The government will be putting a stop to the issuance of all new logging licence.
Telefomin MP Solan Mirisim, who resigned as Defence Minister under the O’Neill led government, has been allocated the Forest Ministry.
His first task is to ensure new logging licences are only issued to landowner companies.
“New licence must be given to landowner companies. That is the challenge given to the forest minister and I make no apologies to anyone,” he said.
“The Minister is charged in ensuring that no more new licence is given to foreign companies, all existing players in the country, go down to downstream processing by 2020.”
And Minister Mirisim said the direction by the Prime Minister, regarding new logging permits, will be enforced when he resumes office.
PNG recently observed World Environment Day. While the theme focused on reducing air pollution, trees play a major role in cleaning the air. Unfortunately most logging companies operating around the country are not replanting.
“But what we can absolutely do about logging is this: We can replace the tree that we cut. But we are not doing that. You go anywhere in the logging area in PNG, are they doing reforestation? No. But the authority that’s supposed to do this is slack.
“We all should be embarrassed; every year we come and do World Environment Day, but we are not doing the hard yard to show our real commitment.”