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Court halts new RH operation

The Papua New Guinea Eco-Forestry Forum supports integrated rural community development and sustainable resource use through a viable and sustainable eco-forestry industry

Media Release

Court halts new RH operation

The Supreme Court in Port Moresby has ordered that a proposed new logging operation by Rimbunan Hijau should be stopped pending further court hearings.

The Court Order has been hailed as a major breakthrough in the fight against illegal and unsustainable logging in Papua New Guinea by Eco-Forestry Forum Chairperson Kenn Mondiai.

The Forum, with support from the Ombudsman Commission and landowner groups, is challenging the controversial decision to allow Rimbunan Hijau to log in the enormous Kamula Doso concession area in Western Province without first going through due process under the Forestry Act.

Rimbunan Hijau was condemned by the Ombudsman Commission in 2002 for its attempts to acquire logging rights in Kamula Doso without the project being advertised. And the Forestry Act was amended to try and ensure that such practices were outlawed.

But in December 2005 the National Forest Board again granted the logging rights in Kamula Doso to Rimbunan Hijau and attempts were made to have this reinforced by an order in the National Court in March 2006.

The PNG Eco-Forestry Forum has entered a Supreme Court Appeal against what it sees as another example of logging rights being unlawfully granted to foreign logging companies.

On Friday the Supreme Court ordered by consent that no further steps would be taken to commence logging until a further Court hearing is held on June 27th.

PNG Eco-Forestry Forum

19th June 2006

ENDS

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