Environment, health & human rights Feed

Communities only answer to PNG failures

Village1STEPHEN CHARTERIS

CAIRNS - What is unfolding in Papua New Guinea is nothing short of a human tragedy on a significant scale.

Superficially the nation’s woes appear to be the result of corruption. But they are more complex than that.

This is not the first time we have witnessed failures of the state and the inevitable outcomes.

Continue reading "Communities only answer to PNG failures" »


PNG palm oil's corruption & brutality

Butler -
Logs stacked for export in Vanimo (Ed Davey,  Global Witness)

DESMOND BUTLER
| The Washington Post

WASHINGTON - The police drove into the Papua New Guinean village of Watwat in SUVs during a rainstorm.

It was late on a July night in 2019, and they’d come through the rainforest, armed with guns and metal bars.

Men and teenage boys were dragged out of bed, beaten and thrown into the mud.

Some were arrested, held for weeks and interrogated about vandalising palm trees, according to an investigative report by the advocacy group Global Witness.

One Watwat resident told investigators that the SUVs were owned by one of the companies that runs the local plantation.

“The company has a lot of money,” she said. “They are able to give it to the police.”

Global Witness’s two-year investigation is a rare behind-the-scenes look at the corruption, labour abuses and destructive environmental practices in an industry that is clearing carbon-rich rainforests and emitting greenhouse gases at a rate that has become a growing concern for climate scientists.

The world’s most common vegetable oil has spawned vast fortunes, while coming under scrutiny for its labor practices and environmental impact.

The report includes recordings of oil-palm managers detailing corruption and labor abuses to investigators posing as commodity traders.

The investigation has already provoked a response from 17 corporations, some of which have pledged to remove the palm oil companies the advocacy group identified as their suppliers.

The group’s undercover investigators taped an executive from a PNG-based company called Tobar Investment Ltd seemingly confirming the Watwat resident’s account of the police raid of the village, which came in response to the destruction of palm trees on the plantation.

Edward Lamur, the executive, told investigators in a secretly recorded online meeting that his company had approached police after vandalism to get them to send a message to local residents.

He said that a close friend of his ran the “special operation police” and that he could call the officer “whenever we want assistance.”

“They did some bashing up,” he said. “They know we are owners now.”

The secretly recorded conversations with Lamur and others were broadcast Thursday in the United Kingdom as part of a story on Channel 4 News.

Lamur, who is a founding director of Tobar and a former deputy provincial administrator of East New Britain province, located on a large island off Papua New Guinea, did not respond to a request for comment.

The Global Witness report looks at Malaysian companies operating in Papua New Guinea, including East New Britain Resources Group (ENBR) and Rimbunan Hijau, that it says collectively have cleared tens of thousands of acres of forest in recent years.

More than three quarters of the global product from oil palm trees comes from Indonesia and Malaysia and makes its way through supply chains into products familiar to any Western consumer, from companies such as Colgate-Palmolive, Kellogg’s and Nestlé.

Many of the buyers have so-called No Deforestation, No Peat and No Exploitation policies (NDPE), but Global Witness found some of the palm oil companies whose abuses they documented on the supply list for those three Western corporations, among others.

In a statement, Kellogg Co. called the allegations in the report “very concerning,” while confirming that three of its palm-oil suppliers had indirectly made purchases from ENBR.

The company said it immediately contacted its suppliers when it learned about the allegations and that ENBR is no longer in its supply chain.

“Kellogg is committed to working with our suppliers to support the production of sustainable palm oil from sources that are environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable,” the company said in a statement. “Anything less is not acceptable.”

Nestlé said it confirmed that it has identified nine palm oil mills owned by Rimbunan Hijau in its supply chain but has not been connected to palm oil from ENBR since 2019.

The company says it is investigating and will suspend any company shown to be responsible for deforestation or that does not have a policy to obtain consent from Indigenous people before developing.

Nestlé said it requires companies to provide data to allow satellite monitoring that would detect deforestation.

“We take allegations of breaches to our Responsible Sourcing Standard very seriously,” the company said in a statement.

Colgate-Palmolive did not respond to a request for comment but told Global Witness that it has had supply chain connections to ENBR and Rimbunan Hijau and would add the group to its “internal grievance log” and investigate further.

