Look at the gleeful grin on her face. Yes that woman with that wide smile is Federica Bieatta, and she is supposed to be PNG’s representative as co-chair on special REDD Partnership Negotiations? It is obvious she doesn’t even have any idea at all what the Golden Chainsaw Award is all about or else she wouldn’t be smiling that openly. Or does she have other reasons behind that wide grin?

So i ask, what does an Italian woman who has never set foot in Papua New Guinea, much less know where in PNG places like Aitape, Kamulo Doso or even Collingwood Bay is located, know about the interests of this sovereign nation? Something is seriously out of order in this picture, wouldn’t you agree?

Now, read on the post by Sam Moko of Greenpeace who is pictured below handing the award over to PNG’s latest sensation since Kevin Conrad stole the show in Bali . Yeah keep that smile on, madam!

Papua New Guinea Awarded Golden Chainsaw Award! | Greenpeace International.

Blogpost by Sam Moko – October 25, 2010 at 10:16 AM 1 comment

Sam Moko (right) presents Federica Bietta, Papua New Guinea's representative to forests and climate negotiations with Greenpeace's "Golden Chainsaw" award in Nagoya, Japan this morning

Today I gave Greenpeace’s Golden Chainsaw award to the representative of the Government of PNG at talks on REDD (Reduced Emissions from Deforestaion and Degradation) taking place here in Nagoya. The government representative’s name is Federica Bietta and she is also representing PNG as co-chair on special REDD Partnership negotiations with stakeholders, including NGOs like Greenpeace.

Myself and the team, including a photographer from Tokyo, got up early to make sure we wouldn’t miss Ms Bietta for the 8am stakeholders meeting at the hotel. We all had to study pictures of Bietta, so we could recognise her, since none of us had seen her before and we needed to spot her right away. I’ve been working on forestry in PNG for 9 years and I’ve yet to meet her. Today was a good opportunity to meet her face to face – after all, she is the face of PNG for these important talks on climate and forests.

She seemed very happy to meet me and receive the award- but really it’s sad and unfortunate for the government of PNG to win Greenpeace’s Golden Chainsaw award – which is normally reserved for illegal and destructive logging companies.

Throughout the past 6 months the Govt of PNG, led by Ms Bietta has continually tried to stop NGO participation in REDD talks.

Greenpeace released today a report entitled: Papua New Guinea: Not ready for REDD. It details how PNG is failing the REDD progress and the steps the government must take to improve. You can read the full report here.

Essentially it says that PNG is not ready to receive funding for REDD because corruption and illegal logging continue to be major problems in PNG and indigenous peoples’ rights are being abused.

I was invited last week to give a presentation at Ministerial talks on REDD happening tomorrow but today found out that I would not be able to speak. I can’t help but think that this is PNG’s doing. Last night we met with officials from another country who told us: “There are 60 countries party to the REDD talks and 59 of them are welcoming of NGO participation” It was clear who she meant.

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Sam Moko is an avid forest campaigner working with Greenpeace PNG Office.