Ecoforestry in Papua New Guinea
Deforestation in Papua New Guinea
Deforestation in Papua New Guinea has been an ongoing problem for many years now. Deforestation in PNG is mainly a result of illegal logging. The World Bank, as well as the Global Corruption Report of 2011 by Transparency International estimates that more than 70% of all logging takes place illegally in PNG.
Recently, the United Nations has questioned PNG on the rollout of over 5 million hectares of agricultural leases. These leases cover about 20% of the country’s forests. Representing one of the worst contemporary cases of cultural land grabs, the beautiful forests of Papua New Guinea will quickly disappear entirely unless they are overturned.
The forests of PNG
The islands of Papua New Guinea are home to some of the most beautiful and diverse tropical rainforests in the world. These forests are the third largest on Earth and they support many different cultures within them. Over 12% of the world’s existing languages are spoken there, and within them live a rich diversity of plant and animal species. A recent report revealed that more than 1,000 new species have been discovered on the island of New Guinea
The problems caused by deforestation
According to Transparency International, PNG’s logging industry is linked to political corruption, police racketeering and the brutal repression of workers, women and those who question its ways, as well as environmental issues and human rights concerns. PNG’s logging industry negatively affects food sources, water supply and the cultural property of communities.
Over 60% of PNG’s intact forests have already been destroyed by mostly illegal logging and industrial agriculture, and the loss continues today.
The rights of PNG’s communities and traditional landowners are also at risk. Decades of industrial logging have not delivered the promised benefits of employment, improved health and education. In most cases customary landowners are not given free, prior and informed consent before their land is logged and cleared. In May of 2010, PNG’s Parliament amended the Environment and Conservation Act, removing the rights of indigenous people to challenge deals concerning the country’s natural resources. Communities are losing their forests, waterways and traditional ways of life against their wishes.
What’s the solution?
Greenpeace has been working in PNG since 1995 exposing illegal logging and promoting alternatives to forest destruction. They are working with the local communities to reclaim their traditional lands and help create sustainable solutions and alternatives to deforestation.
Greenpeace and their PNG partners are calling on the PNG Government to declare a moratorium on industrial logging and forest conversion for large-scale agriculture such as palm oil plantations. They are calling for fair and participatory land use agreements to be developed that allow real and sustainable community development.
They are also demanding an open and transparent Commission of Inquiry into the recent agricultural leases and the overturning of those leases if they are found to have been unlawfully or inappropriately approved. – http://www.greenpeace.org/australia/en/what-we-do/forests/Forest-destruction/Papua-New-Guinea/
Ecoforestry as a solution
Greenpeace works with PNG communities to set up ecoforestry systems to protect the forests.
Ecoforestry throughout Papua New Guinea
Community ecoforestry enterprises have been in place across PNG for many years with varying degrees of success. With the support of local NGO partners such as FORCERT and Foundation for People and Community Development (FPCD), communities have been able to put in place an alternative to industrial logging and SABLs and protect their forest for future generations.
Ecoforestry not only provides much needed materials for local housing and construction, but the “ecotimber” that is produced is in high demand from consumers around the world looking to use ecologically sourced wood.
What can we do to help?
We can all do our part to help protect the forests of PNG.
Share the message from Greenpeace with your friends and family.
Find retailers that use ecotimber and ecologically sourced wood in their products through the Greenpeace Australia Pacific Good Wood Guide
Read the testimonials from the people of PNG: Voices from the forest