Home > Corruption, Human rights, Land, Logging, Papua New Guinea > Forest Minister personally pushed for illegal logging operation

Forest Minister personally pushed for illegal logging operation

February 9, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

Michael Somare’s Forest Minister Timothy Bonga, with the assistance of Forestry Officers in Port Moresby, personally pushed through the paperwork to allow illegal logging on the Rai Coast in Madang.

The logging is being carried out by a company called GNS Limited in the Rai Coast Timber Rights Purchase (TRP) area 12-18.

On 5th July 2011 the Minister personally signed the documents to cancel the timber licence of the former logging contractor  in the area, Porche Enterprises. Two weeks later, on 18 July, the Minister signed further documents signing the timber licence over to GNS Limited.

This was completely illegal as the award of the new licence was not approved by the National Forest Board prior to the Minister signing and there was never any open tender and bidding for the licence as required under the Forestry Act.

The approval of the new contractors logging plan was then pushed through by officers in Port Moresby without any consultation or input from Provincial Forestry staff or the Provincial Forest Management Committee. The contractor completely failed to do any ground survey, landholder consultation or to properly describe its inteneded work plans.

The Forestry Office in Madang is well aware of local landholders frustrtaion over the TRP which stems from the fact  the landowner company is made up of people who are not from the Rai Coast area. Instead they  are paper landholders in Madang, who managed to get the original timber permit through their political connections. The actual resource owners from Rai Coast have not seen any benefits or development from the landowner company, despite the K10 million paid in royalties over the years

Despite the opposition from local people to the logging, GNS is being allowed to illegal harvest and export logs on the direction of the former Forest Minister and Forestry officers from Port Moresby.

To make matters even worse, GNS is even illegally logging outside the boundaries of the approved TRP. GNS is also failing to submit monthly logging figures so royalty payments can be calculated and is felling undersized trees.

  1. February 9, 2012 at 8:04 am

    What is wrong with our leaders? Surely they have gone crazy. It is good that the people are standing up for their rights. PNG citizens has had enough of being fooled around by the ministers whom people put their trust on at the first place to fight for them. Now adays it seems local people are taking up the role to defend their own land and properties against ministers’ self centered decisions. Please these are clear indications to help us vote wisely in the coming election.

  2. Leah
    February 10, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    Can we do something to Timothy Bonga to let him know we know what he did and it is unacceptable?

  3. kumana
    February 10, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    ..these foreigners and their corrupted minister puppets must be taught a lesson they will never forget and never ever touch our forrests again………….

    people committ murder and get away with it..pls we have to take action and remove these
    loggers physically..and you the good citizen police noket let yourselves be used for a few kina by these alliens………….

    thats when they and the corrupted ministers will see the people power…

  4. nixon hapea
    February 11, 2012 at 11:27 am

    The ministers use their position which they are mandated upone by the voters and use it for their own gain for their families and their cronies and it is really heart breaking when we are struggling each day to make ends meet and would see them pushing trooleys full to the top at foodworld svs
    s harbour ct.2012 elections is the time tp vote more garry juffas and sam basils and beldem namas

  5. kumana
    February 11, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    …when will we pngans forget this stupid potitics and the scumbag politicians and unite to get rid of these corrupted people and shud down these foreign loogging so called companies?

    every where else in the world people power is getting rid of corrupted officials…using the social media and show of force by mass demonstrations..and the police must not protect this corrupt officials but be with the people……..

    no one politician has come up with the anouncement that he will TOTALLY repeal this idoitic land grab leases called SPABL crap..how on earth is this idea being legitimised. They sud all be shud down immediately?…………..

    My Bonga is a nitwith..nobrainer. this county is not going forward with politicials like him..whose only expertise is managing a band playing local pubs..no he acts so savvy like..idiot. I wish his heart sud just have arest and he gi on to the next world..really pisses me off..

  6. February 11, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    I agree, we need to stand up and say NO.. Evil and corruption thrive because good people do nothing!!

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