Minister: Domestic log processing will increase to 50pc

Business

FOREST Minister Solan Mirisim says by 2025, 50 per cent of the country’s logs will be processed domestically.
Speaking during the Forestry Summit in Port Moresby yesterday, Mirisim said processing in-country started last year, with an annual reduction on log exports by 10 per cent per annum and would reach 50 per cent by 2022 in line with the government’s Medium Term Development Plan III (MTDP 3).
“It is anticipated that all projects will have to go through a review process,” he said.
“We may not reach 50 per cent by 2022, that’s why we say from 2022, we will review and by 2025, downstream processing should come to 50 per cent.
“We want to increase downstream processing and increase plantation development, onshore processing of forest products to be promoted and commercially viable forestry products such as factories and processing plant be established with immediate effect in PNG.
“So all the logging plantations, all the logging areas, all our industries will have to plan for downstream processing.
“Either in sawmilling, oil palm, other downstream processing, we should start deploying our stakeholders.”
PNG Forest Authority managing director Tunou Sabuin said it was anticipated that from the summit, there would be effective dialogue and shared understanding of the social, economic, legal and environmental implications of the log export ban and its opportunities and challenges.
Mirisim also announced that the PNG Forest Authority operational management levy fee of K20 per cubic metre which was endorsed by the previous government will come into effect in January.
“This will greatly improve and enhance operational continuance of the authority,” he said.
“This money will be used to get more monitoring officers to do work that the PNG Forest Authority has.”
Also coinciding with the Forestry summit, Prime Minister James Marape and Mirisim launched three reports namely, the Forest Base Map, PNG Forest Resources Information Management System and the Multi-purpose National Forest Inventory.

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