By Jack Lapauve Jr – EMTV News, Port Moresby
Northern Governor Gary Juffa highlighted flaws in the issuing of Forest Clearance Authorization licenses by public servants in four Government Departments.
Governor Juffa says it is not only his province that is affected, but nearly all provinces where illegal logging and exploitation of land is happening. He directed the question to Agriculture Minister Benny Allen in parliament yesterday (May 31).
According to enquiries carried out by the Northern Governor, officers in the Agriculture and Forest Department had allegedly collaborated to grant FCA licenses to developers, despite carrying out “Community Hearing Processes”.
Governor Juffa says this has led to violence and confusion by resource owners in his province. With Northern mostly affected, Governor Juffa says Government Departments are not following processes before a FCA license is issued. He says such public servants cause havoc for resource owners as illegal logging and exploitation occurs.
Minister responsible, Benny Allen, says it is an administration issue. He also demanded the names of those responsible, and will seek help from the Forest Department and other state agencies.