An Australian academic says feeding themselves will become very difficult for the majority of Papua New Guineans if more forests aren't cleared for farmland.
Ron Duncan says the comment was in response to a report by the PNG Forest Industries Association that looked at the country's prospects for the REDD or reduction of emissions from degradation and deforestation scheme.
The emeritus professor at Australian National University's Crawford School says any financial gain through the REDD programme is dubious and economic growth is more likely to be achieved through an increase in agricultural activity.
He says the population's likely to hit 10 million by 2020.
"At that time most of the population, probably 80 percent is still going to be in rural areas, they all have to be fed and if they're going to be fed better than they are now, then there has to be more food production and that can only come about by increasing the productivity of the land itself that's being farmed at the moment or increasing the amount of land that's being farmed."
Australian National University's Emeritus Professor Ron Duncan.