Papua New Guinea Admits Illegal Logging

PNG admits illegal logging for aid moneyAs it is prone to do when the donors come a-calling, the Papua New Guinea (PNG) government “has admitted its forestry sector is riddled with corruption” [ark] . This occurred during aid talks with the Australian government, and reflects political posturing to access donor funds on the basis of their rainforest's carbon holding potential. PNG contains the third largest expanse of tropical rainforests [search], though much diminished through years of heavy industrial mismangement.
Sadly there seems to be little acceptance by those pushing avoided deforestation [search] payments that to be effective, this will require an end to industrial logging of primary forests. Astonishingly, while Australia provided donor funds to PNG this week to protect its forests for carbon benefits, Australia continues to log their own primary forests [action]! To pay carbon monies for rainforest protection without ending barbaric first time logging of ancient forests would be meaningless in terms of both biodiversity and climate protection.

Perhaps the new PNG Forest Minister can succeed in wresting control of the nation's rainforests back from the Malaysian timber mafia [search]. And the announcement that no log export permits will be issued after 2010 is welcome, albeit overdue. But after 20 years specializing in PNG rainforest policy, I am not holding my breath either will actually happen until PNG's people and government reject fast money schemes and begin pursuit of community development based upon standing forests.

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1 Response

  1. curt says:

    Sadly, but any such activity is going to work only, and only, if it is going to be organized and enforced by military force. US Army, NATO, or any other organized force, which is strong and equipped enough to prevail any other local force.
    Politicians and other civil staff are simply 'useless', considering cases of establishing basic conditions for normal development of local economy, which also takes time and some more efforts. Civilian staff is applied, when local conditions are safe for their living and work.
    Local people simply need to comprehend and accept new employment opportunities and new way of survival/comfortable living without destroying natural habitat. You simply cannot push them into anything, but I believe, they are going to choose better living conditions, if they arise.

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