8 May 2007

Greenpeace says PNG must stop ignoring reports on destruction of its tropical forests

10:05 am on 8 May 2007

The environmental group Greenpeace says the Papua New Guinea government must stop ignoring international reports and warnings about the destruction of its tropical forests.

Greenpeace has stepped up calls for a halt to illegal logging in PNG to coincide with this week's meeting of the International Tropical Timber Organisation, or ITTO, in Port Moresby.

A recent ITTO report estimated there is almost no focus by the PNG government on sustainable management, even though its tropical forests are becoming endangered.

The Asia Pacific forestry spokesman for Greenpeace, Tiy Chung says that while the government continues to give out massive concessions for logging companies, almost 90 percent of logging in PNG is illegal.

"The PNG government needs to urgently put in place a moratorium on further expansion of commercial logging activities until national and local forestry policies have been reviewed and strict compliance with the law has been achieved; and they need to get into participatory land-use planning with customary landowners and local communities; they need a significant increase in protected areas. This has all been highlighted as well in the ITTO report, these things have just not been done."

Tiy Chung of Greenpeace.