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Environmental, Campaign & Website News > Papua New Guinea Rainforest Illegal Logging and Corruption Studied, Again, But What Is to Be Done?

Papua New Guinea Rainforest Illegal Logging and Corruption Studied, Again, But What Is to Be Done?

Date : 28th February 2006, Source : Forests.org



A new report makes the not so new or startling observation that Papua New Guinea's rainforests are being ravaged in an orgy of illegal and corrupt industrial logging carried out by criminal Malaysian timber cartels. There have been dozens of similar reports over the last nearly 20 years that have made identical observations and are now gathering dust. The problem has not been lack of awareness, but rather a lack of vision and initiative to do something about it.

Forests.org has long contended sprawling industrial logging must be shut down and PNG's entire forest sector transitioned to small scale community based ecoforestry. In my opinion the timber boom is so advanced - with the government bought and environmental community pursuing token, inadequate policies - that Papua New Guinea's rainforests are unlikely to survive in an intact, unfragmented condition.

Barring a revolution in thinking and possibly an armed insurrection to stop the industrial criminal pillaging, this ancient rainforest wilderness will surely soon be lost.

Comments:
http://www.rainforestportal.org/issues/2006/02/papua_new_guinea_rainforest_il.asp



Dr. Glen Barry is the President of Ecological Internet which provides exhaustive environmental portals including http://EcoEarth.Info/

News Article

Title: Papua New Guinea: Corruption destroying largest Asia-Pacific forest
Source: Copyright 2006, Agence France-Presse
Date: February 28, 2006
Byline: Michael McCarthy

Illegal logging and corruption in Papua New Guinea are destroying the largest remaining tract of primary tropical forest in the Asia-Pacific region, an environmental watchdog warned.

Malaysian interests dominated the multi-million dollar logging industry while much of the timber was processed in China for consumption in Europe and North America, Washington-based Forest Trends reported Tuesday.

Working conditions were described as "modern-day slavery," while forests were effectively being "logged out," the international non-profit organisation said in its report "Logging, Legality and Livelihoods in Papua New Guinea".

The report summarises findings from five independent reviews of the timber harvesting industry conducted since 2000 for the PNG government and the World Bank.

The government of the half-island state off the northern tip of Australia received 30 million dollars in cash revenues from logging annually and official inspections at export only ensured export taxes were paid, the report said.

"Thus, official export documentation merely launders the unlawful timber into legitimately-produced exports accepted by governments and retailers worldwide," it said.

PNG's forest industry is mainly focused on harvesting natural forest areas for round log exports, with little plantation production and a limited number of processing facilities.

"The sector is dominated by Malaysian-owned interests and the primary markets for raw logs are in China, Japan and Korea," the report said. "Many of the logs are processed in China for consumption in Europe and North America."

Corruption was an underlying theme in the independent reviews, it said.

"Corruption has a devastating effect on the living standards in the area as well as the long-term benefits for landowners," said Kerstin Canby, Forest Trend's program manager for finance and trade.

The government needed to support operations which were beneficial to both local landowners and the country or "risks having the international community boycott all of PNG's exports," he said.

The report was released on the day environmental group Greenpeace launched an initiative to establish a "global forest rescue station" in a remote part of PNG to support tribal rights against the logging industry.

Greenpeace volunteers from around the world would live and work alongside local landowners and eco-forestry trainers at the station at Lake Murray in Western Province, the group said in a statement.

They would help three Lake Murray tribes establish their rights over approximately 300,000 hectares (740,000 acres) of tribal territories by identifying, marking out and mapping their boundaries.

"We want to say no to loggers who come in and destroy everything," Kuni clan leader Sep Galeva was quoted as saying.

"We want to do small scale logging by the landowners in a way that is sustainable and environment friendly."

Less than one percent of forests in Papua New Guinea had any form of protection and more than a quarter of a million hectares of primary forest were lost each year, Greenpeace said.




Document last updated on Tuesday 30 August 2011

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