25 Aug 2008

Greenpeace calls for transparent investigation in alleged forestry corruption in PNG

7:34 pm on 25 August 2008

Greenpeace's Esperanza campaign ship is in Papua New Guinea to start a regional tour promoting forest protection and climate change issues.

And the NGO has begun by calling for an investigation into recent allegations of PNG forestry corruption.

Earlier this month, PNG's Ombudsman Commission received documents from the Post Courier newspaper that allege forty million US dollars, accrued from skimmed off logging deals since 2002, is being held in an MP's secret bank account in Singapore.

A Greenpeace spokesman, Sam Moko, says a full and transparent investigation must be held.

He also says, while the PNG government has been leading an international campaign to conserve forests for carbon trade its reputation on forest protection is dismal.

A study earlier this year revealed more than half of PNG's tropical rainforest, said to be the world's third largest, could be lost or badly damaged by 2021 because of "wasteful" logging and population growth.