GREENPEACE JOINS CALLS TO STOP PNG LOGGING

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Greenpeace Australia Pacific Web: www.paradiseforest.com

NEWS RELEASE April 9, 2002 Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea

Greenpeace today released a report calling on the Papua New Guinea government to shut down the Kiunga-Aiambak logging project in PNG’s Western Province.

"This report profiles Kiunga-Aiambak as the most blatant example of what is going wrong in Papua New Guinea’s forests. Although the government accepts that the project has been illegal from day one, it has done nothing meaningful to stop it," says Greenpeace forests specialist Brian Brunton.

"The destructive logging project is also a cautionary lesson for other Pacific governments; that they should look to forest use that brings long term development, not social, economic and environmental hardship," Brunton says.

"Partners in Crime - Malaysian Loggers, Timber Markets and the Politics of Self-interest in Papua New Guinea" describes the devastating effect that the Kiunga project has had on the local people and the environment. It also details the breakdown in governance that has allowed the project to continue, the role of logging company Concord Pacific and the market forces in China and Japan driving the destruction.

"We believe this project is a test case for Papua New Guinea and the international community. It is well within the power of the Papua New Guinea government, international governments and consumers to halt the rampant destruction of these forests and the livelihood of those people who depend on them," says Brunton.

The "Partners in Crime" report calls on the Papua New Guinea government to:

Greenpeace also calls on nations around the world to prohibit the importing of Concord Pacific’s products, and for the company’s current trading partners to reject any more of its products.

"Partners in Crime" was launched at the Convention for Biological Diversity (CBD) meeting in The Hague today.

This meeting will agree to a ten-year program to manage the world’s last ancient forests, such as those of Papua New Guinea.

Greenpeace believes governments at the meeting should agree to stop forest destruction, clean up the timber trade and come up with the money to pay for forest conservation.

For more information contact Brian Brunton, Greenpeace forests specialist on ++675 693 0590 or Samantha Magick, Pacific communications officer on ++675 603 0391.

Partners in Crime is available at: http://www.paradiseforest.org/downloads/partnersincrime.pdf 

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