Stop badmouthing my ministry: Tomuriesa

Forestry Minister, Douglas Tomuriesa, has called on stakeholders to stop bad mouthing his Ministry and the PNG Forest Authority (PNGFA) and work with them to conserve forests in PNG.

The Minster said this during a ceremony commemorating International Day of Forests yesterday (March 21).

Tomuriesa said conserving the country’s forests was everyone’s responsibility.

He said for too long, critics have been bad mouthing the Ministry and PNGFA that millions of hectares of the country’s forests were being destroyed, which is not true.

“And my challenge to them (critics) is stop this nonsense, get on a plane and fly down to Milne Bay. Stop this nonsense and fly into Western Province, Gulf Province and Hela… the forest is still there,” he said.

The Minister said the forestry sector generated K1.4 billion in revenue through logging, and a complete shutdown of projects would affect this income.

He said what was needed was for stakeholders to discuss with them alternatives.

“Yes we are conserving the forest, yes we are making certain we are working with the Office of Climate Change, with our partners, to make certain that certain areas in Papua New Guinea are conserved.

“But you must get to the bottom of it and tell us, those of you out there telling us to conserve the forest, what alternative do you have for us,” said the Minister.

Tomuriesa stated the onus was on everyone to look after our forests.

Meanwhile, the PNGFA commemorated International Day of Forests with a small ceremony led by acting managing director, Karo Karo Mau.

Staff from all divisions of the Authority also conducted a clean-a-thon around the PNGFA premises to mark the event.

Cedric Patjole