PNG to chair first ever APEC ministerial meeting

Updated: 2015-07-27 11:48


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SYDNEY -- Papua New Guinea (PNG) will chair its first ever APEC Ministerial Meeting in October this year as part of preparations to host the APEC summit in 2018.

At the ministerial meeting in October, ministers responsible for forestry will discuss the future direction of the sector.

PNG Minister for Forests, Douglas Tomuriesa, told News Corp on Monday that the country has an important role to play in guiding the development of the forestry industry.

"Forestry related economic activity makes up a vital part of Papua New Guinea's economy and it is essential that we work to ensure this sector remains sustainable for decades to come," Tomuriesa said.

"A number of important issues will be discussed at the ministerial meeting including technical cooperation between economies to ensure best practices, the prevention of illegal logging and engagement with local communities."

On Wednesday last week, Oro Province Governor Garry Juffa told the PNG national parliament a company in his province was logging illegally, infringing into customary land that had resulted in a stiff disagreement from landowners who were later arrested and detained in logging containers.

Juffa argued a report on illegal activities by the same company was submitted to the National Forest Authority and the minister in 2013, however there had been no response from authorities.

Tomuresia said the company operating in the area has been given a show cause notice after receiving the reports of illegal activities.

Tomuresia said as one of the world's largest forestry producers, with 38 million hectares of forest cover representing approximately 80 percent of PNG land cover, the nation has an important role to play in guiding the development of the industry.