Prime Minister Hon. James Marape officially launched the Forest Carbon Pilot Project on August 23, at the Afore District Sub-Station, Oro Province.
This new project is unlike the Carbon Trading Program where countries are given credits for just conserving their Rainforest.
The Managalas Forest Carbon Pilot Project is a sustainable integrated land development project where the actual rainforest is conserved and the grass plains are reforested with cash crops like coffee, coconut and even timber.
Prime Minister Marape commended the Governor for Northern Province, the Hon. Gary Juffa for his leadership in this area and urged the people of Afore to work with him on the project.
To help start off the project, the Prime Minister committed K5 million to the project.
“This is to ensure what we are talking about becomes a reality. We do not want to come and just talk about it. We want the project to really happen,” Prime Minister Marape said.
The Prime Minister told the people that the benefits of the project may take time to manifest but it will benefit their children and their children’s children over the many years to come.
He urged them to use the opportunity to go into agricultural SMEs and the government will give price support so that they sell their produce at a good K6 per kilogram for coffee and K3.00 per kilogram for cocoa.
He added that the government will set up buying hubs in the district so that the people do not have to travel all the way to Popondetta to sell their produce.
“This will not be the only developments taking place. We will also bring in schools.”
Mr Marape has also committed K1 million to the provincial government for the only high school in Afore, and allocated an additional K500,000 to be distributed equally to schools in the Afore Local Level Government.
“We will also fix and upgrade the road. I will be giving K5 million to Governor Juffa to continue with the road upgrade already happening from Oro Bay.”
Prime Minister Marape said when the conservation project becomes a reality, the schools, hospitals and roads in the area would improve and become better.
“ Conservation has money in it and it will come in a holistic way.”
According to a report in the Vivid Economy in 2020, nature based solutions such as these not only conserve biodiversity and strengthen community resilience, it also has the potential to generate USD 800 billion in annual revenues by 2050.