5 May 2005

PNG government urged to meet World Bank demands over development

10:34 am on 5 May 2005

A development NGO in Papua New Guinea says corruption in the forestry sector is threatening offers of money from the World Bank for infrastructure development.

The Centre for Environmental Law and Community Rights says the government is under pressure from the World Bank, with the Forestry Bill the subject of debate in parliament.

The centre's spokesperson, Damien Ase says the World Bank wants the government to stick to environmental guarantees in the Forest and Conservation Programme.

"Well you see those connections can be made, I mean they're just straightforward things they need to improve; the governance in the forestry sector, because you know there's lots of corruption in that sector, I mean there's lots of pressure from logging corporations, mainly Malaysians."

Mr Ase predicts the PNG government will cancel the Forest and Conservation Programme, which he says will hit World Bank funding offers.

But the World Bank in Sydney says the Forest Programme and the funding offers are not linked.