10 Jul 2008

Illegal logging practically non-existent in PNG, says Forestry Ministry

6:57 pm on 10 July 2008

Papua New Guinea's Ministry of Forestry says illegal logging is largely non-existent in the country.

The Ministry is under mounting pressure to reduce the rate of deforestation which many environmental groups and development agencies describe as unsustainable and attribute largely to illegal logging practices.

A recent study by the University of PNG warned that most of PNG's forests could be lost by 2021 due to the current wasteful rate of logging.

However the Forestry Ministry's first secretary, Alistair Endose, says illegal logging is a broad term.

He says the term may cover logging entities operating without a license, prohibited logs being exported, and improper declarations on timber species.

But Mr Endose says the PNG Forest Authority has full control over these:

"There's no illegal logging as far as we're concerned except these areas where maybe violations of certain conditions of the logging agreement etc... I don't know if it constitutes illegal logging. But otherwise all operators here are licensed and they're monitored and controlled."

Alistair Endose.