SOMARE GOVERNMENT WANTS ‘FORWARD-LOOKING’ ECONOMY

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Key is renewable energy

By Francis Gabriel

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Mar 11, 2009) - The Somare-Temu Government is developing a forward-looking policy framework aimed at preparing the country to change to relying on renewable resources, not non-renewable resources, for a sustainable, strong economy.

Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Puka Temu said this yesterday when addressing the six coral triangle nations’ ministerial meeting for the Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI) on coral reefs, fisheries and food security.

He said this long-term strategy would prevent PNG experiencing the "resource curse" of consuming the large but finite revenues from mining, petroleum and gas industries without investing in the country’s future.

"The Government’s environmental sustainable economic growth (ESEG) policy targets key economic sectors and aims to improve the management of existing industries and develop new and innovative industries that will utilize and add value to our renewable resources," he said.

"These new opportunities will improve the sustainability of our industries and deliver better returns to the industry and landowners, depending on how better we manage and market ourselves to the world."

Therefore, the CTI was seen as one of those new opportunities that would help in putting substance into PNG’s long-term development strategy and also be a major focus of the ESEG initiative, Temu said.

He said strengthening institutional and human capacity was a major challenge, but could be achieved through the collaborative efforts of the CT6.

"It will be necessary for us to co-operate to manage this fishery effectively as it knows no political boundary. Strengthened aid co-ordination mechanisms and partnerships with key stakeholders are essential to achieving the aims of the CTI," he said.

The National yesterday wrongly named the Indonesian director of spatial, coastal and small islands, Eko Rudianto, who is serving as the executive secretary of CTI regional interim secretariat, as the senior scientist of the agency for marine and fisheries research (BRKP) of the ministry for marine affairs and fisheries (DKP) in Indonesia, Gabriel Antonius Wagey. We apologize for the mistake.

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