PAPUA NEW GUINEA FOREST UPDATE

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GREENPEACE PACIFIC

September 1998

By B. D. Brunton

THE WORLD ECONOMY AND ITS EFFECT IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA

The depressed world economy caused a major downturn in the log market in Papua New Guinea in 1998. Log exports dropped from US$ 191 million to US$ 57 million in the first half of 1998. At least 41 operators stopped production. Eleven others shifted to production for saw milling. From a conservationist perspective these are positive trends. But they should not be mistaken for a fundamental change in the industry. The loggers are biding their time until the market recovers. Many are hibernating.

The future trend is likely to be for Papua New Guinea to supply raw logs at much cheaper prices to overseas mills, with China as an important destination for raw logs. The local milling now being undertaken is most likely a short-term response to the depressed market. Rimbunan Hijau have built a veneer mill at Emeti in the Western Province, and Landwell Resources is said to be building a plywood mill in the Central Province.

Japan

Japanese buyers still account for in excess of 70 percent of Papua New Guinea's log exports. Japanese manufacturers have moved away from tropical logs to temperate soft woods, for a variety of reasons, including determined campaigning by Japanese NGOs. It is unlikely that Japanese buyers will allow themselves to be caught short of stocks of hardwoods as they were in 1993. They will keep stockpiles, and buy judiciously, looking for bargains.

PRC (China)

The devastating flooding in China has destroyed millions of houses. China will seek to rebuild as soon as the floods recede. The flooding has been attributed to deforestation in China, which announced earlier this year, as a national forest conservation measure, that it would stop logging its own forests and seek to import 10 million cubic meters of logs between 1998 and 2002. Whether or not it can pursue this goal in the light of the Asian economic downturn remains to be seen. The question will be how would China find the U.S. dollars to pay for the exports?

In July this year Thomas Nen, Managing Director of the PNG Forest Authority, and Chris Marlowe, General Counsel to the PNGFA, and President of the PNG-China Business Council visited China. An MOU was signed between the PNGFA and the China Huayi Group from the Hebei Province. China Huayi wants to import hardwoods for manufacturing. Discussions were also held with the Jaingsu Overseas Group Corporation.

Campaign to End Export Logging by the Year 2000

Greenpeace and WWF South Pacific have completed an analysis of the PNG National Forest Plan. The report concludes that the Plan falls short of its mandate. It recommends that the Plan be withdrawn, that existing maps be redrawn to show areas off-limits to logging, that a moratorium on new projects and extensions to existing projects be imposed until timber resources are brought under effective management, and that a process of bottom-up, community based land use planning be implemented. All the major national and international NGOs operating in PNG, with the exception of The Nature Conservancy, have indicated a willingness to support the recommendations.

Campaign to Stop the Lowering of the Log Tax

Despite extensive lobbying and an advertising campaign by NGOs, the government caved in to the logging lobby and lowered the log tax in July. All green NGOs, national and international in PNG wanted no alteration to be made to the tax, because the tax in effect puts up the cost of logs, and has a conservation effect.

It is believed that the architect of the misguided compromise was the ex-World Bank, now Government of PNG consultant, Dr. Pirouz Hamidian-Rad. In essence, the export tax on logs valued at less than K130 per cubic meter was abolished. Most high-value species bring in more than K130 m3, so are unaffected by the reduction. But the effect of this reduction has been to allow some loggers to go back into production, and has raised the hopes of others that more concessions can be negotiated.

Politically the reduction is an indication of the lack of influence the loggers can bring to bear on the current Government. Most key players in PNG politics since the last elections in 1997 are not allied with logging interests. They are not dependent upon the loggers for bribes. They depend instead upon gambling industry sources for their slush-funds. Nevertheless the Skate coalition is very fragile. Rumor has it that Skate will have to step aside to hold the coalition together. The loggers prefer a PPP/Pangu government, although a recent reshuffle would have been much to their liking.

New Minister for Forests

The Minister for Forests Dr. Fabian Pok was replaced by Mao Zeming, former Minister for Housing, in July. But by August Mr. Zeming had fallen from grace and was sacked. He was replaced by Mr. Peter Arul, former Minister of Corrective Institutions, and member for Kandrian Gloucester in West New Britain. Peter Arul has very strong links with the export logging industry. He is from Amgen village, Gasmata, WNB. A company search conducted after he was appointed Minister for Forests shows he is a director of Gasmata Holdings Pty. Ltd.

