Tuesday, October 30, 2007

PNG going Green

Global warming has affected a lot of countries around the world and Papua New Guinea is no exception. Since PNG has so many small islands, most of them are in danger of being flooded due to rising sea level. For this cause, Grand Chief Somare is leading Papua New Guinea and pushing for more efforts in the Kyoto Protocol and asking countries to join the fight against climate changes.

Most of you have watched the documentary “Inconvenient Truth” by Al Gore, which gives you an idea of how important climate change is. The need of “Clean Energy” is in demand and the importance of Carbon Trade has now hit PNG.

Here is a write-up by Ogis Sanida explaining the rationale of Carbon Trade

The carbon trade rationale
By Ogis Sanida

Carbon trade is a new market-based mechanism which intends to encourage the reduction and/or offset of greenhouse gas emissions while, at same time, allows income creation. Such trade involves the buying and selling of ‘environmental services’. These services constitute activities that remove greenhouse gases which cause global warming from the atmosphere.
The carbon trade idea developed from the Kyoto Protocol that was signed in Kyoto, Japan, by some 180 countries in December 1997. The Protocol called for 38 industrialised countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions between the years 2008 to 2012 to levels lower than 5.2% of those in 1990. However, the Protocol did not give specific instructions on how countries will achieve their reductions. Carbon trade is a mechanism that was developed to address this shortcoming.

How does carbon trade work?
Carbon trade is supposed to work in the following way: An eco-consultancy firm, which plays the role of a broker or middleman, conducts an eco-audit of a client (individuals, industries/firms, or countries) and comes up with a reasonably accurate estimate of how much carbon the client's activities release to the atmosphere.

At the other end of the operation, the eco-consultant searches the world for environmental services that could offset its client's polluting emissions. These services are mainly forests and tree-planting projects, which are known in the carbon trade business as carbon assets or carbon sinks, because trees remove carbon from the atmosphere and retain it in their wood. Employing a variety of methodologies, the eco-consultant arrives at an estimate of how much carbon a particular sink retains, and then assigns it a monetary value and sells it to a client. The client then subtracts from its carbon account the carbon retained by its newly purchased carbon sink. The client is said to be carbon-neutral or climate-neutral when its carbon assets equal its carbon emissions.

In terms of income flows/creation, the eco-consultant receives money from its client and pays the environmental service providers, after subtracting its consultancy fees.

Types of carbon trade

There are three market-based ‘flexible’ systems of carbon trade: clean development mechanism (CDM), emissions trading system, and joint implementation system.

  • Clean development mechanism: This involves the trade of environmental services mainly between the industrialised and developing countries. The intention of CDM is to enable industrialised countries to meet their domestic emission reduction targets by investing in projects that reduce or offset greenhouse gas emissions in developing countries. Such projects typically focus on carbon-neutral projects such as renewable energy, energy efficiency, eco-forestry, wildlife conservation, and small-scale hydroelectric schemes. PNG is currently developing CDM projects through the Department of Environment and Conservation and other relevant stakeholders.

  • Emissions trading system: This mechanism mainly concerns trading of ‘pollution rights/permits’ among the industrialised countries. Under the system, countries or industries which exceed their pollution targets will have to buy extra quotas from companies or countries that undershoot their pollution targets.

  • Joint implementation system: This system is a specific form of the CDM where the Western and/or industrialised countries are to fund climate-friendly (or carbon-neutral) projects in the former Soviet Bloc.

The rationale
The rationale of carbon trade can be understood when we consider the impracticality of the environmental ‘purist’ argument on the one hand, and economic growth maximisation on the other.

Extremist environmental organisations argue that the only way to address climate change is for countries to undertake a direct reduction of carbon emissions by reducing ‘pollution-creating industrial activities’. These organisations contend that any other options are just an indirect blockage to the real solution to global warming which is reducing and finally eliminating fossil fuel burning. The idea that people can burn fossil fuels and then plant trees to clean up the carbon dioxide is simply wrong, so goes the argument. This false ‘solution’ will merely keep people digging up oil and coal. The only ‘solution’ is for countries to reduce carbon emissions.

However, the environmental ‘purist’ approach would be an ‘economic and social suicide’ for many countries. Outright reduction in industrial activities would lead to a fall in economic growth, loss of jobs and income. This would have a flow-on effect in the social arena where spending in health, education and other related activities will have to be cut. Because of such concerns, many countries have been reluctant to take the ‘purist’ approach. Until new technologies are commercialised, people will continue to drive cars, take flights and use energy from fossil fuel sources.

