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27 August 2007

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Papua New Guinea

Forestry to remain PNG's biggest export earner

Papua New Guinea's caretaker forest minister, Patrick Pruaitch, says forestry will remain its biggest export earner, amid allegations PNG promotes illegal logging.

Our reporter Firmin Nanol says PNG has been accused of promoting illegal logging practices by environmental groups.

But caretaker forest minister, Patrick Pruaitch says it will improve on sustainable logging over the next five years.

''Forestry will continue its role as a key player in the nation's development programs and this can continue in the future, if our forest resources -- being a renewable resource-- is widely used and managed in a sustainable manner."

He says the forestry sector is also the country's huge revenue earner.

''The cumulative volume of round logs export at the end of March is 0.829 million cubic meters earning some 168 million in foreign exchange and 44 million dollars in taxes to the country''.

The minister says PNG will also place an emphasis on forest plantation in partnership with landowners.

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Chatham House is assessing the scale and effectiveness of the response to illegal logging and the related trade around the world. Full details of this work, including analysis and data, will be available online soon.