Other directors of Gasmata Holdings are Steven Kalabrek, Julius Usimsit, Isidore Teli (Managing Director) Francis Vango all from Amgen village, Andrew Posai (former Minister of Forest in the Chan government but sacked for corruption), and Chris Fong from Kimbe. Gasmata Holdings has a nominal capital of K1 million K1 shares, of which seven shares are paid up and all held by people living in Angen Village. The PNG Banking Corporation has a charge over all the assets of Gasmata Holdings. Gasmata Holdings holds a timber authority in respect of the Asirim- Gasmata roadline project, and is thought to be the operator in the Mukus Tolu FMA. Both these projects look to be uneconomic or at best marginal, economically.

IIED/NRI Conference & Books

The PNG National Research Institute, and the International Institute for Environment and Development held a conference in Port Moresby in August 1998 on forest policy. It was part of a long-term cooperative effort that produced NRI Monograph 32 in 1997 entitled "The Political Economy of Forest Management in Papua New Guinea" (edited by C. Filer). This year IIED/NRI published "Loggers, donors and resource owners" (C. Filer and N. Sekhran). These books contain a wealth of information on the struggle for the forests in PNG. Two things were noticeable about this conference. Although the loggers were invited, they did not participate. One or two of their representatives could be seen from time to time. But they did not speak. Logging is an industry that cannot expose itself to informed criticism, and is an industry which is not transparent.

Secondly, the PNGFA was under continuous pressure to justify its practices. The Minister and Managing Director fled the scene, and left General Manager Kanawi Pouru to defend the institution as best he could.

Forest Regulations

The Forest regulations were approved by the Minister in June 1998, seven years after the Forest Act was passed by Parliament. We were told that the price of the regulations is K000.

New Logging Fields

The National Gazette shows that the PNGFA has prepared Incorporated Land Groups in:

A serious debate took place at the IIED/NRI conference over the need to change the direction of the PNGFA from export logging to medium and small-scale forest production. There was a general view that the PNGFA should be commercialized. The effect of the log tax reductions now mean that it is likely that log tax revenue will be less that the cost of running the PNGFA. The cost of the PNGFA is borne by taxpayers, who subsidize the running of an environmentally destructive industry.

World Bank

The World Bank is isolated with an out dated policy of supporting the export log industry. All NGOs except TNC support a moratorium on new operations. The World Bank seeks to keep this environmentally destructive, subsidized and inefficient industry going by promising NGOs more money for conservation. Bank policy, propounded by Jim Douglas is to promote conservation while continuing export logging. Jim Douglas was in Port Moresby at the time of the IIED/NRI conference but did not attend. He went to Australia to seek substantial Australian aid for his misconceived projects. Glen Barry was left to defend the World Bank position.

TNC, World Bank, and UNDP

The Nature Conservancy is involved in a logging project in the Madang Province at the Josephestal FMA. This is meant to be a demonstration that sustainable logging can be made to work in Papua New Guinea. However, The Nature Conservancy is reported to be planning to export log in its first years of operations.

The effect of this decision, if indeed it has been taken, is very serious. Export logging is the main threat to forest loss in Papua New Guinea. TNC membership should be concerned over these operations.

First, the proposal runs against conservationist principles, or at least those principles now adopted by other green NGOs in Papua New Guinea.

Second, a decision to export log in a project that is meant to be problems in its conception. Prices for logs are much lower than prices for processed timber. Fundamentally, the problem here is the management of the costs of production. TNC does not seem to be able to manage these costs.

Third, one explanation for the mismanagement of the costs of production could be that the project is undercapitalized. It is understood that TNC originally sought loan capital from UNDP, but has since turned to the World Bank's International Finance Corporation. This has caused some distress to UNDP.

But, however, that may be, what is clear is that if a project is properly planned and adequately capitalized, then it does not need to export its logs. The raw material can be processed in country and sold into North America. It is said that Wep Kanawi, who coordinates TNC in PNG has visited Canberra seeking support for the World Bank in its quest for funding for the conservation trust facility proposed by the World Bank. The TNC/World bank alliance is founded upon a fundamental contradiction: conservation principles can be sustained at the same time as the forest is degraded.

WWF Terminate Rex Naug

WWF US summarily terminated Rex Naug at the end of August 1998, who was until the beginning of this year their manager in the Kikori Valley, and then became their manager for external affairs. Rex was a solid, experienced, influential and respected forest campaigner, an agriculturist who worked in this country since 1968. His termination does not make sense, and at this stage of the proceedings reflects adversely on WWF U.S.

