5 Dec 2006

EU's forestry dialogue in PNG called off

12:38 pm on 5 December 2006

The European Commission delegation in Papua New Guinea says forestry interest groups had nothing to fear from a dialogue on the industry planned for this week.

The event, which was to involve some overseas participants, was cancelled following a campaign spearheaded by a newspaper owned by the country largest logging company.

The European Union was funding the event but the head of delegation, Aldo Dell'Ariccia, says it was set it up after a request from prime minister Sir Michael Somare.

However the forest minister, Patrick Pruaitch, issued a memo that senior staff in the National Forest Authority not take part.

Mr Dell'Ariccia says when the government never clairified the matter the dialogue had to be called off.