Logging in PNG EDO NSW

Visiting logging sites in PNG

An EDO NSW and Centre for Environmental Law and Community Rights (CELCOR) team, including solicitor Peter Bellach and barrister Dr Chris McGrath, visited the island of New Hanover in northeastern Papua New Guinea in late November 2018 to view logging sites.

As part of our International Program, EDO NSW is partnering with CELCOR to help customary landowners in PNG stop illegal logging, with funding from the Rainforest Foundation Norway.

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The logging they went to see on New Hanover is documented in a 2017 report by Global Witness at this link. When you download the PDF of the report available on that link, maps and pictures of the New Hanover logging are on pages 11 and 34-35.

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Chris and Peter were particularly shocked to see the damage to the Min River, where logging in the catchment of the river has destroyed the water supply to the village of Metamin at its mouth. The village location is shown on page 11 of the 2017 Global Witness report.

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On the way to Metamin, from left (first two rows): Peter Bellach, lawyer, Steven, legal intern, Evelyn Wohuinangu, CELCOR lawyer, Lynn, local landowner, Max, environmental science intern, Chris McGrath, Barrister.

The report shows a lot of pollution in 2016 when the logging was occurring. The team had thought it would be starting to recover but it was still heavily polluted. The clearing they saw in the catchment was extensive and it is doubtful it will recover for decades, if ever. The destruction of the village's clean water supply is one of the clearest examples of unsustainable development.

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Meeting with local people.

EDO NSW is continuing to support CELCOR with this matter.

Also see: A visit to PNG