WORLD BANK’S BOND OPPOSES LONG-TERM PNG COMMERCIAL LOGGING

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WORLD BANK’S BOND OPPOSES LONG-TERM PNG COMMERCIAL LOGGING

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (August 26, 2002 - The National/PINA Nius Online)---A key World Bank representative has indicated opposition to long-term commercial logging in Papua New Guinea, until recent years the biggest export revenue earner after mining and oil.

The first ever such admission was made by the World Bank's regional forestry expert, Andrew Bond, in a response to criticism of its US$ 39 million Forestry Conservation Project.

Mr. Bond said that whole log exports have not been sustainable. This is why "the rapid allocation of the remaining large forest areas to commercial large-scale exploitation is not a good idea for forestry resources," he said, adding that large-scale exploitation "is not supported by the Forestry Conservation Project.

"It is equally unrealistic to ask for commercial large-scale operations to be shut down immediately. They provide a source of income and revenue for the country.

"Hence, alternative options available to the government and landowners are being explored collaboratively through the FCP and other initiatives."

Mr. Bond said that "the World Bank is precluded from direct investment in commercial logging in primary tropical moist forests."

But, he said, "Nothing in the Bank's current policy precludes support for improved forest governance and regulation and environmentally and socially responsible resource expansion."

For additional reports from The National, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The National (Papua New Guinea).

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: http://www.pinanius.org 

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