New Ireland to enact Forestry Act

The New Ireland Government is looking to fast-track the drawdown of forestry powers and enact its own Forestry Act in order to safeguard against illegal logging and regulate to revive the renewable resource.

Following its meeting last December, the Provincial Executive Council directed the administration to draft the Provincial Forest Law that would align operations of the PNG Forest Authority and National Forest Service with the conditions in the 2018 Service Delivery Partnership Agreement and Greater Autonomy endeavor. This was signed on Tanga during the Council of Elders meeting last November.

PEC Chairman and Governor Sir Julius Chan said New Ireland forest resources continue to suffer at the hands of logging companies and landowners that disregard and bypass the Provincial Forest Management Committee and deal directly with the two national bodies.

“This has resulted in uncontrolled logging with elements of illegal practices that clash with our standing moratorium on logging passed by the Provincial Assembly in 2008. The new strategy is critical to stop this disease and safeguard the local renewable resource and make it a productive sector once again,” said Sir J.

The draft Forestry Law is in line with the forestry goals in the Medium Term Development Plan 3 which in part reads, “In recent years, the Government has emphasized the ban on round log export with the aim to promote downstream processing to add value on forest products and increase the export of forest by-products while simultaneously promoting environmental sustainability hence, the Government aims to ban round log exports by January 2021”.

If approved, the draft Provincial Forestry Act will be framed into Law for PEC final approval, and then tabled to become law.

The Act will be used as the basis for seeking transfer of functions from PNG Forest Authority through Department of Provincial and Local Government Affairs.

(File picture of the New Ireland Provincial Government members)

Press release