As Malaysia came under increasing pressure in recent decades for clearing its forests faster than any country on Earth, some of its lumber companies began looking to the virgin rainforests of Papua New Guinea.

The mostly unspoiled island country has since become one of the biggest exporters of tropical lumber. And in the wake of all the cutting, Malaysian palm oil companies moved in.

Impoverished PNG sees its economic future in palm oil. By 2030, it plans to increase the size of its palm plantation tracts tenfold from the 2016 level of about 360,000 acres.

But the country has also pledged a sharp reduction in carbon emissions from deforestation by the same year in a national commitment to the United Nations.

The Global Witness report suggests that the government may have a hard time reining in the well-connected palm oil companies.

Tobar Investment Ltd, the local company behind the raid in Watwat, operates under a joint venture with ENBR.

Over a business dinner, the undercover investigators taped two managers from a subsidiary of ENBR bragging about corruption of government officials to obtain logging permits and land access. The managers also told the investigators that they had workers as young as 10 on their plantations.

“Sometimes we bend the rules just to make things happen,” said one manager, identified by Global Witness as Bernard Lolot. It’s illegal in Papua New Guinea to employ children under 16 for heavy labour.

At another dinner, Global Witness said, the Malaysian chief executive of the company, Eng Kwee Tan, detailed a scheme to evade import duties in India. He explained that the duties are higher for palm oil coming from Papua New Guinea than from Malaysia.

“We have to make it show like it come from Malaysia,” he said in English in another secretly recorded conversation that was also broadcast on Channel 4 along with the video of Lolot.

In a statement to The Washington Post, Tan did not deny the veracity of the recorded conversations but said the company had not engaged in bribery or tax evasion.

He said the company “provides essential services such as aid posts, schools, bridges, roads, basic life skills training to local communities, clean drinking water, [and] electricity supply to the least developed districts, villages and communities within East New Britain Province.”

“Any purported claims of discussions and or responses from our Mr. Lolot is all hearsay and not true,” Tan said of the bribery allegations, emphasizing that the company did not employ Lolot to apply for logging permits, meet the minister of forestry or “pay bribes” to government officials.

“The report from GW is misleading and misrepresents the Company’s actual work, value, investment, and contribution of poverty elevation in the project area,” he said. “The allegations are based on secret recordings and unreliable information.”

Global Witness says that Rimbunan Hijau, whose name means ‘forever green,’ cleared nearly 81 square miles of coastal rainforest in New Britain province.

The report also detailed a dozen work-related deaths on the company’s plantations between 2012 and 2020, some of which were not recorded in a government database that catalogues required incidents of workplace casualties that investigators examined..

Rimbunan Hijau did not respond to a request for comment from The Washington Post. But the Global Witness report includes a statement that the company sent to one of its customers about the allegations, which emphasised the work the company had done to develop the local economy.

In the statement, Rimbunan Hijau said the allegations in the report were out of context and “without any real basis.” It called Global Witness “a group of economic vandals who do not care about the lives they destroy.”

While the companies stress the economic benefit to communities, the report details the cost for local people living in the areas being developed as palm oil plantations.

The witness in Watwat, who recounted the raid by police in July 2019, was asked by Global Witness what good the development had done for the community.

“Only destruction,” she replied.


K92 & Femili PNG join against violence

K92NEWS DESK
| K92 Mining

KAINANTU - K92 Mining has donated K100,000 to Femili PNG to support its work in eradicating family and sexual violence in Papua New Guinea.

‘’We have been in operation for four years and, for us as a new company, we want to be able to support social issues and agendas,” said K92 vice-president Philip Samar.

Continue reading "K92 & Femili PNG join against violence" »


Citizens must rescue Australia’s wobbly democracy

Jones - parliament-reps
Australia's House of Representatives. Barry Jones was science minister from 1983-90

BARRY JONES
| John Menadue’s Pearls & Irritations
| Edited extracts

MELBOURNE - Only an active citizenry can prevent Australia sliding towards authoritarianism or populist democracy.

Democracy faces its greatest existential crisis since the 1930s. Hitler used democratic forms to come to power in Germany but rejected the democratic ethos.

