Far less than the sum of its parts: an analysis of recommendations made for remediation in individual projects as part of the Independent Forestry Review

Far less than the sum of its parts: an analysis of recommendations made for remediation in individual projects as part of the Independent Forestry Review

Forestry Review failed to make adequate provisions for landowner consent in Papua New Guinea

An Independent Forestry Review Team appointed by the Government in Papua New Guinea in 2000 investigated 32 proposed new logging concessions to ascertain whether due processes had been followed and whether landowners in the forests were properly involved in decision making. The Review made recommendations to the Government on general issues of policy and practice, and on the remediation steps that need to be taken in individual concessions to ensure proper compliance with laws and regulations. This report analyses the Review’s recommendations, focussing on the four concession areas identified by the Review as a "first priority".

It argues that:

  • insufficient measures were recommended in individual projects to remedy the poor level of landowner awareness of the proposed concessions
  • the poor quality of land group incorporation, which is essential to the proper establishment of contractual relationships, was also not adequately addressed in individual projects
  • no measures were recommended at the individual project level to allow landowners to access necessary assistance to allow them to make informed decisions
  • no remedial action or recommendations for many important problems identified in individual project reports, including the absence of valid National and Provincial Forest Plans
  • there are many inconsistencies between the various reports of the Review
  • the Review reports do not provide for any process of on-going independent review as projects are further developed
  • they do not provide for any system of independent verification of the implemetation of remedial steps.

The report concludes that although the Review was useful, it failed to address adequately some of the problems that were uncovered.