The New Logging Frontier

For the past two years it has been clear that the PNGFA and the loggers were positioning themselves to log one of the largest areas of untouched tropical rain forests in the Southern Hemisphere, along the PNG/Irian Jayan border, in the Western and Sandaun Provinces. In 1994, the PNGFA let the dubious Kiunga Aeanbak Road timber authority proceed. This had the effect of cutting into a great stretch of forest in the mid Fly River area: a road that runs from nowhere to nowhere.

The PNGFA has put in FMAs in East Awin, and Kamula Doso Blocks 1,2, and 3. The PNGFA is also pushing ahead and incorporating Land Groups in Nuku in the Sandaun Province. A number of things make these events very worrying. The PNGFA has a track record of not being able to regulate its concessions, and the returns to landholders in isolated areas are poor. T

he World Bank, which manages the Global Environmental Facility, and the UNDP have been aware of these trends, but have taken no positive action to stop or deflect the stupidity and rapaciousness of the PNGFA, or the loggers. This shows an ineptness that is totally irresponsible, because these events have been a long time in the making, and were clear to all.

The European Union chose to open its small scale operations in logged out West New Britain, taking over from the rather pathetic Ausaid Kandian-Gloucester Integrated Rural Development Project. The major developmental NGOs WWF, Conservation International, The Nature Conservancy have all avoided commitments in these strategic areas.

Only the under-funded national NGO, Conservation Melanesia, has made an attempt to operate in the Lake Murray wetlands of the Western Province. BHP/Ok Tedi Mining Company have begun small-scale activity along the lower Ok Tedi River, but Placer has chosen to sit on its hands and watch loggers move in along the Strickland River. The scale of the lack of planning and foresight by the multilateral agencies, the big environmental NGOS, and Placer, in dealing with the threat has been breathtaking.

Western Province

Plans are now well advanced to begin logging over vast areas of the Western Province. The dangers are that these projects will export cheap logs to overseas processors, and not be processed in this country.

Administratively the Western Province is virtually ungovernable because of its huge size and the monumental incompetency of its bureaucracy. To this mixture can be added an unhealthy dose of unprincipled local leaders aggressively seeking the quick-buck. One ray of light is with the provincial Forest Management Committee, which seems to have been struggling over getting some regulation into the Aeanbak-Kiunga Road project.

Such government as there is, is provided by BHP, the Catholic Church and to a much lesser extent Placer. Importantly, there is no real land use planning in the Western Province, no environmental planning and no commitment to environmentalism. In this context the decisions to log large areas of this province are irresponsible.

Rimbunan Hijau have built a veneer mill at Emeti to the South of Wawoi Guavi Block 1. They extracted major tax concessions from the Skate Government for this facility. It is said to involve an investment to be about K10 million.

Wawoi Guavi

Wawoi Guavi Block 1 108,700ha

Wawoi Guavi Block 2 172,400ha

Wawoi Guavi Block 3 207,200ha

Wawoi Guavi Block 1Extension 1 60,730ha

Wawoi Guavi Block 1Extension 2 21,140ha

These concessions, operated by Nuigini Lumber, a Rimbunan Hijau subsidiary, are nearing completion. Landholders in Block 3 complain about damage to their land, and the PNGFA in 1995 considered issuing a show cause letter, but withheld the letter because of the revenue implications of the project.

There are a number of reports which indicate that the environment has been damaged. The PNGFA has granted two recent extensions. It has used a provision of the Act which allows it to geographically extend an existing concession without advertising the project. In this case there should have been a full, public assessment of the performance of the operator before any decision was made to extend the permit.

There is no better example of the lack of government control over forest management, and the domination of forest policy by unaccountable elements. After the government gave substantial tax relief, RH have built a veneer mill at Emeti, said to be worth K10 million. The markets for this veneer are not clear, and there is some prospect that the mill may not operate at capacity.

Kamula-Doso/Strickland Fly 800,000 ha

Kamula Doso Block 1 268,4000 ha

Kamula Doso Block 2 265,200 ha

Kamula Doso Block 3 267,500 ha

The PNGFA have obtained FMAs over Kamula Doso. The project has not been advertised. There is said to be an NEC decision to give this concession to RH, but such a decision would be unlawful. It is said that the concession is being considered by the Provincial Forest Management Committee.

