4 Jun 2010

PNG environmental law changes defended as better management of peoples' interests

6:03 pm on 4 June 2010

The Governor of Papua New Guinea's Madang province says the government is fine-tuning laws on major resource projects so that the interests of local people directly involved are better managed.

The opposition, environmentalists and the trade union movement claim the government's new amendments to the Environment and Conservation Act would prevent law suits being filed against environmental damages caused by resource projects.

Sir Arnold Amet denies the law takes away basic rights from landowners.

He says it ensures for a process of informed consent over resource extraction from the outset.

"That people's rights and so on are properly addressed and heard and made aware of to the people in the granting of permits and so on. And that later on, those having been properly done, people outside of those impact areas ought not to have be permitted to interfere without direct involvement of the impact area people."