Papua New Guinea: Groups urge China president to address corruption & other irregularities in timber industry

Author: John C. Cannon, Mongabay, Published on: 25 November 2018

"China should stop importing illegal timber-- activists," 26 November 2018

China’s imports of timber from Papua New Guinea...are winnowing away the country’s forests, according to a group of NGOs, researchers and landowners. Without action by Chinese leaders, they wrote in a letter to President Xi Jinping, the illegalities and corruption that plague PNG’s forestry sector will only continue.

“China’s influence in PNG is strong and growing,” Peter Bosip, executive director of the PNG-based Center for Environmental Law and Community Rights (CELCOR), said in a statement. CELCOR was one of the signatories to the letter.

Bosip said PNG had recently signed onto China’s Belt and Road Initiative, leading to a tidal wave of potential new investments in PNG, as well as the roughly 60 other countries throughout Africa, Asia and Europe that are involved.

PNG’s timber sector has struggled with illegality and corruption, including claims that communities have not given proper consent for the forests they manage to be cut down. In other cases, agricultural companies have improperly used “special agriculture and business leases,” or SABLs, intended to promote food production, to instead harvest and export timber.

China gets nearly 30 per cent of its tropical timber from PNG...



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