PNG Forest authority to become self-reliant

Source: The National

PORT MORESBY, PNG ---- Papua New Guinea Forest Minister Douglas Tomuriesa intends to the make the PNG Forest Authority self-reliant.

He told Parliament last Friday that the National Executive Council has agreed that the authority became a self-financing organisation.

“The PNGFA has been criticised that it is powerless. There is some truth in these comments because the authority has been chronically underfunded over the years to the extent that a quarter of its approved manpower remain vacant and unfunded because of the lack of funds,” he said.

“The result has been lack of real capability of the PNGFA to closely monitor the industry and strictly enforce forestry regulations.

“The PNGFA needs to re-fleet its vehicles and renovate its offices and staff housing.”

Tomuriesa said the authority needed to operate independently instead of being dependent on logging operators for transport and housing for its staff.

It needs to attract young talent by offering promising careers with long-term job security.

“The PNGFA needs to closely watch over the industry and carry out studies and investigations that can lead to greater downstream processing of our timber from our natural forests,” he said.

The authority has four programmes:

Sustainable forest management, development and monitoring;

increasing PNG’s wood supply capacity through natural forest management, reforestation and afforestation;

downstream processing and increasing exports of forest products; and,

Establishment of a State marketing agency