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PNG Minister wrong on illegal logging

Media Release
Minister wrong on illegal logging

The Eco-Forestry Forum is challenging the Minister for Forests for his failure to acknowledge and deal with the problem of illegal logging in PNG.

“Our analysis clearly shows that most current logging operations are illegal because they do not satisfy at least four key criteria”, says the Forum, “but the Minister continues with his blanket denials”.

According to the Forum most large-scale logging operations do not satisfy the requirements for:
Informed consent to logging from the local landowners
Proper process under the Forestry Act in awarding permits
Sustainable log production
Compliance with laws governing logging practices, employment conditions, company reporting and immigration
The Forum points to the overwhelming evidence to supports its analysis.

“Two Ombudsman Commission investigations, the Review of Disputed Allocations, the Reports on ‘In-Process’ Logging Permits and the latest Compliance Audits on East Awin and Amanab; all these official reports confirm our analysis that most logging operations are illegal”, says the Forum.

The Eco-Forestry Forum says that people are entitled to question why the Minister for Forests is ignoring the overwhelming evidence of illegal logging.

“Why is the Minister still in denial despite the overwhelming evidence?” asks the Forum.

“The Minister should immediately call a moratorium on new permits and implement the recommendations for further investigations to uncover ‘the web of deceit’ and probe the relationships between certain logging companies and public officials”.

According to the Forum, one independent report claims the corruption and mismanagement now are worse than at the time of the Barnett Inquiry. “Yet our Government is doing nothing to protect the people from unscrupulous logging companies”.

PNG Eco-Forestry Forum
24 May, 2005

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