By DORISH KAMBA
THE Japanese government is assisting PNG’s Forest Preservation Programme with a 700 million yen (K21.2 million) grant.
Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Trade Michael Maue and Japan’s ambassador to PNG Hajime Nishiyama exchanged notes on the grant last Friday.
Mr Maue said the programme would promote activities that improved forest preservation projects in the country.
The Japanese government has also provided grant assistance for other projects in the last 18 months: They included:
*Urgent rehabilitation of the Markham Bridge in Morobe province;
*Construction of 15 bridges on the coastal trunk roads of Bougainville;
*Upgrading the Wewak fish market and jetty; and
*Ugrading of bridges along the Highlands Highway.
Mr Maue said the assistance demonstrated the growing and significant level of bilateral relations between the two countries.
Mr Nishiyama said his government was pleased to assist PNG in its development endeavours because PNG also took positive measures on climate change issues.
“I hope the project will be used by all relevant agencies that are concerned with climate change issues,” he said.
The execution of the project is currently ineffective as the PNG Forest Authority has yet to organise and implement proper strategies to carry out the project.
The grant will be used by many forest preservation projects.
The signing of the exchange of notes was witnessed by senior officials of PNG Forest Authority, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, National Planning and Monitoring and JICA.