25 Oct 2011

Company says PNG logging activities aren't illegal

4:03 pm on 25 October 2011

It's believed that Greenpeace has been forced to abandon a blockade in Papua New Guinea on a ship heading to China, carrying what it says are illegally acquired logs.

The vessel is docked in a lagoon near West Pomio in New Britain island, where about 200 landowners gathered to protest against the logging activities of Malaysian-owned company Rimbunan Hijau and its subsidiary, Gilford Limited.

A Greenpeace campaigner Paul Winn says the ship is carrying as much as 4000 cubic metres of logs from the West Pomio area and was making its eighth trip this year in defiance of a government order issued by a former acting prime minister Sam Abal.

But Rimbunan Hijau's Axel Wilhelm says if the shipments were illegal, they would have already been stopped by PNG's relevant authorities.

He understands that Greenpeace was ordered to vacate the area this morning because they didn't get permission from the police.