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Papua New Guinea to ban log exports by 2010

Papua New Guinea to ban log exports by 2010

Papua New Guinea to ban log exports by 2010
March 18, 2008

Papua New Guinea (PNG) will phase out log exports by 2010 said Forest Minister Belden Namah last month. The move comes as the country seeks to gain greater control over illegal logging and promote expansion of oil palm cultivation.

The National reported that the phase-out could result in the loss of PGK450 million ($166 million) worth of revenue from raw log exports annually. However the impact is expected to be offset by increased revenue from downstream processing of timber. Raw logs — which are often exported to China, sometimes illegally — offer the lowest economic return on timber resources and provide less opportunities for employment than higher-value processing industries.

Namah also announced a tripling of the timber royalty paid to landowners, from PGK10 ($4) to PGK30 ($11) per cubic meter (logging in PNG can yield 25 cubic meters per hectare).

Companies that fail to comply with the new laws will see their timber permits revoked said Namah.

More than 60 percent of Papua New Guinea is forested but between 2000 and 2005, the country lost an average of 250,200 hectares of old-growth forest per year, according to the U.N. Overall PNG lost 4 million hectares of primary forest between 1990 and 2005.

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