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Forest audit crucial for PNG

Forest audit crucial for PNG

Proper forest audit is crucial for PNG to ascertain the level of alleged abuse and corruption that exist within the forest industry.

The PNG Eco-Forestry Forum says this while supporting Finchafen MP’s call this week for a forest audit in his electorate.

The Forum has always maintained that PNG needs a nation-wide logging moratorium and a commission of inquiry into the entire forest industry.

Member for Finchafen, Theo Zurenuoc this week raised concerns that a certain logging company is alleged to have been operating in breach of certain statutory and legal requirements in his electorate.

He raised this in Parliament and asked for a submission to undertake audit into this particular logging operation.

The Forum said what Mr. Zurenuoc is doing is the beginning and all MPs should do the same for their respective electorates.

“We congratulate Mr. Zurenuoc for boldly taking this step. Concerns over non-compliance of statutory requirements and inconsistencies in the affairs of many logging operations in the country are becoming a common practice and we need an independent audit exercise into the entire forestry operations in PNG,” says the Forum.

The Forum said it is not the First time this issue has surfaced as similar calls have been made in the past and also in the recent times and the government has to do something about it. The onus is now on the government to take responsibility and move forward toward addressing these concerns as it paints a very bad image on the forest industry and the nation as a whole.

“If the government is serious about improving the image of the industry, then a comprehensive national forest audit is imperative and also consider legislating initiatives like the FSC Certification in PNG. It should immediately institute an independent audit exercise to look into the entire industry which should also cover issues of compliance, human rights, and timber legality,” says the Forum.

ENDS

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