Logging is widely known as the worst kind of deforestation. Despite, the forest protection measures to protect forests in Papua New Guinea, destruction of the low land rainforest continues. There are more than 150 logging companies operating in the country.
The logging companies are aggressively cutting trees in New Guinea Island and the coastal provinces, leaving nothing but destruction in the paths.
Impacts of Deforestation caused by Logging
I saw first-hand the damages logging companies are doing to the natural forests (and plants and animals) and the river systems in parts of New Guinea Ireland. The damages caused by the logging companies to the forest are much bigger than we imagined.
It seems the Reviews of Large-scale Logging operations and Forestry Laws [PDF] have NOT stopped illegal Logging.
PNG govt has got to control the logging operations in the country. It should NOT only tax the loggers heavily but also PROTECT its forests and the people that depend on them.
— P.N.G. Insight (@PNG_Insight) May 2, 2021
In 2019 and 2020 I visited the provincial town of Namatanai in the New Ireland Province and Kimbe in the West New Britain Province. I fell in love with the natural wonders of the provinces.
The rivers are crystal-clear blue. You can tell how healthy the forests and habitats are.
But, I also saw the damages the logging companies have done. Complete destruction of the forests and natural surroundings. The logging ships parked out in the sea and tugboats doing rounds and unloading logs, even at night.
The locals call the loggers, pirates.
Forestry Authority: Stop Deforestation caused by Logging
We drove past the Pinakin Roadside market, along the Buluminskey highway, to Kavieng Town. And two Toyota Lancruisers parked on the roadside, Men in Uniform.
The guide told me that they were the mobile squad from the Rabaul Tomaringa Barracks here on a logging company’s assignment. They were there to intimidate and protect the loggers. Of course, at the expense of the loggers. Surely, not the govt.
I was surprised because New Irelanders are laid-back and peace-loving people. It saddens me that some logging companies can do that:
- get bulldozers up the delicates limestone rocks,
- clear-fell the trees,
- destroy natural habitats,
- destroy the streams and river systems; and
- Load the logs onto the ship and leave in the middle of the night. No customs check, whatsoever!
No one seems to care. Not even the provincial govt or the national govt raised an eyelid.
I also saw what the logging companies have done to the pristine waters of New Ireland and West New Britain Provinces.
The locals in WNBP called the rivers ‘Kerosine Wara‘ because they are crystal-clear blue. You can literally jump in and splash about, and the water remains crystal-clear. Unfortunately, the waters are not clear anymore. The river banks are covered in mud. The rivers turn murky when it rains because loggers are cutting down trees upstream.
Deforestation is worst than imagined
I have been tweeting my frustrations about the destruction caused to the environment by the logging companies.
It is not nice. It does no one good, but the loggers.
Today, it is reassuring that a govt body has put the logging ‘pirates’ under the spotlight. When we talk about logging companies, it is not just about tax evasion or tax exemption.
Make no mistake. Forests, rivers and the natural surroundings are the lifelines of our people. The natural beauty of our beautiful country and people MUST be protected.
And, I think Dr Ketan put it nicely. The logging companies must pay for their crimes – crimes committed against the PNG govt (tax evasion) and also the crimes they caused against nature.
IRC shining spotlight on Malaysian Loggers – cases of tax evasion
“Logging companies must now pay for their crimes against our environment, our country, and our people.” Dr. Joseph Ketan
Here is part of the article by Dr Ketan…
Now, after being appointed IRC Commissioner by the current prime minister James Marape, Mr Koim promises us that he is going after the Malaysian timber cartel, an obnoxious gang of tax evaders, who have been corrupting PNG politicians and public servants over the last 40 years to steal billions of dollars through transfer pricing and false declarations on the value of logs for export.
The IRC must be thorough and ruthless in its approach to weeding out corruption in the forest industry.
A 1980s inquiry into the forest industry by Justice Tos Barnett uncovered widespread corruption involving a deputy prime minister, parliamentarians, and departmental heads working in partnership with the Sia brothers and other Malaysians to steal money from the country.
All corrupt PNG politicians and public servants were named in the reports by Tos Barnett. Veteran PNG journalist Harlyne Joku and the Times newspaper editor Anna Solomon published a series of reports on corruption within the forest industry. I have published the names of crooked PNG government officials in a chapter of a book edited by Michael Rynkiewich of the Melanesian Institute. (sic)
We need to set an example to deter crooks from robbing us in future. Lock up the big foreign crooks, including facilitators within PNG, and nationalize all assets acquired through fraud. The logging companies must now pay for their crimes against our environment, our country, and our people.
Investigating and prosecuting the logging companies: Tax evasion and Deforestation
There have been many reviews done in the forestry sector. People have a clear understanding of Deforestation caused by Logging in the country. Much has been said about the loggers evading tax and destroying the natural beauty of our forests.
As a Papua New Guinean, I feel that political leaders can do better. The Minister for ‘Logging’ can do better. Leaders in the forestry sector can do better to protect (and preserve) our poeple (and their forests).
The ‘bus and nambis‘ has been, is now and will forever be the lifeline of our people. The govt must get its fair share of Tax. Our forests and rivers must be protected from logging pirates and evaders.
Research and conservation in Papua New Guinea
We have published several articles on conservation in PNG. We believe that land and forests are important. They form the basis of life. Our people live off the land. And the land had its means to regenerate itself and sustain life.
We should protect it.
- Varirata National Park: Port Moresby’s Best Kept Secret – Must See
- Research and Conservation in Papua New Guinea
- People behind conservation in Papua New Guinea