Continue reading "Citizens must rescue Australia’s wobbly democracy" »


Australia strands asylum seekers in PNG

Capture
The Manus detention centre in October 2017 ahead of its closure

STEFAN ARMBRUSTER
| SBS News | Extract

BRISBANE - The end to eight years of Australia's detention of asylum seekers in Papua New Guinea has raised concerns for the United Nations' refugee agency and the Australian Human Rights Commission.

The AHRC has questioned whether the Australian government is able to relinquish full responsibility for more than 120 detainees who remain in PNG while still adhering to rights and refugee treaty obligations.

Continue reading "Australia strands asylum seekers in PNG" »


Dealing with GBV is good business sense

PNG workers (IFC)
A study of three PNG companies revealed that gender-based violence cost them about K7.3 million a year

EVONNE KENNEDY & SHABNAM HAMEED
| DevPolicy Blog | Edited extracts

PORT MORESBY - Evidence has emerged that the private sector in Papua New Guinea can play a key role in responding to gender-based violence, and that doing so makes good business sense.

Research by the International Finance Corporation, in partnership with the Business Coalition for Women, has found that a gender-balanced workforce, and appropriate workplace responses to family and sexual violence, can provide benefits to businesses and their employees.

Continue reading "Dealing with GBV is good business sense" »


Digging & dumping: A PNG mining chronicle

Porgera
Porgera gold and copper mine in Enga Province

BERNARD CORDEN

'Every dogma has its day' - Anthony Burgess

BRISBANE - Over the past five decades many notorious corporate brigands in the mining and mineral resources sector have plundered vast quantities of ore and precious metals from the bountiful arc of the Pacific rim that encompasses Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.

Buccaneering recidivists include Rio Tinto at Panguna, BHP at Ok Tedi, Placer Dome on Misima Island, Barrick Gold at Porgera, Newcrest at Lihir, Morobe Mining JV at Hidden Valley, St Barbara at Simberi and Gold Ridge and Ramu NiCo at Kurumbukari and Basamuk Bay near Madang.

Continue reading "Digging & dumping: A PNG mining chronicle" »


Let's get serious, we belong to the land

Duncan Gabi
Duncan Gabi - "Perhaps we have forgotten that we do not own the land, but are put here to protect it and pass it on"

DUNCAN GABI
| Auna Melo

WEWAK - A man sat alone drenched deep in sadness.

And all the animals drew near him and said, “We do not like to see you so sad, ask us for whatever you wish and you shall have it.”

The man said, “I want to have good sight.” The vulture replied, “You shall have mine.”

Continue reading "Let's get serious, we belong to the land" »


Can renewables save the planet?

Morrison
Scott Morrison's government keeps promoting coal (cartoon by Paul Dorin @DorinToons)

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - Australia’s daft prime minister and climate change laggard says he wants to solve the problem of global warming using technology.

What he means by technology are dodgy developments such as carbon sequestration.

Until that happens he plans to open new gas fields to provide feedstock for new gas-fired power stations, which he thinks produce less pollution.

Continue reading "Can renewables save the planet?" »


Vaccination: A state failing its people

Countries with lowest immunisation
Countries with lowest immunisation rates averaged across measles, diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus and hepatitis B vaccines, 2019

STEPHEN HOWES & KINGTAU MAMBON
| DevPolicy Blog

CANBERRA - The World Bank reports data immunisation coverage for nearly all countries in relation to three vaccines: measles; combined diphtheria, whooping cough and tetanus (DPT); and hepatitis B.

For all three, the most recent data (2019) show that Papua New Guinea has the lowest vaccination rates in the world for infants: 37% for measles, 35% for DPT and 35% for hepatitis B.

Continue reading "Vaccination: A state failing its people" »


Sonia walks free after life-changing surgery

Sonia Paua
Sonia Paua was "determined as hell" to finish the painful treatment. "She wasn't going to give up"

ZALIKA RIZMAL & WILL JACKSON
| Pacific Beat | ABC | Edited extracts

MELBOURNE - Sonia Paua flew to Australia from Papua New Guinea to undergo medical treatment that sounds on paper like some kind of medieval torture.

When seven years old, Sonia was diagnosed with a rare and painful bone infection, chronic osteomyelitis, in her left leg.

