Neo-colonialism & the South Fly
Good neighbours always help each other

Planting trees to fight climate change

Mature raintree
The grandeur of a mature raintree


PORT MORESBY - Both in government corridors and private sector spaces, environmental conservation is now a hot topic.

Whether we talk about an international conference or the launch of a new green project, people are talking about preserving our Earth, incorporating a great deal of green innovative effort.

Every city in the world has contributed to damage to the environment and climate change and it requires every city in the world to take action to correct the suffocating of the Earth.

Unfortunately, Pacific Island countries are more significantly exposed to environmental disruption than most of the rest of the planet.

Some may argue it is not our doing while others may say we are contributors, not in a big way but in our daily lives.

But we’re part of the planet and, in the last couple of years, we have experienced a considerable increase in floods, cyclones, storms, bushfires and landslides.

Climate change is real and it requires everyone’s active participation in limiting emissions and in adaption and mitigation measures.

In Papua New Guinea, if we are clever, we will offer the world the ‘lungs’ of our intact forests and plant even more trees.

Travel4Green (T4G) PNG is a climate change mitigation project that wishes to both sustain the indigenous forests and plant more trees under its “10-million trees by 2030 in PNG” program.

Being the world’s second largest island with virgin forest covering 29 million of the country’s 46 million hectares, this movement to plant more trees is significant.

The primary aim of T4G PNG establishment is to sustain the forests while minimising the impact of the carbon footprint on our environment.

Warning against removing trees in Port Moresby (Peter Kinjap)
Sign warning against removing trees in Port Moresby (Peter Kinjap)

This private not-for-profit project will allow travellers to determine the amount of carbon footprint they leave in each country and then calculate their contribution to global emissions.

One of T4G’s objectives is to plant 10 million trees in PNG by 2030. Trees create the air we breathe and filter air pollution. They help reduce ozone levels in urban areas.

 And, more importantly, they sequester carbon, removing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from the air and helping cool the earth.

When you plant trees around your home, they provide shade, coolness and wind breaks.

If you live in Port Moresby, you can plant trees in your yard as long as the roots and branches do not damage nearby properties. T4G has a mini-tree nursery in Morata 2 and is now inviting residents who wish to plant rain trees to contact the writer to get seedlings.

In this way you can help fight global climate change.

Raintree nursery  Port Moresby  established by T4G (Peter Kinjap)
The raintree nursery  in Port Moresby established by T4G (Peter Kinjap)

Under T4G’s 10 million trees by 2030 project, the focus is on making it easier to plant trees using its current volunteer network currently in Morobe, Simbu, Goroka, Central, Manus, Mt Hagen, Buka, Milne Bay, East New Britain and Madang.

It’s a nationwide project and invitations have been sent to government bodies and private sector players to join in and address climate change by planting more trees.

Meanwhile, New Zealand is planning to plant a billion trees by 2028. Their aim is to see trees integrated into the landscape to complement and diversify their existing land uses, rather than see large-scale land conversion to forestry. They want to see innovative ideas, research and sector development that will improve the way New Zealanders plant and grow trees.

Peter S Kinjap is a freelance correspondent on climate change. Email


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Paul Oates

Not wishing to rain on Peter’s excellent article, what Phil says is true. As an example, I set aside 10% of my farm to grow trees that used to grow there before they were clear felled for farming. I also resisted the local urge to cut down young trees to promote the growth of grass but then found out simply wanting to grow trees isn’t enough. You must first understand what helps a tree grow and what sustains it during its life. Also, who will appreciate and care for the tree when we die?

The real issue for the world as Phil has said, is that we are all trying to live an unsustainable lifestyle when there isn’t enough resources in the world to do so. Either we reduce our populations by the historically proven methods of war, famine, disease or pestilence or we stop having more children than we need to replace our death rate. It is noticeable that developed nations are either slowing or reducing their birth rates, due I suspect that their young people find the burden of bringing up children just too onerous. Yet in order to have enough people to look after their oldies, these nations are importing people from nations that are expanding their populations. While this seems to be a natural way of things, this methodology will be too slow to naturally reduce the demands on the world’s ever diminishing resources before they are insufficient to sustain the overall world population.

Perhaps the new Coronavirus or something like it may yet escape quarantine and reduce the world population like various plaques have in the past? Certainly, the huge tour ships are starting to wonder what they will do if the so called ‘newly weds and nearly deads’, disappear from their world cruise scene before the shipping companies can extract enough ongoing funds to ‘stay afloat’.

‘After me, the flood’ (Après moi, le déluge), has been attributed the French King Louis XV who is reputedly observed that as long as it didn’t happen in his time, all was OK. His successor had his head chopped off. Other writers like Karl Marx have used the expression in his ‘Das Kapital’ to portray the wish of every capitalist who just wants to enjoy life without worrying too much about the future.

Philip Fitzpatrick

Planting trees is great but it is unfortunately just tinkering at the edge of the climate crisis.

What is really required is structural reform and an alternative way of doing business to capitalism.

The continued growth and exploitation of resources by capitalism is unsustainable. If everyone in the world lived like those in Australia, for instance, we would need four planets to do it.

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