Environment Act review praised

National, Normal

The National Thursday, 26th January 2012

A PAPUA New Guinea student studying in an Australian university has praised the government for repealing amendments to the Environment Act 2000.
James Cook University student Raymond Unasi said: “It is very encouraging and timely to read that the O’Neill government, through the Minister for Environment and Conservation Thompson Harokaqveh, has fulfilled the promises to repeal the amendments of the Environment Act 2000.”
Unasi, who is doing his master of science (natural resource management), said the process of community consultation, stakeholder opinion reviews and professional sound advice to the former government against amending the Act had been hijacked from the very beginning.
He said communities, villagers, learned men and women of law, science, society and the common sense of every living citizen of this country were bashed and nailed to the wall when the last government bulldozed the amendment just to please an entity in the name of community development and economic gain.
“During the modern times of social media freedom and internet age there is simply no space to bulldoze or shove things down people’s throats, the very entity every elected leader and government stands to represent,” he said.
Unasi said that amendment put PNG on the map as one of the most reckless and uncaring countries in the world as regards protecting the environment despite preaching much about carbon emissions and trading.
“From a systematic point of view, every procedure or process that moves a stone, rock or grass from the surface of the land and/or sea floor needs to have a very effective and strategic mitigation monitoring and social effect determined.
“The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) processes in every independent country are a tool to determine developers have a path way or road map in which resources, infrastructure or foreign obstacle are placed within a natural precinct.
“The EIA stages to which this amendment threatened and did resolve to relinquish power to a single desk (director) was insane and devilish,” he said.