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Forum demands Forest Minister’s sacking


Forum demands Forest Minister’s sacking

The Eco-Forestry Forum has written to the Prime Minister formally requesting the removal of the Minister for Forests for his failure to deal with the overwhelming evidence of mismanagement in the logging industry.

The Forum alleges that the Minister has shown a clear indication of biasness in favour of the logging industry over the rights of ordinary citizens - thereby failing his Constitutional duty to ensure the wise management of our forest resources

In its letter, dated the 18th, the Forum challenges the Prime Minister to act on the inspiring statements he delivered when he took office on the need to restore public confidence in the institutions of Government and his commitment to uphold the highest standards of integrity in public office.

“Our call for firm action against the Minister for Forests is based on his failures in office and his inability or unwillingness to confront and deal with the numerous and serious abuses in the logging industry”, says the Forum.

According to the Forum, the Minister has:

Failed to order a full investigation of the credible allegations of labour and human rights abuses in logging camps Failed to order any action against logging companies accused of widespread environmental damage and breaches of laws and regulations Failed to ensure the implementation of the Ombudsman Commission recommendations from its investigation of the extension of the Wawoi Guavi Timber Permit Failed to ensure the implementation of the recommendations from the Review of Disputed Extensions including the need for a Commission of Inquiry Misled Parliament and the Public about the economic importance of the logging industry and ignored the considerable benefits that would come from ensuring legal compliance Issued new permits to logging companies with very poor performance records in their existing operations

The Forum believes that for the good of industry and the future of our forests, the Forest Minister must be removed.

PNG Eco-Forestry Forum 22nd March 2005

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