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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Aug. 31) – The European Union (EU) is set to spend 108 million Euro [US$138.5 million] to fund natural resource programs and projects in Papua New Guinea between 2008 and 2013.

Although programs and projects in the fisheries and agriculture sectors would be covered, the forestry sector, and sustainable management of the sector would remain the focus for these funds.

PNG would also benefit from a further PGK6 million [US$2.1 million] funding from EU for forestry research that would be shared among the member-states of the African Carribean Pacific (ACP).

The Forest Research Institute in Lae has been selected as the regional counterpart centre to utilise the country’s share of the research funds.

EU head of delegation Aldo Dell’Ariccia announced the program during a meeting to discuss the conclusion of the EU’s involvement in the Eco-Forestry program and its inception by the PNG Forest Authority in Lae yesterday.

Mr Dell’Ariccia said further funding would become available if PNG can demostrate its ability to manage its resources in a sustainable way and to spend the allocated funds within the period and the set guidelines.

He said it was also paramount the Government continued with reforms to the forestry sector and other areas.

September 1, 2006

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