Papua New Guinea
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French President keen to visit Varirata Park

BY GORERTHY KENNETH

One of the world’s top leaders and G7 member, French President Emmanuel Macron, will have his one-on–one bilateral talks with PNG leaders at a forest lookout in Central Province, Prime Minister James Marape said yesterday.

Marape told the media at APEC Haus yesterday that Mr Macron himself wanted a walk through the famous Varirata Park in Sogeri and spend a few minutes on the lookout before heading back for more bilateral talks.

With his interest in climate change, Papua New Guinea will seek France’s support for an ultimate climate financing – a suggestion for a Green Bond.

Mr Marape also said security and other details for Mr Macron’s visit are all in place.

“Everything is set, police and every security personnel are on standby,” Mr Marape said.

“He himself said he wants to go to a forest. Papua New Guinea is a forest nation, with heaps of tuna, oil and gas.

“We are a forest nation so our identity as a forest nation will be amplified.

The French President is a big leader in his own right – (leader of )a G7 member country, so him coming here is a privilege for us.

There are conversations we cannot converse in terms of our forest conservation.” France is member of the Group of Seven (G7) which is an informal grouping of seven of the world’s most advanced economies, including Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States, as well as the European Union.

“I have asked him in our Gabon meeting for him to be a forest advocate for the global nations so that’s why we going to Varirata is symbolic,” Marape said.

“We will have a 30-minute walk in the forest and then instead of having a one-on-one meeting here (APEC Haus), we set the Varirata Park and at the Lookout point and then much of these will be, you know, for me as a nation, forest is a resource, if we have to conserve people must pay especially those with big carbon footprints, they must pay for the conservation of our forest,” he said.