7 Dec 2007

NZ foreign minister backs PNG efforts to halt deforestation

2:03 pm on 7 December 2007

The New Zealand Foreign Minister Winston Peters says Pacific Islanders and other rainforest nation peoples should be compensated by the international community for not chopping down their trees.

Speaking in Port Moresby, Mr Peters has commended PNG for taking a lead in advancing the idea of an international carbon credit scheme to reward rainforest nations for saving their forests to reduce carbon emissions.

The PNG Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare has been promoting the idea on the world stage under the Coalition of Rainforest Nations.

He has called for developing nations to be given incentives to reduce their carbon emissions in a way that did not hinder economic growth.

Mr Peters says New Zealand is very interested in the concept of an international financial mechanism to encourage indigenous people not to engage in deforestation.

He says it is all very well to demand an end to logging but no-one in PNG or elsewhere should be asked to be public benefactors without compensation.