It was a coincidence that the day after I sent my “dear forest’ article to the Post Courier and a day before it was published, the PNG Forest Industries Association (PNGFIA) came out in the other daily on the same subject from the other angle.
While I called on Mrs Hilary Clinton to remind Australian PM Kevin Rudd to keep his 2007 election promise to legislate against import of illegal timber into Australia, the PNGFIA – represented by Rimbunan Hijau (RH) official Gabriel Samol was out again to promote RH’s timber legality and traceability verification (TLTV) scheme and preaching corporate responsibility by encouraging PNG’s logging industry to uphold standards.
It is clear international markets are demanding compliance to environment standards in a global effort to reduce climate change and the perpetrators of environmental destruction will have no choice but to comply or pack up.
It seems in PNG the “packing up” is beginning with some large logging companies lossing their causes in courts against landowners and landowners refusing to renew their agreements and opting for seeking alternatives like carbon trading.
Interesting in this new global political responsibity, is the letters to the Australia PM by members of both the US Congress and Senate – encouraging Australia to adopt a similar law as the US Lacey Act to end this illegal timber trade.
Where forest countries do not have political will to get logging companies to comply with environment and forest laws, we must count on market countries to stop the import of timber and wood products from illegal and destructive logging.
My thoughts are in Focus Column in today’s Post Courier.