Continue reading "Sonia walks free after life-changing surgery" »


What it is we truly value

Site of the Porgera gold mine in Enga Province (Porgera Joint Venture)
Site of the Porgera gold mine in Enga Province (Porgera Joint Venture)

SIMON PENTANU

KIETA - I visited Enga Province for the first time in early July this year for a meeting between the Autonomous Bougainville Government and the Papua New Guinea National Government.

The meeting was one of a number to consult on the outcome of the Bougainville referendum on independence that showed a huge majority of Bougainvilleans favouring the creation of their own nation.

Continue reading "What it is we truly value" »


The shape of things to come

Shape-of-things-to-comeCHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE - The title to this piece comes from a book written by H G Wells and published in 1933.

In his book, Wells made a number of predictions about how the world would develop in the aftermath of World War I.

Some of his predictions were correct, notably regarding the development and use of air power to influence the outcome of warfare, especially strategic bombing.

Continue reading "The shape of things to come" »


The bare-faced lie of sustainable mining

Minister for Mining Johnson Tuke and European Union Ambassador H.E Mr. Jernej Videtic
PNG mining minister Johnson Tuke, who falsely claims PNG mining is sustainable & has trouble wearing a face mask,  poses with ambassador Jernej Videtic of the European Union, which is trying to convince PNG that 'green mining' is a thing

DUNCAN GABI

MADANG – At a meeting to discuss sustainable mining with European Union ambassador to PNG, Jernej Videtic, Papua New Guinea’s mining minister Johnson Tuke claimed his government is mindful of the impact mining has on the environment and people’s livelihoods.

Tuke also claimed the PNG government is addressing these issues by updating its regulatory framework and demanding investors introduce modern and sustainable technologies to diminish the negative impact of mining on the environment.

These claims were totally wrong. They were without truth.

Continue reading "The bare-faced lie of sustainable mining" »


The queen of lime sticks & lime pots

 PNG lime pots and lime sticks  Auckland museum
Papua New Guinean lime pots and lime sticks in the Auckland Museum

BARBARA ANGORO
| Duresi’s Odyssey

AUCKLAND - A few weeks ago, during the school holidays, my daughter and I visited the Auckland Museum, spending a great deal of time in the Pacific section.

A couple of the artefacts brought back childhood memories – including the gourds for putting lime in and the special lime sticks (spatulas) for dipping into the lime to add to the crushed betel nut and mustard.

Continue reading "The queen of lime sticks & lime pots" »


Pacific climate diplomacy – strength in solidarity

Pacific islands leaders
The message was clear and strong from Pacific leaders at COP21 in Paris in December 2015. The world was made aware that the Pacific islands were pressing hard to ensure their survival and limit global warming

MAHENDRA KUMAR
| Griffith Asia Insights

BRISBANE - Over the last 10 years, the Pacific small island developing states have demonstrated, through various significant events, how they can prevail in the international climate change negotiations if they work together.

This has been possible also because of distinguished leadership from individuals and countries.

Continue reading "Pacific climate diplomacy – strength in solidarity" »


In 1962, beer drinking was a rights issue

Booze & fagsCHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE – I am sure Arthur Williams (‘It was the Aussies who drove PNG to drink) is right about the poor example set by expatriates drinking to excess in colonial times.

But I do not think Papua New Guinea’s alcohol problems can be blamed entirely upon Australia.

Until 1962, Papua New Guineans were banned from drinking alcohol in a well-meaning but rather desperate - and ultimately futile - attempt to protect them from exactly the problems the article mentioned.

Continue reading "In 1962, beer drinking was a rights issue" »


Berati family sues Oz govt over Manus murder

Reza Barati
Reza Barati was just 23 when bashed to death by Australian guards at a refugee camp on Manus

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – The parents of Iranian asylum seeker Reza Berati, who died in February 2014 after being brutally beaten at an Australian-run detention centre, have begun legal action over his death.

Berati was 23 when killed by guards in a violent riot at the Manus Island camp that injured 77 other asylum seekers.

Continue reading "Berati family sues Oz govt over Manus murder" »


Rio ready to deal with unfinished business

Theonila Matbob
Influential Bougainville politician, Theonila Matbob - Prominent in advocating that Rio Tinto should accept responsibility for cleaning up Panguna's devastating legacy

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – After several months of discussions Rio Tinto and 156 Bougainville community members, represented by the Human Rights Law Centre, last week reached an agreement to assess legacy impacts of the former Panguna copper and gold mine on Bougainville.

