3 May 2005

PNG's sustainable forestry campaigners make a final effort to stop a new forestry bill

6:55 pm on 3 May 2005

Papua New Guinea's Eco Forestry Forum says it is making a last ditch attempt to convince MPs to reject the Forestry Bill, which is due to go before parliament this month.

Publicity co-ordinator Elma Tararia says the bill will promote rampant and unsustainable logging, and removes the rights of forest resource owners and provincial governments to be consulted over logging decisions.

Ms Tararia says if the bill is passed, the Forest minister, Patrick Pruaitch, will be given more power, and there is a risk of political interference in decision making.

She says they are running a series of media campaigns to create awareness of the bill among both the public and MPs.

"Look if you want to pass a legislation or an amendment, you'll have to make sure you know the bill's implications. We feel if its going to go ahead and the parliament's going to go ahead, we fear resource owners will be the big losers in the end."

Elma Tararia.