New satellite images and analysis reveal extent of SABL scam
So why has nothing been done to cancel the leases and return the land to its customary owners?
Money and corruption – that is the simple reason
The logging companies are making millions from their illegal logging operations and the politicians are being paid to ensure the forest clearances are not interrupted.
Look at this graph produced by Global Witness showing the level of log exports from SABL areas:
One third of PNG log exports now come from SABL areas, earning the logging companies US$ 120 million a year.
And look at the increases – the amount of logging INCRESED DRAMATICALLY once the Commission of Inquiry started and INCREASED AGAIN once the Commission reports were given to the PM.
In the 28 months since the government received those reports in June 2013 nothing has been done to stop the logging – indeed the National Forest Board has continued to issue and renew the logging licences!
And what about the logging operations themselves? Aren’t the logging companies just clearing forest to plant oil palm?
Just look at this stalitte image showing the logging in one SABL area in East Sepik!
Over 55,000 hectares of forest has been cleared while only 100 hectares (less than 2%) is being used for oil palm. And one-third of the logging is actually OUTSIDE the SABL boundary!!!
All this logging is clearly illegal yet the government and the National Forest Board are letting it happen… and WE ALL KNOW WHY!