The mine was operated by Bougainville Copper Ltd (BCL), then majority owned by Rio Tinto, from 1972 until 1989 when operations were suspended following guerrilla against the mine and a subsequent civil war.

Continue reading "Rio ready to deal with unfinished business" »


PNG’s birthers: unrecognised & unresourced

Village Birth Attendants Ruth Natia and Mandy Namis

Village Birth Attendants Ruth Natia and Mandy Namis - "If they say it’s budgeted for women, it doesn’t reach us. It gets lost somewhere in transition"

DIANNE-MANDUI-MIRIO
| My Land, My Country

LAE – I was working at Ngasuapum village along the Lae Nadzab highway in the Huon Gulf electorate that I came across the two hardworking women.

An old woman with grey hair was talking with another woman in her late fifties. Both caught my attention so, after my interviews were done, I called them and asked if I could ask them their stories.

Continue reading "PNG’s birthers: unrecognised & unresourced" »


Don't privatise our customary land

Menya River (Brian Chapaitis)
Menya River (Brian Chapaitis)

ACT NOW!

PORT MORESBY - This article breaks down some of the myths used to justify the privatisation of customary land.

It makes clear that efforts to privatise land are not about development but about profits for corporations, financial institutions and already wealthy people.

Continue reading "Don't privatise our customary land" »


Chinese vaccine starts mass rollout

Forests Minister Walter Schnaulbelt was first to be vaccinated
Forests Minister Walter Schnaulbelt was first to be vaccinated with the highly effective Chinese Sinopharm vaccine

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – Papua New Guinea began the rollout of the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine on Tuesday, with Forests Minister Walter Schnaubelt receiving the first official jab.

China supplied PNG with 200, 000 doses in late June, with 2,500 doses already given to Chinese nationals in the country as a confidence builder.

Continue reading "Chinese vaccine starts mass rollout" »


Death of a teacher

Jerolyn Arimbandai
Jerolyn Arimbandai

PATRICK ANGRAI
| My Land, My Country | Edited

JOSEPHSTAAL - Jerolyn Arimbandai was the only female teacher at the newly-established Catholic high school at Josephstaal in the Madang Province.

She was married to Steven Arimbandai, a Josephstaal man and also a teacher at the school. They had one child and were expecting their second.

Continue reading "Death of a teacher" »


Australia tries to bluff world on human rights

Sophie-mcneill
Sophie McNeill

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – Late last week the Australian branch of the global organisation Human Rights Watch (HRW) delivered a statement to the United Nations.

The statement was pointed and candidly offered some home truths about how the Australian government treats refugees and its own Indigenous people.

Continue reading "Australia tries to bluff world on human rights" »


Let's respect & protect what we have

Coastal hamlet on Teop  respecting and living alongside mangroves
Coastal hamlet on Teop, Bougainville. "Panguna was an environmental protest. We must take heed of the many lessons"

SIMON PENTANU MP

KIETA - I like mangroves. As coastal kids we spent a lot of time playing in the open and grew up around mangroves.

It was fun playing hide and seek and swimming and fishing in the groves, and jumping into the water from he tall trees.

Mangroves are prolific growers and don’t need tending. But they can be uprooted and cleared in a matter of only hours and days.

Continue reading "Let's respect & protect what we have" »


The cost to the Pacific of plundered resources

Plunder (Ben Sanders)
Plunder (Ben Sanders)

PACIFIC PROJECT TEAM
| The Guardian | Edited extracts

Link here to view the entire article together
with interactive maps and data sets

SYDNEY - Millions of tonnes of minerals, fish and timber are extracted from Pacific island nations each year, generating massive profits for foreign multinationals.

Continue reading "The cost to the Pacific of plundered resources" »


PNG’s blind eye to K21 billion log steal

Logging_ship_Vanimo
Logging ship at Vanimo, West Sepik

EDDIE TANAGO
| ACT NOW!

PORT MOREBY - The Forest Authority must stop aiding and abetting logging companies identified by the Internal Revenue Commission as defrauding the State and landowners by evading taxes.

