THE logging industry is one of the biggest industries in Papua New Guinea and generates between US$200 million and US$300 million (about K636mil and K9545mil) in export revenue annually.
The Government will ban the export of round logs in 2020.
The forest industry is concerned that employment will be lost as a result of the ban.
The following direct and indirect financial costs support the ban:
- The industry does not make profits, therefore it does not pay income taxes to the government to fund public goods and services in PNG;
- Logging is unsustainable, as it will not replace the value of trees harvested in PNG forever;
- Logging causes irreparable environmental damage, and carbon emissions from machinery used in logging and dead forest material;
- Environmental damage and carbon emissions from logging are contributing to climate change, resulting in the adverse weather conditions and rising sea levels the country is experiencing now;
- Adverse weather conditions are causing serious damage to roads and highways which are becoming expensive for the government to construct and maintain.
- Logging and adverse weather conditions damage villages and food gardens, causing hardship and inconvenience to local people.
- It is costing money to provide support and donations to communities affected by the adverse weather conditions – in the form of disaster relief operations; and
- Logging results in the loss of value of the forest to the local communities because communities lose food, shelter, and many other uses of the natural forest they depend on.
The direct and indirect financial costs of all of the eight reasons above far exceed the export revenue the logging industry generates.
There is no value in logging.
This explains why logging should be banned in PNG.
The only form of logging PNG may permit is plantation logging, which is less costly and is environmentally sustainable.
However, this will still entail costs from all of the eight reasons set out above, if a plantation is established from the clearing of natural forest.