Policy focus taken in bid to boost wood processing


CERTAIN policy directions have to be implemented for a successful domestic wood-processing industry, says an official.
Director forest policy and planning with PNG Forest Authority (PNGFA) Dr Ruth Turia, in her presentation on Wednesday at Forest Research Institute (FRI) in Lae, outlined some of those policies. She said the banning of round logs by 2020, increased domestic wood-processing and establishing more hectares of forest plantations by 2050 were some policy directions that needed to be implemented.
Turia said this in her presentation during final review of enhancing value-added wood processing in PNG, which started in 2012 under Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (Aciar) funding.
“The project was aimed at addressing some of the policy directions that the PNG Government is taking onboard to give value to the forest sector,” she said.
Turia, who is also the Aciar project country coordinator, said it was also intended to build capacity and inform researchers in the country on aspects of wood processing.
“With downstream processing of forest products here in the country, especially timber and other products, those involved must know different processes in order to produce the best-finish products,” she said. Turia said the main issue with PNGFA was landowners cutting trees for commercial purposes.
“We have instances where local landowners are actually harvesting trees and selling them,” she said.
“That can be defined as illegal, but PNGFA also realised that the current provisions under the Forestry Act are too hard for landowners to comply with.”
Turua said that was why PNGFA would assess such issues to help the landowners.