PNG civil society groups urge China to act on illegal timber imports

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DEAR EDITOR, quoting Radio New Zealand – November 14, 2018, “Papua New Guinea civil society groups have called on China to introduce regulation on illegal wood imports from the country.

“A letter signed by PNG groups including the Center for Environmental Law and Community Rights and ACT NOW – states that governments of PNG and China have failed to act while the country’s globally significant forests are being destroyed.

“PNG is China’s single largest supplier of timber, however large quantities of these wood imports come from illegal operations.

“The letter highlights the devastating effect of illegal logging on PNG citizens.

“The President of the Lavongai Local Government in New Ireland province, John Aini, said rampant logging has brought little but misery to communities who depend on forests.

“It takes so many years for a tree to grow to a size that can be harvested. It takes only three seconds for a rotten chainsaw to cut it down. Not for our benefit, but the benefit of foreigners. All we are witnessing is misery and destruction.”

“For decades studies of PNG’s forestry sector have identified the unsustainable rate of illegal logging without the problem really being confronted systematically by the local government.

“A policy advisor with the NGO Global Witness, Lela Stanley said civil society was looking to China to lead the change.” Copyright @ 2018, Radio New Zealand.

Yours sincerely

FRANK SHORT


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