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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Jan. 3) – Activists from all over the world have petitioned Papua New Guinea not to grant a licence to allow Woodlark Island’s rainforests to be cleared to make way for oil palm plantations .

[PIR editor’s note: Woodlark Island is in Papua New Guinea’s Milne Bay province. ]

The Post Courier newspaper reports that a letter to the prime minister, Sir Michael Somare, has been sent to countries around the world, including PNG embassies and various government departments in PNG.

The letter says that clearing Woodlark Island’s rainforests for oil palm plantations will turn a biodiverse paradise into a lifeless monoculture and environmental disaster.

It asks that the project’s approval be immediately withdrawn as it is clearly at odds with PNGs public international statements in support of rainforest and climate protection.

The letter suggests that if Sir Michael is unable to lead on establishing strict rainforest protections in Papua New Guinea then he should step aside.

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