PNG leaders called on to foster economy driven by the locals

7:48 pm on 20 October 2020

A new report says Papua New Guinea's leaders should urgently change course and end the reliance on mining and logging.

Harvested logs in PNG

Harvested logs in PNG Photo: RNZI/Johnny Blades

The PNG civil society group, Act Now! with Jubilee Australia and the California based Oakland Institute has this month released "From Extraction to Inclusion."

They had shown that big extraction projects, oil and gas, copper and gold, and harvesting vast amounts of forest and planting oil palm, have done little to improve the lives of Papua New Guineans.

The Act Now! spokeperson, Eddie Tanago, said the wishes of the people have got to be put at the centre of any development discussion.

His organisation wants to see government encourage people to invest in agriculture.

"So there are resources to access small holder growers, or small holder farmers, where it could encourage them to go in there, without actually giving their land away, they could use the land to work on, so t hey could generate their own incomes.

"So in a way we have an economy that is driven and owned by the locals."

Tanago said Act Now! was also advocating an end to large plantation developments, an end to the export of round logs, and the encouragement of sustainable downstream processing of timber.