Friday, July 17, 2009

Death by 1001 cuts


Papua News Guinea won the Prince Albert Foundation/UNCA global prize for news coverage of climate change, bronze award.
The United Nations Correspondents Association (UNCA) was founded in 1948 when the UN began to meet regularly in New York.
Its over 200 members come from more than 50 countries and the purpose of the awards is to recognise and encourage excellence in reporting on the UN’s worldwide activities.
The award was presented by UN secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon, in at a New York ceremony.
The awards were open to journalists anywhere in the world for their work in print, Internet, radio or TV.
Coverage of PNG's carbon and enviro woes led to also winning the 2009 Asia-Pacific award for environmental journalism.


But Due to unpopular demand this is the last post. Sadly Papua News Guinea is to die a very premature death due to AAP concerns the 30 per day who daily read it are undermining the nature of their news service. That and they may be liable for some law suit due to the author's unchecked behaviour. It was but brief. Adieu all ye PNG fateful.

More Footy Violence in PNG

Another killing in post State of Origin fighting in Port Moresby.

Cockfighting Carbon Trading Australian Horse Trainer in PNG

By Ilya Gridneff

PORT MORESBY, July 16 AAP - A former Australian horse trainer who ran a Philippines cock fighting business is involved in carbon deals central to an inquiry into Papua New Guinea's suspended climate change boss.

Kirk William Roberts denies any wrongdoing in his carbon dealings in PNG and claims former business associates are running a smear campaign against him.

"I am a loveable larrikin," Roberts said from his Port Moresby home.

"I've done nothing wrong, we're doing good things.

"I am the most beneficial foreigner to this country (PNG) right now."

But Roberts' role in a series of carbon deals is now at the crux of PNG's carbon trading woes that includes an investigation in Dr Theo Yasause's role as director of the country's Office of Climate Change (OCC).

Yasause gave Hong Kong based company Forest Top and Roberts, a director of another company called Nupan PNG, an official mandate to trade carbon after Roberts locked in local landowners for potential carbon deals.

But documents show Yasause issued the mandate when he was the PNG prime minister's chief of staff, signing documents as interim director of OCC on May 12, 2008, one month before he was officially appointed director.

The documents show Yasause allowed Roberts to go to the world market offering lucrative carbon credits in PNG.

On the same day Roberts and Yasause also signed a memorandum of understanding with Forest Top director David Leamey to facilitate international carbon credit deals.

Forest Top then gave Australian company Carbon Planet the exclusive rights to broker the credits and provide technical and scientific input to verify the credits.

Forest Top was to be the body that distributed carbon credit sale proceeds to the stakeholders like Nupan, Carbon Planet and landowners.

An Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) document shows Carbon Planet last year gave $1.2 million for projects in PNG which were associated with Nupan and Forest Top.

Carbon Planet literature predicts the global voluntary carbon market will be worth around $US9.9 billion-$US17.1 billion ($A12.5 billion-$A21.5 billion) per year by 2012, with the global compliance market worth up to $US2 trillion ($A2.5 trillion) by 2020.

Carbon Planet chairman Jim Johnson said they still stood by their PNG deals but declined to comment further.

The deal between Yasause and Roberts' company Nupan became public last month, and as PNG does not have any carbon policy nor legislation for such ventures, the PNG government sidelined Yasause and launched a full investigation into the OCC.

The prime minister's media secretary Betha Somare said any of the deals struck were not valid. The new acting director of the OCC, Wari Iamo, is expected to make a similar statement this month.

"As Nupan (PNG) Trading Corporation is the power-of-attorney for numerous incorporate land groups, it is inappropriate for us to comment on any media speculation at this time," Roberts said.

Nupan and Forest Top are now in dispute and Leamey and Roberts are locked in various legal battles over wide ranging allegations centred in the Philippines, where Roberts is under investigation by the Philippine immigration department.

"I want nothing to do with carbon credits and nothing to do with Kirk William Roberts," Leamey said.

Roberts, equally as frosty in his opinions of Leamey, was involved in what is considered the Philippines' national sport of cock fighting, running an operation in Olongapo, 130km northwest of the capital Manila.

