GLASGOW: The Papua New Guinea Special Envoy and Minister for Environment Conservation & Climate Change, Hon. Wera Mori, MP, says PNG is adamant on ceasing all logging, on a large scale, completely by 2030.
He said the collective decision by COP26 to stop deforestation entirely by 2030, is an agenda PNG has always advocated for under the leadership of Prime Minister, Hon. James Marape, MP.
“It is now a formal Government policy to ban round-logging by 2025 and ban logging entirely by 2030.
“We didn’t know that this would be the position taken up by COP26, here in Glasgow. However, this is a blessing in disguise for Papua New Guinea.
Over the years these COP summits have become exaggerated, where every year we collaborate and come up with ideologies to mitigate climate change; yet nothing practical is being done, in addressing global climate issues,” Minister Mori said.
He said COP26 must change. It must not be a forum for talking and conceptualizing. It must move forward and walk the talk.
“Papua New Guinea has decided to take action, simply because, our landmass covers one per cent of the global landmass, and is host to seven per cent of global biodiversity, in terms of marine and territorial landmass.
“For us, it has been quite a challenge, simply because, despite the fact that we host 30 per cent of the remaining primary rainforest, we have become the lungs of this planet, drawing in carbon dioxide, emitted by industrialized countries.
“That has been spelt out in our National Determined Contribution, which we submitted on 18th December 2020, having been one of the first few countries in the world to do so,” Minister Mori said.
He said PNG now has all relevant enabling legislations to basically walk along that path.
“The biggest question now is, monetization of our efforts – how do we get compensated?
“We just simply can’t ban logging in PNG, as it is a $1 billion industry, where the industrialized world expects us to continue to be the carbon filters of the earth, when they are only good for talking but not being responsible for our climate predicaments,” Minister Mori said.
He said Papua New Guinea is a member of the global community so when we decide to do that, we know what the costs are, having done our part.
“We would like to see the industrialized world or the first world who are responsible for the emission of greenhouse gases, come up with financial and economic development assistance packages.
“So, if the UN or the industrialized countries wanted us to terminate logging in our country entirely, they would have to make up for the revenue we raise from that particularly industry, annually,” Minister Mori said.
He said for other members of the Coalition for Rainforest Nations (CfRN), I will also advocate on their behalf. They too must be compensated.
“It is completely unfair that we are the victims of the climate problems we have not caused,” Minister Mori said.
He also had brief pull aside meetings with the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, and His Royal Highness Prince Charles, at the margins of the COP26 Leaders’ Summit, in Scotland.