By EDDIE MOSES
A Forested area in the Southern Highland, which is being pushed as a possible site for Carbon Trading conservation, appears to be an existing Forests Management Area (FMA) identified by the Government in 2002 to aid the recovery of the ailing economy.
Recent media reports show that agreements were signed between Incorporated Land Groups (ILGs) and Nupan (PNG) Trading and Tiyebo and Associates Ltd for Carbon Trading activities for these forests in East Pangia .
The East Pangia FMA, according to Kanawi Pouru, Managing Director of the National Forests Authority, has gone through the allocation process in accordance with the Forestry Act. The process is to be concluded with the execution of the project agreement by the first week of March 2010.
The MD, in a paid advertisement in the dailies this week, stated that the Government's intention to develop the FMA project under the principle of sustainable forest management has not changed.
Apparently, the Forest Management Agreement signed with the State by the landowners in 2002 is legally binding and the State has not excised or removed it.
"The government still honors its commitment to the people of East Pangia FMA Project area to deliver the much needed goods and services through development of this project. As far as the PNG Forests Authority is concerned the East Pangia FMA is intact and that logging operations will commence as soon as the Project Agreement is executed in March," the statement reads.
It further stresses that the media reports relating to the dealings of Nupan (PNG) Trading Corporation Ltd and Tiyebo and Associates Ltd in relation to signing of agreements with ILGs of East Pangia is being investigated and will be dealt with accordingly.
It adds that this does not change or vary the intentions of the PNGFA to develop the East Pangia FMA in accordance with the Forestry Act.