"Cock fighting in the Philippines is the equivalent to pokies in Australia," he said.

Roberts said jealous cock fighting rivals, former business partners and competitors were running a smear campaign against his efforts to help PNG.

That smear campaign includes details of his time as a thoroughbred trainer in NSW, when his horse Yobro won the 1997 Auckland Cup and came second in the Brisbane Cup the following year.

But in March 2002 NSW Thoroughbred Racing Board stewards charged Roberts for verbally threatening his vet, Dr Darren Gibbins, during a December 2001 telephone call.

Roberts was given a six months disqualification after being found guilty of asking his vet to withhold records from an inquiry.

Previously Roberts had a six-month ban for administering a prohibited substance to a racehorse.An ASIC prosecution report for July to September 2007 shows Roberts also was fined $2,800 under the Corporations Act for failing to assist liquidators and failure to provide reports to the liquidator.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Death by 1000 Cuts - Logging by stealth in PNG

While everyone focuses on illegal logging and logging practice - PNG's woes are much more obvious when you see the millions of hectares of land given over for 'Forest Conversion' projects like Oil Palm. Sadly many operators are using forest conversion as a back door to log by stealth.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

PNG creates two new provinces

PNG's will soon get two new Highlands Provinces - Hela and Jiwaka. See the story below.

Digger's remains found in PNG

Three skeletons suspected to be those of Australian diggers have been uncovered near Rabaul in Papua New Guinea. In World War II Australia first clashed with Japanese troops when they invaded Rabaul on January 23, 1942. The 1400 Australian troops known as Lark Force were outnumbered and forced to evacuate Rabaul. More below.,27574,25785149-23109,00.html

Carbon Cheating

I've come a bit late to this one but it's good satire on the whole carbon credit saga. Worth a look. And it's a great opening act to a story in the pipeline due out today that includes - one horse trainer, Philippine cock fighting, a transvestite and carbon trading in PNG.

I kid you not.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Trobriand Islands Yam Festival

Just back from a weekend in PNG's Islands of Love - the Trobriand Islands. So bad are the crops that the traditional yam festival (Minimala) has not been held for the last 20 years because harvest sizes are not good enough to literarily sing or dance about.
Above is a picture of one village filling their chief's Yam House with you guessed it -yams. In the past tonnes of Yams were distributed out through the chief's and their yam houses but due to population explosion from too much, ahem, love - harvest is down .
Trobriand Islander Serah Clark now organises a smaller Ugwabwena Yam festival on Kiriwina in an attempt to revive the islands' dying traditions.
The Ugwabwena Festival last weekend drew 50 tourists from around the world to see famous local dances, singing and art and crafts. More pictures and stories to come.

some pictures

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Journalists and Other Waiters

Even the highest outpost of Journalism gets caught in the crossfire as contemporary modes slide farther into mere service delivery. Above is a copy of a letter I received from PNG's Department of Labour and Industrial Relations in regard to my short term employment in PNG.
Myself and my company AAP, yumi tokaut olsem mi laik wok insait lo PNG.
We asked for a three year work permit and we got a three month work permit.
When you look at the form and see what service industry servants are also signed under the 'Designation' of Jouranalist, albeit better paid and more appreciated, you realise the much maligned PNG public service has a wiked sense of humour.

Musingku conman offers duped investors 'Jesus money'

Long before naughty Bernard Madoff got in on the scene with billion dollar pyramid schemes Bougainville's self appointed royality Noah Musingku was ripping off people in the Pacific.
Many still hope he will live up to some of his far fetched promises - the latest is a new currency that proudly sports a picture of him and the other big guy - Jesus Christ.
Pictured above is Musingku and from earlier this year when giving newly appointed Bougainville President James Tanis, following behind, a guard of honour.
Just in case people forgot Musingku was also known as: 'His Majesty King David Peii II, Head of State of the Twin Kingdom of Papaa'la and Me'ekamui' he wore a crown with KING written on it.
Only in PNG would a wanted conman be able to give a newly appointed leader such treatment and vice versa could one be able to pull it off.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Foreign Climate Change Funding Goes Where?

