPNG and the Office of Climate Change and Development signed a Memorandum of Understanding today, to promote transparency in the extractive industry.
Both organisations will collaborate to design and implement REDD+ [Redd plus] mechanisms and activities, to recognise the importance of climate change activities.
TIPNG Executive Director, Emily Taule, said that climate change will become a pressing issue if not addressed properly.
OCCD Executive Director, Varigini Badira, said REDD+ aims to reduce the contribution of deforestation to climate change by paying tropical forest-rich countries not to cut down trees, but rather, to conserve their forests and carbon, for effective usage.
The Office of Climate Change Development under its REDD+ program also tries to protect people’s rights in addressing carbon cowboys, which is another name for illegal forest activities.
However, challenges have emerged in the ongoing process of drafting PNG’s REDD + policy and legislation.
Meanwhile, TIPNG and OCCD will collaboratively educate and make awareness to citizens and stakeholders on the importance of Reducing Emissions through Deforestation and forest Degradation or REDD +, and enforce policies and practices that prevent corruption in natural resources, through accountability, transparency and integrity.