Prime Minister Hon. James Marape says he is satisfied with his meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron as the president prepares to leave for the G20 Summit in New Delhi, India, tomorrow (09.09.23). 

The Prime Minister and the President met at the presidential office in Paris where bilateral exchanges were had covering a wide range of issues, high among them Climate Change and financing accessibility for Forest Nations. 

PM Marape said: “My stand is always the same as when I first made it publicly at the 2021 United Nations General Assembly. It is that the bigger Carbon Footprint Holders must compensate their actions by financially supporting the Global Climate Change Fund which must be accessed by those of us who own these resources and global assets. This will allow us to be better placed, development-wise, in preserving these assets. 

“France has rightfully recognized Papua New Guinea as a great forest reservoir, and its contributions in replenishing Planet Earth through both our forests and our Pacific Ocean – both of which act as big carbon sinks for the world. These are global assets that demand to be conserved and preserved. 

“When we met recently in Gabon as Forest Nations of the world, we positioned President Macron as our advocate at the leading global forums such as the G20 and the G7 summits. 

“France has already stepped up in this area by partnering PNG in our forest resource management by investing K200 million in the Managalas Conservation project in Oro Province.

“But other members of the G20 must also step up. The United States, Japan, China, United Kingdom, Indonesia, Australia, South Korea, India and four or five others with whom PNG already has strong bilateral connectivity. Out of the 20 countries in the G20, PNG has strong relations with 13 of them. 

“Therefore, I am glad for my meeting with President Macron. Apart from my continuing follow-up on other bilateral exchanges, and reciprocating his visit to us, my meeting has ensured that President Macron secures France’s commitment once again as he leaves for the G20 Summit to advocate for us Forest Nations, PNG being one of them. 

“The President will be asking these countries to properly contribute funding which can be used to ensure the protection of our forests. 

“As a country on the Island of New Guinea that is the holder of the third biggest rainforest in the world after Amazon and Congo, we must be known widely as a ‘forest nation’. This is the identity I am carving out on the global stage for Papua New Guinea. 

“We must push and continue to push through all possible avenues, including the connections we make, to draw attention to the proper management of our forest resources.”

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister has also met with the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Kristalina Georgieva in Jarkata, Indonesia on this same matter – on how Forest Nations can get relief or concessional lending for the proper management of their forest resources. 

“We must be adequately compensated, and I am happy to note that the Managing Director has said at our meeting to support this proposal. I am looking forward to working with IMF in the context of how PNG forest resource owners can be supported in better managing their forests,” he said.