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Logging industry destroying our forests

Logging industry destroying our forests

New forest policy documents released by the PNG Forest Authority reveal that the logging industry is destroying our forests at an alarming rate.

The National Reforestation Policy 2004, states that PNG is currently losing 120,000 hectares of forest every year and the logging industry “in many concession areas presents an almost clear felling of the scene after the operation”.

“Our Constitution, Forestry Act and Forest Policies all demand the sustainable use of forest resources”, says Kenn Mondiai, Chair of the Forum. “But this is being totally ignored by most logging companies and the Forest Authority is doing nothing to stop the indiscriminate mining of our forests. This is despite the fact that the damage has been clearly identified in the recent government review of logging projects”.

The Policy reveals that of twelve Provinces with commercial forest resources, eight are almost totally depleted. These are East and West New Britain, Central, Milne Bay, New Ireland, Manus, Morobe and Madang.

It also identifies that with population pressures and forest clearance “fuel wood is becoming scarce in many parts of the country” and “wood for building village houses is also increasingly becoming scarce”.

According to the Forum there are two main problems, “the logging industry is harvesting too much timber every year and the logging practices are appalling and this causes a lot of unnecessary damage to the forest and undermines any prospect for long-term management”.

“It is the responsibility of government to ensure that logging companies operate within the law. We need a new political will, direct action against the logging companies and a massive program of reforestation”, says Kenn Mondiai.

“If nothing constructive is done by the Government and PNGFA now PNG will soon become a net importer of wood products at a great economic cost to the country and the foresters employed by PNGFA and the logging industry will be out of a job” warns the Forum.

© Scoop Media

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