Makapa 255,600 ha

There have been reports that Innovision, a company owned by the Sabah Foundation, that has held the timber permit for this concession for the past four years without doing anything to develop the area, has asked the European Union to start a small scale sawmill project in order to keep the concession out of the hands of Rimbunan Hijau. Makapa is sandwiched between Wawoi Guavi and Kamula Doso. RH have long coveted this concession, but it was passed to Innovision in a dubious NEC decision, without any advertising in 1995.

Aiambak-Kiunga Road

A timber authority was issued to cover this logging project in April 1994. The nature of the deal was for Concorde Pacific to build the road, but to be allowed to take logs from an a corridor of 1 km either side of the road. The road is not all-weather, and needs to be surfaced. Work has stopped on this project due to the downturn in the log market. The contractor says it has no money to go any further. There is a controversy over tax concessions sought by the project. The road is incomplete. There has been no PNGFA or Department of Environment and Conservation supervision of this project.

BHP estimated in 1997 that it would require K9.6 million to complete the road and surface it. It is said that 100 ha of rubber trees have been planted as part of the project. Concorde Pacific, the logging company involved, bought into the Weyborne Hotel in Daru. But the Hotel burnt down.

The Provincial Forest Management Committee have been concerned about this project. They sent their local forest officers to inspect it on a number of occasions in the last year. The PFMC reports that the road is not built to Department of Works specifications. That issue was muffled by the chairman of the committee. But it appears that this project is getting protection from senior officers in the PNGFA, because local forest officers reports are not being acted on.

East Awin FMA 203,900ha

The PNGFA has called for tenders for this concession. Sine Darby is said to be the favorite contender.

At first East Awin was said to have a component of 60,000 ha rubber plantation to be built in an area occupied by Irian Jayan refugees. New reports have it that rubber is no longer in favor, and now oil palm is preferred. Other reports say that the soils are unsuitable for oil palm. No one seems to want to address the issue of the large numbers of labour required for oil palm, whether the refugees will want to work to low rural wages, or will the developer seek to import labor, and from where? These are difficult political questions that need to be answered as the social and environmental consequences of oil palm are well-known.

Sandaun Province

In a way the forests in the Sandaun Province can be thought of together with those in the Western Province, separated only by the central mountain ranges. These forests together are the new, and the last, logging frontier in Papua New Guinea.

Aitape Sissano

Little has been heard of the Pai/Damansera oil palm project in 1998. There is a report that about 1000 ha have been planted with oil palm but the report is unconfirmed. The Timber authority authorized the clear felling of 5000 ha. It is now controlled through Kulim Bhd, and ultimately owned by the Johore Corporation.

What has always been clear is that the project was undercapitalized, and the intent of the investors was to use the profits from the log sales to build up the oil palm project. Now log prices are down and there is a financial crisis in Malaysia. The project looks like it is doomed.

The Lou Oil Palm project was planned for the catchment area of Sissano Lagoon, a marine area of high biodiversity priority. The Tsunami at Sissano may have disrupted these plans. It is too early to say. On the other hand, there are proposals to relocate the Sissano population in-land. That could have the effect of clearing the way for oil palm. But an number of things mitigate against resettlement including problems of land tenure, and the rich biodiversity of the lagoon as a source of food. The world economic situation does not look well for encouraging Malaysian or other Asian investors.

Nuku 140,000ha

The PNGFA has completed the incorporation of land groups in the Nuku timber area. The next step will be the signing of the Forest Management Agreement.

Bewani LFA

We have a report that says that logging recommenced in Bewani, once the lowering of the log tax was announced.

GULF PROVINCE

The Kikori Valley

There is a dispute involving a company capitalized by WWF US, Kikori Pacific that purchased 800m3 of logs from Turama Forest Industries, a logging company. Kikori Pacific was established to promote ecoforestry in the Kikori Valley. The logs from TFI were from an unsustainable logging operation in competition with WWF's efforts to promote FSC sustainability in the Kikori Valley, and should not have been purchased by KP for that reason. Kikori Pacific maintains that the purchases did not cause any concern to landholders. But other sources say there were a number of protests over the purchase.