Fraudulent practices around log exports from PNG over the past 20 years could have the cost the country as much as K21 billion.

Continue reading "PNG’s blind eye to K21 billion log steal" »


Can ATS repel the Chinese challenge?

ATS
The bulldozers move in on ATS. Marape says he wants them out - but is he being truthful?

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – I thought this was going to be a good news story, but now I'm  not too sure.

Late last week, Papua New Guinea prime minister James Marape seemed to move with lightning speed  to stop a developer evicting residents and destroying homes at Port Moresby’s ATS settlement.

However, just as I was putting the story to bed last night, I got some disconcerting news. But first some background.

Continue reading "Can ATS repel the Chinese challenge?" »


Stop griping & get a grip on GBV

4 objectives of the national GBV strategy
The four objectives of the national strategy on gender-based violence

JOHN KURI

PORT MORESBY - The gender-based violence (GBV) we struggle with in Papua New Guinea is a result of many activating circumstances.

The number of cases continues to increase. Just on Sunday, two women accused of witchcraft were tortured and burnt with hot irons for hours by 20 men in Port Moresby.

Continue reading "Stop griping & get a grip on GBV" »


Time to empathise with our Earth

Gary Juffa
Gary Juffa - "We have used our superior intelligence to pursue selfish gain in a shortsighted manner detrimental to our very existence"

GOVERNOR GARY JUFFA

ORO - Empathy is a great teacher. Only when you go through a situation experienced by others will you be able to truly empathise and understand what they have gone through.

Well we have a situation happening right now which, to humans and humanity is instructing us like never before.

Continue reading "Time to empathise with our Earth" »


Foreign land grab disaster in Pomio

Paul Pavol - forest defender
Paul Pavol warned his people of what would happen, but they did not listen

PAUL PAVOL

POMIO - The people of West Pomio in East New Britain Province lost most of their land and forest under the controversial, government-backed, Special Agriculture Business Lease (SABL) scheme.

Today, eight years after a Commission of Inquiry condemned the SABL program, there are still a number of active schemes in the West Pomio area with Malaysian logging conglomerate Rimbunan Hijau the major player in logging and promised oil palm.

Continue reading "Foreign land grab disaster in Pomio" »


Now listen up, you bullies & misogynists

Lucy Maino
Lucy Maino and all Papua New Guinean women need to be treated with  respect, decency and morality. Papua New Guinean men have much to be ashamed of

KARA WEISENSTEIN
| Mic

NEW YORK - Lucy Maino was an accomplished role model before she became Miss Papua New Guinea.

The 25-year-old co-captained her country’s national football team, bringing home two gold medals from the 2019 Pacific Games in Samoa.

She also attended the University of Hawaii on a sports scholarship and earned a business degree.

Continue reading "Now listen up, you bullies & misogynists" »


PNG failing to meet human rights obligations

Gender-based-violenceKEITH JACKSON

Link here to the full submission from Human Rights Watch to the Universal Periodic Review of Papua New Guinea

NOOSA - The Papua New Guinea government has failed to live up to commitments on women’s rights, children’s rights, and police accountability.

This is the headline statement in a recent submission Human Rights Watch has made to the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Continue reading "PNG failing to meet human rights obligations" »


Junking our way to extinction

Smokestacks and garbage  Bangladesh (MR Hassan)PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - Papua New Guinea kiaps who ventured into new areas, or areas that had only recently been contacted, became acutely aware of the value villagers placed on items that otherwise would have been thrown away.

These included tin cans, glass jars, bottles and cardboard boxes with brightly coloured exteriors.

Continue reading "Junking our way to extinction" »


New website reveals secrets of the loggers

LogsNEWS DESK
| PNGi Forests

PORT MORESBY - For more than 25 years, deep in the remote and inaccessible tropical forests of Papua New Guinea, a huge industrial complex has been operating.

Foreign owned companies have been bulldozing tracks, felling huge trees, cutting logs and dragging them to the coast to be loaded onto ships and sent overseas.

Continue reading "New website reveals secrets of the loggers" »


PNG logs wash ashore in Philippines

Logs-recovered-in-aurora
Logs believed to be from PNG wash ashore in coastal towns of Aurora Province

TONETTE OREJAS
| Philippine Daily Inquirer

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO — Fishermen in Aurora Province have retrieved more logs believed to have come from Papua New Guinea.

