The Papua New Guinea Forestry sector will benefit from Australia following the signing of a five-year Cooperative Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the PNG Forest Authority (PNGFA) and the Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (ADAF&F) a fortnight ago.
The MoU was signed following a bilateral meeting with the Australian DAF&F during the recent ministerial forum held in Canberra from 16th -17th February 2023.
“This MoU is a partnership between PNGFA and the Australian DAF&F which will promote, strengthen and implement the joint decision of both partners to maintain close cooperation to support the advancement of the Forestry sector and the Forest Industries of Australia and Papua New Guinea.
“It is a key platform to reform the forestry sector, specifically the Forestry legislative reviews, reviewing of the regulatory framework for forest carbon, technical advice to promote downstream processing and market access to Australia, building capacity to establish and promote the advancement of timber testing and new forest products by increasing technical support to the Forest Research Institute, amongst others.
“With the re-signing of the MoU between the two Ministries for Forestry on the 17th of February 2023 in the Australian National Parliament House in Canberra, the PNG Government and the Australian Government are embarking on transforming the forestry sector and fostering greater cooperative collaboration on common shared values of promoting economic development in the region,” said Minister Waipo.
He said; “The MoU has been in place long before I became the Minister for Forests and I see it as the opportune time to revise these existing partnerships to use this platform to promote common shared goals for advancement in the forestry sector.
“I am pleased to have the MoU signed to show that the Australian Government understands the forestry sector in PNG and the reforms that the Marape-Rosso government is placing to drive change and reshape the sector.
“Reform is coming and change is inevitable for the forestry sector when true working partnership and understanding is forged, based from a common place of mutual respect on the challenges that the sector in each country faces. Some issues are common whilst some require greater collaborative effort to understand and address at the regional level.
“With the common shared values both countries have agreed to renew and maintain the close cooperation in the Forestry sector and greater efforts to increase the participation for technical capacity building and improve the standards in operation in the sector with even closer collaboration on addressing new and emerging issues arising between the government agencies.
Minister Waipo thanked staff of PNGFA and the Managing Director Mr. John Mosoro and the National Forest Board Chairperson Ms. Faith Barton and management team for successfully renewing and affirming standing partnership with Australia through its Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.
He also thanked the Australian government and its people for the support and understanding given to promote the advancement of shared values and common goals of the Forestry sector in Papua New Guinea.
Minister Waipo presented the signed MoU to Chief Operating Officer Mrs. Magdalene Maihua on the 23rd of February 2023 and encouraged PNGFA to implement the MoU so Papua New Guineans can benefit.