The PNG Forest Authority has announced a twelve-month moratorium on the issuing of new Forest Clearance Authorities and an audit of all existing projects.
This is one of a series of demands made by ACT NOW! to the new Forest Minister to address the problems of illegal and unsustainable logging in Papua Nuew Guinea.
ACT NOW! has welcomed the move but says the measure does not go far enough.
While it is encouraging the National Forest Board has recognized that the FCA system is being widely abused to facilitate large-scale logging operations in defiance of the Forestry Act, there are also widespread abuses associated with other logging permit types, particularly the Timber Right Purchase, that also demand a moratorium and review.
As well as calling for the extension of the moratorium to cover all new timber permits and licences, ACT NOW says that it is important that any audit of existing FCAs is conducted independently and transparently and with full community participation.