Fifteen hundred email Forest Board calling for end to illegal SABL logging

More than one thousand five hundred people have emailed the members of the National Forest Board calling on them to stop the illegal logging occuring in SABL areas.

The email action was set up by ACT NOW! to highlight the actions of foreign-owned logging companies who are stealing logs, destroying the valuable forest environments communities rely on for their subsistence and subjecting local people to violence and abuse.

The National Forest Board oversees the management of forest resources in PNG and is the body with the power to act and stop the logging. But to date the Board members have not taken any action despite the fact the logging companies have illegally gained access into pristine areas of ancient forest by making false promises of long-term agriculture development and have convinced officials to by-pass proper processes to get their logging licences.

A Commission of Inquiry has already revealed how the logging companies have cheated their way into the forests:

With corrupt government officials from implementing agencies riding shotgun for them, opportunistic loggers masquerading as agro-forestry developers are prowling our countryside, scoping opportunities to take advantage of gullible landowners

In total more than 5 million hectares of land has been grabbed from local communities using a mechanism known as Special Agriculture and Business Leases. The government has ordered some leases be cancelled - but nobody has taken any action to stop the logging.