Forestry is the most widely distributed of our natural resources, and being renewable, can have significant long term positive effects on the economy of Papua New Guinea (PNG). Considering that 80 % of the population lives in the rural areas, the government over the last 70 years has utilized the forest resources for commercial logging to realize tangible economic benefits both for the landowners and the government as well as the timber industry. There is a mixed tropical forest from the swamp forest to the lowland rainforest, mid montane forest and the upper montane forest which are acquired, allocated, harvested and sold in accordance with the forestry legislation and other relevant government legislations
Logging Operations in Papua New Guinea is spread throughout the coastal regions of the country except for the Highlands region which today does not have major logging operations. Stretching from the southern part of Port Moresby, the capital city of Papua New Guinea (PNG) from the Western Province bordering PNG and Indonesia on the southern end of the island of New Guinea to the Islands of Milne Bay on the East, stretching westerly along the coast to Oro to Morobe to Madang, then to East Sepik and Sandaun Provinces, the latter bordering PNG and Indonesia on the western end of the island of New Guinea. Then sailing across to the north to West New Britain and East New Britain provinces on the New Britain Island and far-reaching the outer Islands of New Ireland (ne), Manus (nw) Province and AROB (ne).
The logging operations in PNG are foreign-dominated, chiefly from the Asian region. The dominant operators are Rimbunan Hijau (RH) and a group of companies, Cakara Alam (PNG) Limited also with its subsidiaries and Vanimo Forest Products Limited and including many other small players all from Asia.
There were two operations operated by Japanese Companies but today only one company maintains to be operated by the Japanese which is the Open Bay Timber Company in East New Britain province while the other, Stettin Bay Lumber Company Limited (SBLC) which is in West New Britain province, is now operated by the Asians. Both these companies also carry out forest plantations of eucalyptus deglupta (Kamarere) and have been very successful.
One well-established company which has a long history is the PNG Forest Products Limited (PNGFP) located in the mining township of Bulolo in the Morobe province where it runs a sawmill, a plywood mill, wood joinery, Kiln dryer, treatment plant. And all timber sold from PNGFP is fully dressed and treated. This company is depended on the Pine plantation forest of Araucaria cunninghamii (hoop) and Araucaria hunsteinii (Klinkii) for its day to day operations. The pine plantation is of course managed by the Papua New Guinea Forest Authority (PNGFA) under a stand-alone or self- sustaining forest plantation project in PNG.
From the statistics to the close of 2019, 128 Timber projects were approved and issued to operators but only 115 were fully operational. Of those timber, projects are 40 Timber Rights Purchase Areas (TRPs) 16 Forest Management Agreements (FMAs), 23 Forest Clearance Authorities (FCAs), 21 Local Forest Areas (LFAs)
The Intensity of logging depending on the volume harvested is in Vanimo, in the Sandaun province and West New Britain province which produces annually the highest volumes.
The most volume of round log harvested in PNG is exported to Chinese markets amounting to about 85 %, with only 25 percent produced locally.
In the close of business 2019, PNGFA harvested a volume of 4.226 million cubic meters of round logs and exported 3.793 million cubic meters.
Export FOB Value earned was (PGK) 1.245 billion
Log Export Development Levy (LEDL) collected for the year ending 2019, PGK 29, 505, 165 million
Reforestation Levy (RL) for the same period PGK 3.216 million
Royalties assessed and paid out to landowners PGK 68.244 879.26 million