In 1989, after chairing a two-year Commission of Inquiry, Justice Barnett described forest management in PNG as being in a state of chaos. He declared that foreign-owned logging companies were being allowed to operate as they pleased as a result of bribery and the corruption of State officials and politicians.
Cathy Tukne's blog
PC: PNG DEV BLOG
Papua New Guinea’s Constitution is unique as it gives the people rights to be custodians over their land, 95% of which is still under customary control. For thousands of years, over 800 cultures have allowed our land to sustain every generation till the idea of registering customary land was introduced from outside our shores and clouded the real value and importance of that land.
FIGURE 1: Round Log Export Timeline
The aspiration to ban round log exports is now at least 15 years old, but consecutive governments have failed to meet their own deadlines. After putting aside the agenda for over a decade they now say a ban will be imposed in 2025 and the country will move finally to fully downstream processing.
A new doodle-style video has been launched that explains how Papua New Guinea’s reliance on large-scale mining and export logging has failed to improve the lives of most people and why PNG now ranks below its Pacific neighbors on most development indicators.
While the government boasts of K100 million placed with Bank of South Pacific to support small and medium scale enterprises (SME) this money is inaccessible to those working in the informal sector who need it the most.
As Naomi’s story illustrates, a lack of financial literacy, appropriate training, and financial inclusion means many entrepreneurs who work hard every day to make just a few Kinas remain completely excluded from the support they need.
The large welcome that has greeted the passing of the ICAC legislation by Parliament shows the dire urgency to eradicate the plagues of corruption that consume the fabric of our society. It has been long awaited, and the passing of the bill has paid off the hard work put into achieving this milestone. For Papua New Guinea, an ICAC will be a first promising step on a long road to open and accountable government.