Forest protection eyed
PRIME Minister James Marape has summoned all genuine forest investors to submit their downstream processing plans by the end of the year.
Speaking at the Forest summit at APEC Haus yesterday, Marape said he expected downstream processing to be well established by 2025.
“I ask the forest industry players to submit your respective plans to the National Forest Authority by the end of December stating how you intend to start downstream processing in this country,” he said.
“So that in March 2020, we’ll see how sustainably you want to progress in the sector and for us to see you as a genuine investor.”
Marape said no round log permits would be issued as off next year.
He said only registered landowner companies would be involved in round logs.
He added that a log pond scheme would also be established so all logs come to the pond before export.
He said that a National Log Authority would be established to ensure logs exported achieved the best price.
Marape also called on logging licence holders to harvest logs sustainably to add value and greater benefit to all parties, the resource owners, the Government and the investors.
He said the Government would strive to make the forestry sector more sustainable and to ensure the country’s forest resource was protected but also used to benefit the people.
“While in harvesting, it’s our foremost pursuit in as far as a commercial interest is concerned, first and foremost harvesting needs to be done in a sustainable manner,” he said.
Marape said some of the genuine investors have reinvested in the economy, in business sector investment or in social sector investment and that was appreciated.
He called on Forest Minster Solan Mirism and the Papua New Guinea Forest Authority to know all log licenced operations and their contributions to sustainable socioeconomic development.