7 Jul 2003

Conservation Group under attack for stalling development of forest projects in PNG

4:03 pm on 7 July 2003

Papua New Guinea politicians are accusing the World Wildlife Fund of brainwashing resource owners into refusing the development of their forests.

The National reports the MP of Ambunti, Tony Aimo saying agencies like WWF are short sighted in their aims of preserving the environment at the cost of development.

Mr Aimo's electorate is earmarked as a forest management area by the National Forestry Authority for developments such as logging.

He says the WWF is driving the World Bank and IMF conservation agendas without due respect for development.

The Madang provincial Governor James Yali claims that a Bismarck NGO has tried to stop a tuna project and other logging projects in his area.

Meanwhile the Forestry Minister, Patrick Pruatich, says the WWF appears to be targeting forestry management areas identified by the National Forest Authority for development.