Landholders, it is said, protested because it deprived them of a market for their logs. Mara Akaro, Chair of Iviri Timbers, Joel Kaware, Chair of Hope Forest, and Jack Kawari President of the Kikori Local Level Government are all said to have protested. Meg Taylor, a board member of WWF US and Chair of Conservation Melanesia protested. Rex Naug protested, although we believe that WWF US is denying that his sacking had anything to do with his protest.

Turama

It is difficult to judge what is going on in the new Turama concession. TFI moved its machinery out of the Kikori catchment over to the Omati river in August. The company appears to be in mothballs.

Hekiko 195,727ha (net operable area 63,197ha)

We have been told that no timber permit has been issued in respect of the Hekiko concession.

East Kikori

Rimbunan Hijau packed up its machinery and put them on ship and sent them to Siberia. As far as we can tell, the project had not been operating for some time, and this was, in part used as a publicity stunt.

Vailala Block 1 - 88,680ha

No export logging is going on. A little bit of saw milling is being done. The project appears to be in hibernation The permit holder is Long Kong. It took over from Shisei, after the PNGFA threatened to close Shisei down for inactivity. The Chinese Government intervened and somehow the permit was transferred to Long Kong. Another example of PNGFA incompetence. The project should have been shut down, the ILG process followed, and if the landholders agreed, only then put out to tender.

GTZ have pulled out of Papua New Guinea, leaving debts to NGOs, and projects without supervision. The small scale demonstration project outside Ihu is without supervision.

Vailala Blocks 2 & 3 - 267,820ha

In July it was reported that Rimbunan Hijau had gathered a huge amount of very new machinery together in a compound. Log production had ceased. The project was in hibernation.

SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS

Oil and Gas Industry and WWF

The Southern Highlands Provincial Government has signed a K17 million loan agreement with the National Provident Fund to construct 4 roads. One of the roads will connect the Southern Highlands with Chevron's pipeline access road. Previously Chevron has maintained the private nature of this road along its oil pipeline to the south coast.

The road is designed for light vehicle access only. The former premier Dick Mune has published a newspaper advertisement saying that he has advised the NPF that if he is returned to office he will not honor the loan. In any case he argues that the SHPG does not have the revenues to pay off the loan. Obviously, the road would cost a lot more than K17 million.

The main environmental problem with this proposal, is that neither the Southern Highlands or the Gulf Provincial Governments have an environmental or land use plan, nor do they have any obvious commitment to environmentalism. It would not stretch anything to say that these governments had a dangerous, narrow, money grabbing attitude to their land and resources. In particular the worry is that he road would open up country to logging. Chevron and WWF (US) have maintained a public silence on these important matters.

Mount Bosavi

No FMA has been signed in this area. ICRAF, EDO, Greenpeace held an eleven day workshop in July at Fogomaiyu. WWF US ran womens' workshops around Mt. Bosavi in late August and early September.

WWF US are planning Wild Life Management Area status for Mt. Bosavi. Mount Bosavi landholders say they will hold a cultural festival at the end of November 1998.

ORO PROVINCE

There is evidence to suggest that the World Bank, in contravention of its own rules that prohibit loans for projects in tropical rain forests, funded part of a clear-fell oil palm scheme in the Oro Province. The irony of this is that Austaid and other donors including the World Bank also funded the protection of the Queen Alexander Bird-Wing Butterfly, which is now threatened by oil palm and logging activity. In a way this demonstrates the ambiguity of World Bank and Austaid policies. To support logging, and conservation at the same time.

Managlas Plateau

Landholders seem to be organizing themselves well here to resist logging A boundary exercise has been completed with assistance from Partners With Melanesia and the Education Development Center. Landholders have a thriving betel nut trade going with Port Moresby. Coffee exports are hindered from Managlas because of high freight costs and regulations which create monopolies over who can buy and sell coffee.

Collingwood Bay

There were rumors that the PNGFA was beginning to put in Incorporated land Groups in Collingwood Bay. Greenpeace visited in August. There had been no ILG activity up to that point in time.

MILNE BAY PROVINCE

East Collingwood Bay FMA - 121,500ha

ICRAF and the Melanesian Environment Foundation did a joint patrol with landholders in July from Agaun to Biniguni. Two thirds of this FMA either mountainous, grasslands, or in areas where the landholders do not want a logging project. This is an impoverished area, in a rain shadow, with difficult access to any markets. The area was hit badly by Cyclone Justin in 1996. The estimated loss was 400,000 cubic meters of timber. The fallen logs were allowed to rot, at a conservatively estimated loss of K20 million.

