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Logging, Legality and Livelihoods in Papua New Guinea
External reviews find most logging in Papua New Guinea illegal, unsustainable, and providing little benefit to the state and forest community.
A new report on the commercial logging industry in Papua New Guinea by Forest Trends shows that the overwhelming majority of current commercial industrial forestry operations in Papua New Guinea are ecologically and economically unsustainable, and in fact illegal according to the government's own independent audits between 2000 and 2005.
Logging, Legality and Livelihoods in Papua New Guinea summarizes findings from five independent reviews of the timber harvesting industry, conducted between 2000 and 2005. The findings illustrate a fundamental lack of governance, and find that unless this system is fixed, other schemes such as the government's current proposal to sell forest carbon risk being equally corrupted.
Papua New Guinea's forest industry is predominantly focused on the harvesting of natural forest areas for round log exports. There is little plantation production and only 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 reviews include a study of 14 logging projects, covering a gross area of 3.17 m ha and a local population of more than 83,000. In 2004, these operations produced 1.3 m cubic meters of logs with a declared export value of US$ 70 m. All 14 projects were found to be operating unlawfully, and the timber harvesting was not sustainably managed.
The findings also indicate that the primary governance role of the PNG Forest Authority is seriously deficient, and that there is a political vacuum with no demonstrated government interest in controlling the problems in the sector.
Posted By Megan Liddle at 8:35am on March 01, 2006
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