PNG wants to rethink forest law and governance

Papua New Guinea’s Centre for Environmental and Community Rights, or CELCOR, is demanding the sacking of police working for logging companies.

This follows the killing of two landowners and a police officer in a forestry operation in East Sepik last month.

The deaths sparked a parliamentary call for an enquiry into police officers working for logging companies as guards.

CELCOR’s Peter Bosip said police working for logging companies should no longer be tolerated and Police Commissioner David Manning should take action.

“The police commissioner should call all the men from the logging camps and wherever it is found that police are doing illegal business working for a logging company, they should be sacked,” he said.

CELCOR also advocates other steps, including a moratorium on all logging, a ban on the export of round logs and the promotion of local operators who can develop timber processing facilities.

The NGO’s fourth goal is to rewrite the country’s 31-year-old forest laws to take into account the decline of PNG’s forests, of which Mr Bosip says only half remain.

“We need a complete overhaul of how forest resources are managed, managed and used in this country,” he said.

“And we need to create a law that reflects the current state of the forest and how we can manage the remaining forest. If we don’t do that, the whole forest will disappear.”