3 Jul 2009

PNG villagers in PM's province misled in deals by his nephew

5:29 pm on 3 July 2009

A nephew of Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare, has been accused of pressuring remote villagers to sign away their land for carbon deals despite there being no carbon trade laws in place.

Documents obtained by the news agency AAP show Pacific Carbon Trade has been offering villagers carbon deals throughout Sir Michael's home province of East Sepik.

Pacific Carbon's Eric Komang, the prime minister's nephew, has been promoting a five-page Memorandum of Agreement that includes a breakdown of revenue where landowners receive 48 per cent royalties.

A councillor from the area said Pacific Carbon operators last week were urging landowners to sign the contracts.

A spokeswoman from the prime minister's office says the company has no connection to Sir Michael.

She says Mr Komang can claim all he likes but he is wasting his time as there is no regulatory policy or legislation for carbon trading in PNG.