Open Letter to the Prime Minister on log exports and downstream processing

This is the text of an Open Letter to the Prime Minister published by ACT NOW in the Post Courier newspaper.

Dear Prime Minister,

ACT NOW! is an advocacy organization that promotes a “gut pela sindaun blong olgeta” – a just and equitable society for all Papua New Guineans.

We have publicly welcomed your commitments to reducing round log exports by foreign-owned companies and promoting greater downstream processing in the forestry sector.

However, we are deeply concerned that official data shows that rather than decreasing, log export volumes actually INCREASED BY 10% in 2022.

As a result, Papua New Guinea remains the largest exporter of unprocessed round logs anywhere in the world.

The data also shows there were nine new foreign-owned logging operations that started exporting in 2022 – in direct contradiction to your own instructions to the PNG Forest Authority to stop authorizing new foreign-owned export operations.

To remain true to what you have promised and to take back our forests for the benefit of current and future generations we urge you to immediately ensure:

  • No further new log export licenses are given to foreign-owned companies;
  • A complete stop to all logging under colonial-era logging agreements; and
  • A stop to all logging under Forest Clearance Authorities until the projects are publicly audited for compliance with

Yours faithfully

Eddie Tanago, Campaign Manger