At the other extreme, some countries, mainly the big industrialised nations, are taking a rather passive approach to the global warming issue. These countries seem to think that they should continue to maximise industrial development and hope that future scientific advancement will provide the ‘vaccine’ to solve the global warming problem. If the adverse effects of global warming are correct, then outright ignorance of environmental issues would be detrimental to our welfare in the long term. The rights of citizens of a country or the global community, in general, to live in a secure environment would be compromised.

Given these two opposing scenarios, it is now obvious that carbon trade is the way forward. By reducing or containing carbon emissions and generating revenue, simultaneously, carbon trade addresses both the environmental and economic concerns. Carbon trade is not the perfect solution; however, it is the ‘best’, given the current situation.

Moreover, by its nature, carbon trade could have a wider appeal to governments and private sector entrepreneurs. The challenge facing countries venturing into this new form of international trade is how to plan for and implement it, in order to get the best value out of it, both in economic and environmental terms. In the PNG context, the current work of the Department of Environment and Conservation and the stakeholders in trying to get the CDM activities off the ground should be given full support by the Government, private sector and the NGOs.

Ogis Sanida is a Research Fellow with the Economics Studies Division of the National Research Institute

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Rest in Peace - Lucky Dube

Johannesburg - Reggae star Lucky Dube, 43, was shot dead in a hijacking in Rosettenville, Johannesburg, on Thursday night, police said.

Captain Cheryl Engelbrecht said the incident took place at about 20:20 when the singer and performer was driving in the Johannesburg suburb. She said Dube was dropping off his son in the area when he was attacked.

"His son was already out of the car. When he saw what was happening, he ran to ask for help."

The boy was too traumatised to provide police with any information, Engelbrecht said.

The hijackers were still at large.

Melvin Khumalo from Gallo Records - Dube's recording company - was not willing to comment on the incident, saying the company was attending to Dube's family.

Khumalo was on the scene in Rosettenville on Thursday.

Dube, born in Johannesburg in 1964, was named "Lucky" as he was born in poor health and doctors thought he would die, according to Wikipedia.

But Dube survived and went on to become a frontline artist in the reggae genre.

He had recorded over 20 albums in his music career which spanned over 20 years - according to the singer's website http://www.luckydubemusic.com/.

His albums included Rastas Never Die, Think About The Children, Soul Taker, Trinity and his latest, released in 2006, is called Respect.

The reggae sensation, who did not drink or smoke cigarettes or marijuana, despite the association of the substance with Rastafarians, had won over 20 awards for his music contribution locally and internationally.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Importance of Distance Learning

You can make a good thing better. With three successful deliveries its credit, the fourth series of the Microfinance Training of Trainers course opened on August 16 at the Tokyo Development Learning Center (TDLC), with 653 participants in 52 countries. It it the first time that the course incorporates Moodle, an open-source learning management system that is accessible free of charge to anyone with Internet access. The course is organized by the TDLC, the Asian Development Bank Institute, and the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) in collaboration with the World Bank Institute.

The need to reach participants beyond capital cities drove the course team to experiment with the Moodle platform. Internet-based interactions are combined with videoconference sessions, but most participants experience the entire course online from registration to viewing the videoconference lectures via webcasting. New features to increase outreach and effectiveness keep the course current, and allow participants to tailor their learning experience to their individual needs. For example, nearly half of registered participants in this offering have selected online tutoring to help them complete the course

"Today we live in a world where more than three billion people do not have access to formal financial services. Providing access to microfinance is providing people a chance to improve their own lives", said Mario Lamberte, Director of Research at the Asian Development Bank Institute

The course runs through the end of November Participants will complete a final exam online, and successful candidates will be accredited as UNCDF Microfinance Distance Learning Course trainers. Since its first offering in 2005, the course has accredited 91 trainers. Eleven graduates of previous courses are serving as online tutors in this offering.

For more information visit http://mftot.jointokyo.org

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Why is GreenCom in shades?

Now that GreenCom is ready to play soccer, it be good now. I was trying to look up GreenCom on Google but I couldn’t locate them on the web this was earlier in the year when Digicel and Telikom was playing football.

Anyway, my search ends today as I finally found
Greencom on the web. But wait……the website is incomplete!! Oh……and to add to that, GreenCom is offering services to UK only. But wait……GreenCom is website says they are based in Ireland. Isn’t Digicel based also in Ireland?? I’ve always thought that GreenCom is an Indonesian Company. Maybe I should do a search on GreenCom

Now my nose may be stuffed or something but my mind is running crazy at the moment. Just last week
Pangtel accuse Digicel of illegally using Greencom’s mobile spectrum. Digicel and GreenCom did a joint statement that there was no illegal use of the spectrum. So if the owners of are from Ireland, could it be a coincidence?? Maybe they are owed by the same person or family or something??