Since the logs were first seen floating off Aurora last month, 632 have been recovered.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Philippine Coast Guard have sent a reconnaissance team to check if more logs are still floating.

Continue reading "PNG logs wash ashore in Philippines" »


Sand mining proposal defeated

Act say noNEWS DESK
| Act Now!

PORT MORESBY - A controversial plan by the Singapore based Powerplus Group to mine sand along a 38 kilometre stretch of coastline in Madang has been defeated.

The government regulator, the Mineral Resource Authority (MRA), has written to mining opponents informing them of the withdrawal of the mine exploration application.

Continue reading "Sand mining proposal defeated" »


Sukundimi: Guardian of the mighty Sepik

Sepik sunset
Sunset over the mighty Sepik

DUNCAN GABI

GOROKA - The mighty Sepik River has existed since the dawn of time, twisting and turning, forming a wide belt of active meanders and fish-populated great lakes.

This great river, its banks adorned with lianas, sago palms, and pandanus, deposits vast amounts of fresh water into the ocean.

Continue reading "Sukundimi: Guardian of the mighty Sepik" »


An important video: From extraction to inclusion

Tanago imageEDDIE TANAGO
| Act Now!

PORT MORESBY - A new doodle-style video has been launched that explains how Papua New Guinea’s reliance on large-scale mining and export logging has failed to improve the lives of most people.

Over the last 50 years, the quality of health, education and infrastructure have declined and it also explains why PNG now ranks below its Pacific neighbours on most development indicators.

Continue reading "An important video: From extraction to inclusion" »


Log tax increase must be defended

Unsustainable logging
The PNG Forest Authority has failed in its mandate to ensure the sustainable management of PNG’s forests and is pushing back against government reforms 

EDDIE TANAGO
| Act Now!

PORT MORESBY – The increase in duty on round log exports introduced in Papua New Guinea’s 2020 budget is already having a positive effect.

Analysis by community advocacy group Act Now! shows that the higher export duty has increased government revenue and driven down log exports in line with government policy.

Continue reading "Log tax increase must be defended" »


Views on sand mining must be heard

Sir Arnold Amet
Sir Arnold Amet - The people have a right to be heard and their views to be considered

SCOTT WAIDE
| My Land, My Country

LAE – Papua New Guinea’s former chief justice Sir Arnold Amet and leaders from the north coast villages of Madang have written to the Justice Department and the Mineral Resources Authority urging them to allow further consultation in relation to the proposed sand mining project.

Sir Arnold has echoed sentiments by people in the Sumgilbar local level government area that their views against sand mining have not been adequately heard.

Continue reading "Views on sand mining must be heard" »


Plants that heal: the old folks know

PlantsSCOTT WAIDE
| My Land, My Country

LAE - Our planet is filled with millions of plants with healing properties – some of which we are only starting to understand.

In Papua New Guinea, traditional healers and elders in our many cultures  are custodians of a lot of  that knowledge.

My maternal grandparents taught me a lot  about the healing properties of guava leaves, hibiscus, native gingers and cinnamon bark.

Continue reading "Plants that heal: the old folks know" »


Covid dilemma: Australia’s vaccine vacillation

PfizerKEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - Sometime this year - nobody seems to know exactly when - Australians will be asked to roll up their sleeves and receive a vaccine to fight the dreaded Covid-19.

We don't know which shot we'll get, not yet anyway. It may be the high performing Pfizer (effective in 95% of shots) or the not so flash AstraZeneca (62%, but there's a lack of clarity about that).

Continue reading "Covid dilemma: Australia’s vaccine vacillation" »


Buying medicine off the street can kill you

Street medicine
You may buy something that looks like real medicine on the street. It might look genuine but there is no way you can really know

BEE DURESI
| Duresi's Odyssey

AUCKLAND - There’s no other ways to put it but bluntly – buying medicines off the street can kill you.

Here are important reasons why people should not buy medicines off the street, or from unlicensed shops.

The source of the medicine is unknown. It’s anyone’s guess where the medicines were obtained and it’s anyone’s guess how they were manufactured.

Continue reading "Buying medicine off the street can kill you" »