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By Geralinda Warre

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Nov. 4) – In the event of a change of government in Papua New Guinea, all existing timber projects will be reviewed to ensure that they comply with the Forestry Act, Shadow Forest Minister and Member for Laigap-Pogera Yakka Kappa said yesterday.

"We will immediately put an end to the confused and haphazard approach to forest management and exploitation by the largely foreign-dominated industry," he said.

He said that the timber industry has become synonymous with corruption and other illegal activities. People responsible will be made to face the full force of the law, he added.

He said that under the Somare Government, the country had not seen a single timber project advertised in the past two and half years.

"When we take over the government, I will immediately undertake a number of major policy reviews and proposed new initiatives to put the country's forestry sector development on a clear path to sustainability, growth and profitability," Kappa said.

He explained that forestry-related corrupt practices involve industry participants paying to get what they want, whilst unscrupulous politicians play the role of happy conduits.

Mr Kappa would most likely be the next man to end up presiding over the country's forestry ministry in the event of a change of government, according to the media release.

November 4, 2004

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