Northern Governor, Gary Juffa has applauded the swift action of the Conservation Environmental Protection Authority for suspending the logging licenses of two companies illegally operating in Collingwood Bay, Tufi.
Governor Juffa stated that the companies currently operating there were doing so with illegal permits and licenses procured fraudulently given that all applications for various permits and licenses were null and void given that the vital documents appended with the applications contained the forged signatures of the Chairman of the Oro Provincial Forest Management Committee and its members, all of whom have given statements to that effect.
The suspension has taken place based on reports of environmental pollution and delivering false information to CEPA by the companies involved in Wanigela. The suspension effectively puts a stop to the operations of the two companies whilst an investigation is conducted by CEPA and Oro Provincial Government.
“Despite a stop-work notice given to these companies by the Provincial Government, the company has flippantly continued with their illegal activities. The matter was reported to Police but has seen very little progress other than to investigate the matter. This does not stop the company from stealing timber resources using a fraudulently obtained permit. The Police investigations continue with one arrest so far but progress is extremely slow.
Meanwhile, reports issued to various Departments including Lands, Agriculture, and even PNG Forest Authority appear to be taking forever to act upon. CEPA is the only entity that has acted swiftly and promptly and I commend the Minister and his Secretary who both responded promptly. The other Ministers and their Departments need to do the same. They are mandated to protect PNG interests and their lack of urgency shows they do not seem to care about this responsibility for which they are charged with by the people of PNG.”