Kapavore responds to allegations of exploitation and abuse in logging industry in Papua New Guinea

PNG MP responds to allegations of exploitation and abuse in logging industry
By Prianka Srinivasan on Pacific Beat.
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In the wake of an explosive documentary alleging corruption and abuse in PNG’s logging industry, a local member of parliament says authorities will investigate the companies involved.

Despite once welcoming the business, Elias Kapavore of Pomio in PNG’s East New Britain says very little benefit has been gained from the years of timber and palm oil extraction.

It comes as the UK based Sarawak Report claims communities are being recklessly exploited by foreign logging companies, and PNG authorities are ignoring their pleas.

Journalist Clare Rewcastle-Brown travelled to these villages as part of a months-long investigation conducted by the UK based media company, and says she witnessed “mass fraud”.

“I got the evidence from peoples own mouths as to how these incredibly wealthy companies have been ruthlessly moving in on their lands have been ripping out billions and billions of dollars of timber, for which no recompense has gone back to the people of Papua New Guinea,” she told Pacific Beat.

The local Member for Pomio Elias Kapavore says he was surprised by the film, and that he supports those speaking out about the logging companies.

“Firstly I believe we have learnt many lessons from this particular arrangement that has led to the current situation,” Mr Kapavore said.
Mr Kapavore was once a vocal supporter of the Malaysian logging and palm oil companies in his electorate.

In a 2017 interview with local broadcaster EMTV, the Pomio MP said it was a “privilege” to work with them, as they brought development to remote areas.

But today, Mr Kapavore says local landowners have not seen much of that promised wealth.

“Yes I can admit that we have not seen any tangible benefit with regard to support to social activities, like schools or health,” Mr Kapavore said. “Despite the fact that they are doing roads, most of those roads are within their business”.

The MP says he will contact the companies featured in the film, and investigate the landowners’ concerns.

“I’m going to write a letter to the company and express some of the concerns raised by the people,” Mr Kapavore said.

“I will also speak to my district’s CEO and we can speak to some of the landowner groups”.

Clare Rewcastle-Brown says landowners are calling for government to take action.

“There is an awareness now on the ground, also I think that has played into an awareness that there needs to be change at government level in Papua New Guinea”.

In the wake of an explosive documentary alleging corruption and abuse in PNG’s logging industry, a local member of parliament says authorities will investigate the companies involved.

Despite once welcoming the business, Elias Kapavore of Pomio in PNG’s East New Britain says very little benefit has been gained from the years of timber and palm oil extraction.

It comes as the UK based Sarawak Report claims communities are being recklessly exploited by foreign logging companies, and PNG authorities are ignoring their pleas.

Journalist Clare Rewcastle-Brown travelled to these villages as part of a months-long investigation conducted by the UK based media company, and says she witnessed “mass fraud”.

“I got the evidence from peoples own mouths as to how these incredibly wealthy companies have been ruthlessly moving in on their lands have been ripping out billions and billions of dollars of timber, for which no recompense has gone back to the people of Papua New Guinea,” she told Pacific Beat.

The local Member for Pomio Elias Kapavore says he was surprised by the film, and that he supports those speaking out about the logging companies.
“Firstly I believe we have learnt many lessons from this particular arrangement that has led to the current situation,” Mr Kapavore said.

Mr Kapavore was once a vocal supporter of the Malaysian logging and palm oil companies in his electorate.

n a 2017 interview with local broadcaster EMTV, the Pomio MP said it was a “privilege” to work with them, as they brought development to remote areas.

But today, Mr Kapavore says local landowners have not seen much of that promised wealth.

“Yes I can admit that we have not seen any tangible benefit with regard to support to social activities, like schools or health,” Mr Kapavore said. “Despite the fact that they are doing roads, most of those roads are within their business”.

The MP says he will contact the companies featured in the film, and investigate the landowners’ concerns.

“I’m going to write a letter to the company and express some of the concerns raised by the people,” Mr Kapavore said.

“I will also speak to my district’s CEO and we can speak to some of the landowner groups”.

Clare Rewcastle-Brown says landowners are calling for government to take action.

“There is an awareness now on the ground, also I think that has played into an awareness that there needs to be change at government level in Papua New Guinea”.

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3 thoughts on “Kapavore responds to allegations of exploitation and abuse in logging industry in Papua New Guinea

  1. The Local MP does not seem to know what is going on in his electorate. Spend quality time in the electorate with your people and get to know the problems relating to illegal logging. Illegal logging in PNG, especially Pomio is a huge problem.

  2. It is a pity, some one who supported to know well, to ‘just look into it now!….I will bet, similar sort of ‘mass fraud’ is happening in the other parts of the country logging area….it is sad

  3. We have already lost trillions over the last 50+ years. Recently proposed tax by the forestry minister and secretary should slow the pace and at-least allow for better management of logging in-terms of reforestation management including encouragement of downstream processing onshore which in turn creates employment and business opportunities for our people.
    Those who feel this move is not right should ship out now. Enough is Enough!

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