Here is a link to check


Any so we will really have a mobile competition in Papua New Guinea at last

This is confusing now. I’ve always though that there will always going to be a mobile competition and the Government was NEVER going to throw Digicel out of the country. But Sir Mekere Morauta question Hon. Arthur Somare why the Government is doing a U-turn and letting Digicel stay.

Am I the one confused here or is Sir Mekere Morauta the one confused??

What I understand is that, there was never an intention by the Somare Government to do away with Digicel but to only give Digicel an OPERATOR license and not a CARRIER license. The carrier license should be owned by the STATE and Telikom is the sole CARRIER. B’mobil, Digicel and GreenCom are all OPERATORS using the Telikom’s gateway.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Petition Against Family Violence

Post Courier on Tuesday 2nd October reported a most bizarre story I’ve ever read. It was a case of most horrific inhumane behavior a human being (of which I am ashamed to call myself a human) could have ever done.

The story of a man beating his wife, putting his hand through her genitals and pulled out the baby. He then proceeds to pour hot water into her genitals and later forced her to go to sleep. I could not imagine the extent to which human beings can bring themselves to but this has sparked calls by various women groups and leaders to make a petition to the floor of the Parliament.

Let us all wear balck to work on Tuesday when Dame Carol Kidu presents her petition to the floor of Parliament.

“The second Post Courier article of today's edition, also attached, recorded some of the reaction from the public condemning domestic violence,etc This incident is not an isolated one. There are many women and children out there who suffer this daily. As part of the need for the community at large to be informed of this cancerous behavior, and, which must be rid of, Minister Dame Carol Kidu, will be petitioning Parliament on Tuesday next week for proactive action to be taken against this sort of abuse. It has been proposed that a limited number ( as many as the parliament gallery will allow ) of people, men & women wearing black be in the gallery when Dame Carol is presenting the petition.”

Notes to the Petition:The Petition in relation to Violence against Women & children to be presented in Parliament on Tuesday in Parliament. It will be published on Monday's Post Courier.

  1. That there is a general, pervasive feeling of dismay and helplessness about the increasing levels of violence in all sectors of society, particularly violence within the family which should be a safe haven for all people - women, children and men.We remind honourable Members of some recent horrific crimes : last week a young pregnant woman was repeatedly beaten by her husband who then forced his hand into her vagina and ripped the unborn child from her womb – she may survive but psychologically and emotionally she is scarred forever; three weeks ago a woman was chopped to death by her husband in Gordons market watched by Security Guards – nobody helped and now she is dead ; a few months ago a young girl was reportedly raped by 30 men; in November last year Josephine was tortured for days - burnt with hot stones etc etc by her husband and died after this horrific ordeal; recently an innocent woman was attacked by her drunk husband who chopped her left wrist causing it to hang off. As she reached out to hold the chopped wrist the husband then slashed her right elbow cutting off the main tendon and nerve system then slashed her across the right shoulder blade also cutting off the main tendon. She is now unable to go to work and is unable to feed herself nor do anything as the injuries sustained have disabled her for life.Sadly, these horrific crimes are occurring on a daily basis somewhere in PNG – many of them are never recorded and never reported but we all know they are happening.

  2. We, as concerned citizens, acknowledge that governments over the last ten years have made significant progress with legislative and policy reforms in the social sector but we are concerned that the implementation of these reforms needs far greater commitment from both government and civil society.

Your Petitioners therefore humbly pray that:

  1. The problem of violence in families and society at large be treated as a matter of national importance by this, the eight National Parliament, and we call on each Member of Parliament to make a personal commitment to advocate against and take action against violence in their electorates, particularly violence against women and children.

  2. The government provides the necessary financial and technical support to complete the work presently in progress with the drafting of the Family Protection Bill and for each member of this Parliament to provide leadership to ensure that the citizens of this country have their rights protected as stated in our Constitution, laws and international agreements.

  3. The government forms partnership with key stakeholders including ngos, faith based organizations, business community, educational entities, relevant statutory government authorities and donor partners to ensure affirmative action against violence.

  4. The government provides resources to enhance the capacity of responsible government agencies to implement existing laws to protect women and children.

  5. The government establishes additional facilities and improve existing Family Support Centres to provide care and support to women and children who experience violence, abuse and exploitation.

  6. The government institutes a register to record all instances of family and gender-based violence at hospitals, clinics and care centres run by non-government organizations and churches to be used as a basis of planning preventative and support measures.

And your Petitioners, as in duty bound will ever pray.