Papua New Guinea Admits Illegal Logging
As it is prone to do when the donors come a-calling, the Papua New Guinea (PNG) government "has admitted its forestry sector is riddled with corruption" [ark] . This occurred during aid talks with the Australian government, and reflects political posturing to access donor funds on the basis of their rainforest's carbon holding potential. PNG contains the third largest expanse of tropical rainforests [search], though much diminished through years of heavy industrial mismangement.
Sadly there seems to be little acceptance by those pushing avoided deforestation [search] payments that to be effective, this will require an end to industrial logging of primary forests. Astonishingly, while Australia provided donor funds to PNG this week to protect its forests for carbon benefits, Australia continues to log their own primary forests [action]! To pay carbon monies for rainforest protection without ending barbaric first time logging of ancient forests would be meaningless in terms of both biodiversity and climate protection.
Perhaps the new PNG Forest Minister can succeed in wresting control of the nation's rainforests back from the Malaysian timber mafia [search]. And the announcement that no log export permits will be issued after 2010 is welcome, albeit overdue. But after 20 years specializing in PNG rainforest policy, I am not holding my breath either will actually happen until PNG's people and government reject fast money schemes and begin pursuit of community development based upon standing forests.