20 Apr 2005

PNG groups oppose Sustainable Palm Oil moves

3:26 pm on 20 April 2005

Civil society groups in Papua New Guinea are urging environmental groups to distance themselves from the Rountable on Sustainable Palm Oil, which they say isn't welcome in PNG.

Christians for Environmental Stewardship, the PNG Eco-Forestry Forum, Alotau Environment Limited, the Center for Environmental Law and Community Rights and others, oppose oil palm production.

They say it cannot avoid causing social disharmony and environmental pollution, and deprives people of the right to use their land for their own economic and social development.

Damien Ase, the executive director of the Center for Environmental Law and Community Rights, says the groups are calling on the World Wildlife Fund and other big NGOs to distance themselves from the sustainable palm oil initiative.

"We think they should not be supporting the expansion of palm oil because on the whole when you see their main focus is on preserving biodiversity and if they continue to support palm oil logging companies to do things better .. I mean that's what they want to do.... It means more logging and more palm oil and it means a lot of areas of rich diodiversity and all this will, you know, be destroyed."

Damien Ase.