A while back I posted ten questions sent to Australia's Climate Change Minister Penny Wong's office which unsurprisingly did not get a response.
The federal opposition, through the shadow climate change minister Greg Hunt, now urges the government to answer those questions and please explain where all the money goes to foreign initiatives with countries like PNG on climate change...

"Can they (Rudd government) point to a single tree being saved?" Mr Hunt asked.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Women in PNG parliament

PNG Parliament to vote on a special provision under the constitution to get three women into the House. It's already failed once but the PM Michael Somare is urging his government to get behind it despite reservations from all sections of society.

PNG Headhunter in Hollywood

Look out Hollywood bad guys - Papua New Guinea's Stanley "Headhunter" Nandex looks to be headed for Tinseltown.
The 37-year-old Nandex, a seven-time World Kickboxing Champion, retired this year at the top of his sport.
But that hasn't slowed the mean machine whose round house kicks have sent more than a few opponents into intensive care.
Now Nandex is pursuing a role in a Hollywood big screen action blockbuster.
"Chuck Norris has been one of my heroes, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Bruce Lee, too," he said.
"I followed them as a martial arts student from when I started at 13. I went to Lee's grave in Hong Kong and met Chuck in Florida in USA. I also met Van Damme.
"It will be good for PNG to one day produce another Chuck Norris."
Nandex said a project set in both Los Angeles and PNG was being planned.
"They're looking for the finance and once everything is in order, we're thinking next year," he said.
"Certainly it will be a dream come true to work in Hollywood, to take part in a martial arts movie series with Don Wilson. The producer is working on the script now."
Kickboxing in PNG started in 1996, when Nandex crossed over from martial arts. Today, there are about 2,500 registered kickboxers across the country.
His career of 48 fights includes 41 wins with 30 knockouts and seven losses.
He has received the industry's 'knockout of the year' award four times, been honoured with an MBE (Member of the British Empire) and has twice been named PNG's Sportsman of the Year.
His career has taken him around the world and he has a massive fan base in PNG.
But success for Nandex means giving something back to his country.
He has no interest in politics, preferring to focus on training young fighters, working as a motivational speaker and even visiting Port Moresby's Bomana jail.
"Winning a few title belts is something, but changing someone's life for the positive - that would be the biggest achievement and that's what I want to do for my country," he said.
"I see in the sport a lot of potential, these kids are off the street, keep them busy and learn something positive for their future.
"Kickboxing gives them a direction, it's also about changing routine about finding their potential."
watch here some of the Headhunter's KOs

Friday, July 3, 2009

Lark Force Pilgrimage

Pete McGuiness with Bainings kids.

Lark Force trek departure photo.

A while back I carried out a three day trek through East New Britain with South Sea Horizons and met some interesting characters along the way. Here is a story about one man's journey to retrace his father's steps when part of the disastrous Rabaul defence during World War II.

and here is a longer version:

REDD Monitor

For all those who can’t get enough information on the exciting developments on Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) - check out
It's a valuable source of climate change and forestry news all into one neat little package.
This week they gave the Economist and AAP PNG a pat on the back for their tireless carbon eco-warrior like journalism…So we like them extra more!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

RH Knighthood Outrage

Environment groups are outraged billionaire Malaysian owner of Rimbunan Hijau (RH) logging company, Tiong Hiew King, has been awarded a knighthood for work in Papua New Guinea.
The Swiss organisation Bruno Manser Fund dubbed Tiong 'Knight of the Chainsaw'.

Family Mistaken for Car Thieves

Driving home along up Lawes Road and here is a slice of famous Port Moreby - several shots fired and some locals now lying on the ground. Such is life in Paradise. After a few more questions the story emerges that perhaps here lies innocent men. Over zealous security may have mistaken them for car thieves....again, such is life in Paradise....

Park versus Supermarket PNG style

PNG's PM Michael Somare and his Deputy Puka Temu, the Lands Minister are in dispute over a park opposite one of Port Moresby's major supermarket's Boroko Foodworld. Locals who remember say the same zoning issues lapsed when Foodworld was built. So why is the PM so committed to saving some slides for PNG kiddies?

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

This is not a Climate Change pipe

PNG's Office of Climate Change director Dr Theo has been suspended so an investigation into the office can be conducted...