24 May 2011

PNG govt promises amendments to Forestry Act

9:07 am on 24 May 2011

The Governor of Papua New Guinea's Southern Highlands Province has called for a review of the Forestry Act to allow equity participation of landowners in the industry.

The newspaper, The National, reports that Anderson Agiru says landowners are currently mere royalty collectors when they should have a role as partners in Forestry.

He has called for a moratorium on the issuing of new forestry and fishing licences to ensure there are enough resources available for future generations.

In response, Forest Minister Timothy Bonga said a review of the Forestry Act was long overdue and promised to bring amendments to parliament for landowners to be equity partners in projects.

While Mr Agiru thanked the Minister for his commitment to a review, he warned that PNG is allowing foreigners to rape its forests to such an extent that future generations will not be able to benefit from this resource.