30 Apr 2005

PNG PM contradicts own minister on forest policy, says NGO

6:14 am on 30 April 2005

The Eco-Forestry Forum in Papua New Guinea says the Minister for Forests has contradicted the Prime Minister, on the future of the country's forestry resources.

The Forum says that the Minister, Patrick Pruaitch, is promoting changes to the Forestry Act that will promote rampant and unsustainable logging.

It alleges that this contradicts the views of the Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare, who has given a personal commitment to conserve the country's forestry resources.

Sir Michael is reported to have said in Indonesia earlier this week that the country's forests must be conserved as the country looks to profit from the lucrative international carbon trading market.

The Forum says Sir Michael is being made to look foolish by Mr Pruaitch, who wants Parliament to rubber stamp changes to the Act that it will make it easier for him to issue new logging permits.