Dr. Turia replies to Governor Parkop: “We cannot replant immediately after harvest b’cos land doesn’t belong to gov’t”

Papua New Guinea Forest Authority (PNGFA) nor logging companies cannot immediately replant after trees are harvested because the land on which the forests are harvested are owned by landowners and not the government, Dr. Ruth Turia, PNGFA’s Director for Forest Policy and Planning said this when responding to National Capital District Governor Powes Parkop on March 20th, 2020. She also called on everyone as landowners to talk to their people to give land to plant trees.

Speaking during the commemoration of the International Day of Forests in Port Moresby, Governor Parkop had called on PNGFA to replant as soon as a tree is harvested.

We can plant trees, so can logging companies. The issue for us here is that the government does not own the land, that’s the major challenge for us. We cannot tell a logging company to replant as soon as they harvest logs because they don’t own the land nor does PNGFA.

“As landowners, the challenge for all of us is to start talking to our people in the rural areas even here in the city to give land to plant trees. Apart from climate change, trees have many uses so people should be encouraged to plant trees,” Dr. Turia said.

She also acknowledged Governor Parkop for being present at the occasion. “I must acknowledge the governor for being here. He didn’t know about the International Day of Forests until last month when he called me in for a meeting and asked my assistance to plant 50,000 trees in NCD as part of World Environment Day. I told him then about the IDoF coming soon. That’s why he is here to support us.

For the IDoF, we have been trying to follow the annual themes. For NCD, we told the governor that we need to know your plan for planting around the city. We don’t want to just go and plant. We need a proper plan to know what to plant where. Teak and some Callophylum grow well here so we can plant them. Dr. Turia said.

She agreed that all concerned stakeholders need to work in partnership for more trees to be planted as the forestry sector works towards achieving the national government’s Vision 2050 target of planting 800,000 hectares of trees by 2020. 

On the same day, Dr. Turia also represented PNGFA at the launching of Trees for Life Initiative at the Gerehu Secondary School by Governor Parkop and Member for Moresby South and Minister for Housing and Urbanization Hon. Justin Tkatchenko



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