By Lilian Sopera Keneqa – EMTV News, Port Moresby
Northern Province Governor, Gary Juffa, has condemned the ongoing projects in Oro Province, stating these are illegal logging operations.
With so much controversy, the landowners have reached out to the media to make known what has and is actually happening.
With backing from PNG Forest Authority and Forest Minister, Douglas Tomuriesa, the landowners confidently stated that there are no illegal logging practices happening on Portions 135, 136 and 137.
This was in response to the recent comments and actions of Northern Governor, Gary Juffa towards the logging operation. Earlier this month, Governor Juffa stated that under the guise of Agriculture, illegal logging is happening and destroying waterways and streams. He is also adamant that Portions 135, 136 and 137 are all state property.
General Manager for the landowner development company, Aisor Development Corporation Limited, Nathan Dave, made mention that the Forest Clearance Authority is for a cocoa plantation project and a forest plantation of 10,000 hectares. Mr Dave said there is nothing illegal about the project and the developer has followed the development plans.
He said that for 42 years, Collingwood Bay has been neglected by all levels of government. Since March 8th, the project has come to an abrupt stop.
The police officers from Popondetta have confiscated a majority of the project machinery.