By Jack Lapauve Jr – EMTV News, Port Moresby
Companies who breach environment laws will be penalised with a hefty fee. Environment and Conservation Minister, John Pundari, says the Department will increase fees from K50,000 to a million kina. He says a review is underway to change current rates of environment breaches by international and national companies. He also stated that many players in different industries often breach environment laws and continue to pay. Minister Pundari says that fees will see a big jump from a thousand to a million kina.
Logging has had significant environmental impacts, while the exploitation of mineral resources has led to pollution of rivers, threatening people’s livelihoods. Many of these cases are challenged in court and are dismissed or watered down through other forms of compensation. Minister Pundari says the review hopes to minimise bad practices causing damages to the environment.
The review is in progress and into its final stages and Minister Pundari says the new categories of fees will be harsh. The review is hoped to be presented in Parliament in the May session.