15 Dec 2004

PNG's Eco-Forestry Forum welcomes court decision on illegal timber sales in New Zealand

5:24 pm on 15 December 2004

Papua New Guinea's Eco-forestry Forum has welcomed the decision by the New Zealand High Court upholding a ban on a company accused of selling timber from illegal logged Papua New Guinea forests.

LumberBank, a New Zealand subsidiary of the giant Malaysian company, Rimbuanan Hijau, had contested the move by the New Zealand Timber Importers Association to exclude it earlier this year.

The Eco-Forestry Forum's Keen Mondiai, says illegal and destructively harvested timber cheats landowners, punishes the PNG economy and deprives future generations.

He says the PNG Government needs to close down the existing logging industry and instead support small and medium scale producers.

Mr Mondiai says a vibrant eco-forestry sector can provide more and better jobs, and skills training, and promote value adding through down stream processing and manufacturing.