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Production, Privatisation and Preservation in Papua New Guinea Forestry

Papua New Guinea's forests represent an enormous timber resource and a globally significant storehouse of carbon and biological diversity. The future of this resource has been the focus of heated debate in recent years. Positions are polarised on a range of issues, from basic questions such as whether any further logging should be allowed in Papua New Guinea, given the high conservation value of the country's forests, to politically sensitive matters such as how to ensure that the costs and benefits of different forest uses are distributed equitably.

This report identifies measures to enhance the economic, social and environmental sustainability of forestry in Papua New Guinea. The macroeconomic conditions for a viable forest industry are assessed, and proposals made for reform of the forest revenue system. The potential of the 'lease, lease-back' system as a means of facilitating forestry investment on customary land is investigated, as is the need for continued support of certified 'eco-forestry' projects. The report also explores the potential for government to concentrate on policy, including reform of taxation forest allocative procedures,and incentives for compliance, whilst forest sector planning, resource development, research and administrative functions are outsourced.
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