There is an area near the coast where the landholders favor logging but it is too small to satisfy the PNGFAs own criteria for "sustainability." Part of the problem lies in a conflict of interest between a senior public servant in the Milne Bay Provincial Government who is also a director in the "landowners company." The FMA was rammed through the Provincial Forest Management Committee which incorrectly certified the consent of the landholders to the FMA.

CDC and the Sagarai Gedaisu TRP - 118,951 ha expires 2002

The operating company Ulabo Timbers went into receivership in 1992. The receiver, Stinton Spence, whose office is next door to Warner Shand lawyers (Rimbunan Hijau's lawyers) contracted the logging to Saban Enterprises ( the contractor in the adjoining Gara Modewa TRP), a subsidiary of the Rimbunan Hijau group. Since then there has been an arrangement whereby the debts of Ulabo Timbers are paid off by logging. With the timber permit coming to a close in 2002, there has been an attempt to set up a "landowners company" to take over the timber permit. But it is being resisted. One landowner group has taken its land out of the TRP. Another is group trying to do the same.

In the meantime we know more about the burning of logs associated with the Commonwealth Development Corporation clear felling in late 1997. It is said that CDC needs 20,000 ha of new oil palm to compensate for trees that are growing old and nearing the end of their productive life. The Sagarai Gedaisu Timber Permit allows 10,000 ha of forest to be cleared for agriculture.

Three hundred hectares have so far been cleared at Borowai and Mariawata. Landowners at Wegulani and Nigo Nigo are said to be leasing their land to CDC. Four thousand hectares has been prepared and clear felling will start soon. Another 7000 ha is in the pipeline for clearfelling. The clearing and harvesting of the timber is being carried out by Milne Bay Industries, a sub contractor to Saban Enterprises. It is not clear whether MBI is selling the logs it clears. MBI is a "landowner company" set up by Saban, and had the manager of Saban as its manager.

The catch in all this is that under existing regulations, CDC cannot harvest the logs from the TRP area. They are meant to leave them to rot. Logs we saw at the clear fell in December 1997 and January 1998 were tagged for export. This was the practice of CDC in the past, when it first opened up its operations in the Sagarai Valley.

MADANG PROVINCE

Josephstaal FMA - 98,685 ha

The Nature Conservancy appear to have won the timber permit in this concession, although there has been no formal announcement. TNC can anticipate considerable landholder resistance because of the strong lobbying on behalf of a Korean logging company. The other two contenders for the permit ( one Malaysian ) are unlikely to be in a position to develop the concession owing to currency problems in those countries. TNC also seems to have capitalization problems seeking assistance first from UNDP, and now, so it is said, from the World Banks IFC.

EAST SEPIK PROVINCE

Hunstein Ranges and the April Salumei FMA - 521,500 ha

The PNGFA finally handed over the FMA, in September 1998, signed in December 1996, to landholders. Landholders who wish to withdraw from the FMA may do so. WWF are now in a position to implement development proposals linked to the declared Wild Life Management area. The worst logging threats to this beautiful area seem to be under control.

EAST NEW BRITAIN

Warongoi

The Supreme Court appeals lodged by loggers, the State and the PNGFA against a judgment of the National Court, which awarded K2.3 million damages in favor of landholders, are still proceedings. A hearing date for the appeal is yet to be set.

Mukus Tolu FMA 65,000ha.

Less than half of this concession has millable timber. It is too small to be sustainable. The timber permit is held by Gasmata Holdings ( company search reveals that the current Minister for Forests, Peter Arul is a director). In June Gasmata was in trouble because it had not formally signed the project agreement. Recent reports indicate that some logging is taking place along a road-line, but it is unclear if this is part of the FMA or an adjoining project. The project is a good example of the irresponsible administration of PNG forests by the PNGFA.

West New Britain

Asirim-Gasmata roadline project

This is another road-line timber authority, with Gasmata Holdings (Peter Arul, Min for Forests a director) as the contractor. The conditions on the timber authority allow clear-felling 40 meters either side of the base-line. This is not enough to make the road construction economical. If this project is to proceed it will need a subsidy ( Austaid was in mind ), or the regulations maybe lifted and the contractor given permission to log up to 1 km either side of the base-line.

Manus

GTZ have pulled out of Papua New Guinea, and withdrawn technical support from the landholder milling operations on Manus.

Provided byN.BRAumann@tu-bs.de

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