Illegal logging highlights corruption in PNG

9:01 am on 3 April 2018

A Papua New Guinea landowner says it appears foreign forestry companies have been bribing government officials to illegally fell ancient trees on private land in remote areas.

Harvested logs in PNG

Photo: RNZI/Johnny Blades

Earlier this year Tala Kami and his family were alerted to activities of a foreign logging operation on their family's land which they had not approved.

He said after gathering evidence and gaining support of their Provincial Governor to stop the operation there are now multiple court cases around the way PNG's forestry sector gives permits to foreign loggers.

"All the indications have shown that a lot of people turned a blind eye and a lot of people allowed it to happen when they shouldn't have.

"And so that's what we're trying to work on now is gathering all that evidence to put the spotlight on the people that should have stopped it from happening but instead let it happen."

Tala Kami said rehabilitating the forest and restoring polluted land would take a very long time. He hoped compensation from the courts would help his family begin this process.

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