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Papua New Guinea

2013 Assessment Findings

The government's response to illegal logging and related trade has been very poor. Although almost all harvesting in Papua New Guinea has some form of license and exports are all verified against payment of taxes, the weight of available information suggests that the majority of the country’s timber production is nevertheless illegal in some way. Improper licence issuance and failure to follow guidelines meant to minimize environmental impacts of selective logging are among the most common problems. Deep-rooted problems of corruption and poor forest governance in PNG have been documented in detail on multiple occasions over the past 25 years, yet successive administrations have failed to address them.

While PNG has one of the best legal frameworks governing forests of any major developing country, these laws have not been effectively implemented and enforced. There is little or no evidence to suggest that logging practices have improved in the decade since the last detailed independent reviews exposed widespread illegalities. Major improvements to governance are needed, particularly with respect to enforcement and transparency.