The Department of Conservation in Papua New Guinea has received legal advice that any carbon trading schemes, including the government's own model carbon projects, are unlawful.
The legal advice states there is no legal basis for the governments model carbon trading projects in Kamula Doso and April Salume and both projects are "legally untenable".
The legal advice compares the government projects to the fraudulent Port Breton scam in the 1870's when a member of the French nobility, the Marquis du Reys, sold the rights to extensive land holdings in Papua New Guinea to European investors despite the fact he had no rights to the land and his claims about its agricultural value were totally exaggerated.
The legal advice to the Department of Conservation concludes:
"Papua New Guinea requires extensive legislation to be passed by the Parliament before it can implement any system to commercialise carbon sequestration in the forests.
Further there is no legal or other basis for the establishment of Carbon Sequestration Schemes in Papua New Guinea such as the Kamula Doso Projects and the April Salumei Projects. Both projects are legally untenable.
Until the legal regime in Papua New Guinea establishes a foundation for such schemes they are little different to a modern day version of the false prospectus for the Port Breton Colonisation Scheme issued by the Marquis du Reys and circulated through Europe in the late 1870’s8."
The legal opinion can be viewed here at pages 31 to 38