21 Mar 2005

PNG environmental group says government is ignoring benefits of sustainable logging

4:16 pm on 21 March 2005

The Eco-Forestry Forum has criticised Papua New Guinea's Minister for Forest for refusing to act on what it says is overwhelming evidence that many logging companies are operating outside the law.

The lobbying group has accused him of ignoring the development benefits that would flow from a sustainable and legal forest industry.

The Chair of the Forum, Kenn Mondiai, says the government continually overstates the logging industry's economic importance.

The group says that Bank of PNG statistics show that in 2003 log exports provided only four percent of Government revenue and export earnings were just seven per cent of those provided by the mining and petroleum industries.

It says even the depressed agriculture sector is three and a half times bigger than the logging industry.