Category Archives: Environment

Clearing a Pathway for Tourism in PNG

By : Post Courier

 

Understanding the potential market size of niche markets gives a clear pathway to planning how the tourism industry needs to develop its services, infrastructure, itineraries and marketing campaigns to attract new tourists says Jerry Agus, CEO of Tourism Promotion Authority.

“PNG offers a host of products and attractions that can meet the needs of these high-spending niche market travelers,” he added.

With international arrivals in PNG growing by an average of 13% since 2002, the International Visitor Survey shows that tourists have contributed $105 million to the economy in the first half of 2017. Given the numbers, targeting a niche market can prove to be timely for PNG’s tourism sector.

This is according to a report set to be launched in November. The data will be used to help PNG develop its tourism industry.

IFC’s tourism project in Papua New Guinea is focused on supporting the development of tourism businesses, improving tourism-related conditions, and helping to attract investment in the tourism sector.

Highlands H’way Needs Reconstruction, says Nali

By : LUKE KAMA ( The National )

 

THE Highlands Highway from Nadzab in Lae to Mount Hagen in Western Highlands needs “a total reconstruction” instead of just maintenance or upgrading, Works Minister Michael Nali says.

He travelled from Mt Hagen to Lae by road to see for himself the condition of the national highway.

“I have travelled through and have seen that the highway needs a thorough reconstruction,” he said.

“So through the K3 billion Asian Development Bank-financed project, we will reconstruct the highway because this highway we are using now was built a long time ago. It does not meet our current needs and demands.

“That’s why it is deteriorating and we need to reconstruct it – not just upgrade and maintain.”

He said advanced designs and engineering were needed.

“The tender will be out soon and it will involve two phases – design and construction,” he said.

“Also there will be two stages – one from Nadzab to Henganofi and one from Henganfi to Kagamuga in Mount Hagen. There will be a Simbu section from Chuave to Munde.”

Kaiaworks Construction Limited project engineer Rex Ate fixing the Mata section of the Highlands highway in Chimbu thanked Nali and Works Secretary David Wereh for actually driving through the road to see for themselves the status of the highway.

Govt Confident in APEC 2018

BY LEONNIE WAYANG ( Post Courier )

Chief Secretary to the Government Isaac Lupari says he is satisfied with the preparations for APEC 2018.

Mr Lupari said last week that PNG is on track in terms of security, accommodation and logistics for APEC 2018.

“We are very much on track, and we are pleased with the efforts undertaken by our police and our security forces in collaboration with bilateral countries like Australia; big support coming through Australian Government, also the US,” Mr Lupari said.

“We’ve also had the same with New Zealand but the new inclusion in the security operation is now the Indonesian Government.”

He said the Indonesian government will bring forth “an extensive wealth of experience” as they have also hosted the APEC meeting.

“We’re pooling all these countries to making sure that we are ticking all the boxes that are required in terms of making sure that the security arrangement is as good as any other organisation in terms of APEC meetings around the world,” Mr Lupari said.

He added that various ministerial meetings like the recent APEC Transportation Ministerial Meeting will provide the opportunity for PNG to test its security preparedness leading up to the APEC 2018 summit.

“One of the opportunities for us to try and test the security readiness that we’ve put in place is the regular meetings that we’re going to have at the ministerial level,” he said.

He said that although he is satisfied with the progress, there is still more to do.

“We will deliver APEC in a truly Melanesian way,” he said.

“We are going to deliver APEC given within our constraints and our government is very focused. The public service is focused. Our partners like UNDP, Australia and New Zealand, the rest of the world who are coming on board to help us; they are giving all their support. They know what it means to have an APEC 2018 Meeting in this country, for Papua New Guinea and the region.”

 

MP Keen to Address Issue of Squatter Settlements

By : The National

 

Urbanisation and Housing Minister John Kaupa wants to address the issue of people squatting on State land in Moresby North-East and Port Moresby.
Kaupa over the weekend had talks with custodians of land at 7-Mile.
He has taken Urbanisation Office to task in negotiation for conversion of customary land into proper suburbs.
The planning, once in fruition, will see thousands of settlers given an opportunity to own a piece of land with a house.
Kaupa, with Urbanisation Office executive-director Max Kep and senior officers from the office, were at a site known as Faraya behind the PNG Defence Force Air Transport Squadron to meet Moiha clan leaders.
This is the second visit by Kaupa to an area which he sees as having the potential to bring in positive spin-off benefits for landowners.
Kaupa said other stakeholders like Department of Lands and Physical planning, National Capital District Commission, Eda Ranu, PNG Power Ltd and Governor Powes Parkop would be informed once formalities with landowners were established.
He said he had lived at 6-Mile Settlement for almost 25 years and knew problems of land and housing.
Kaupa said he also respected the Motu-Koitabu people as traditional landowners.
“The Moiha clan will get maximum benefit in terms of resettlement and development in their area,” he said.
“We will not repeat the mistakes of the Taurama customary land that saw land owners sell their land randomly, without proper consultation with Urbanisation and Lands Department, or service lines such as water and electricity.”

30 Million Hectares Intact : Tomuriesa

BY MATTHEW VARI ( Post Courier )

PAPUA New Guinea currently has 30 million hectares of untouched pristine rainforest cover in the country.

This does not include an additional six million hectares currently subjected to human activities.

Minister for Forests, Douglas Tomuriesa announced the figures for the country’s forest inventory at the launch of the country’s National REDD+ Strategy (NRS) 2017-2027.

“I am pleased to inform the gathering today that about 75 per cent or 30 million hectares of our forest are still intact with very little or no human disturbances,” he said.

He said maintenance of natural resources should be recognised by the global community, and the priority of government rests with the wellbeing of the people, who own almost all the forests.

“The international community has time to involve Papua New Guinea and is able to talk with us about elements of REDD+ because of the abundance and quality of our forests.”

“We are thankful that out of these efforts and outcomes of performance-based approaches in the NRS, PNG will qualify for the revenue flows from the international climate change funds.”

“Of the 46 million hectares that constitute the total landmass of PNG, 36 million hectares, or 78 per cent, is under forest cover,” he said.

He said the country is aware of its global responsibility to protect the biodiversity of its natural forests, but other countries take on the approach.

“Our forests are critical to our development from biodiversity as well as from our source of economy perspective.”

“In PNG, forests are essential to our environment, our economy, and our society.”

Annually, the forest sector contributes significantly to the country’s GDP, and government revenues, and is a source for forest resource owners who constitute 85 per cent of the population in the rural areas.

The minister pointed out the main group in the country that needs convincing to maintain forests remains, are the landowners.

Over 200 Land Complaints Received

BY MATTHEW VARI ( Post Courier )

THE reopened fraud and complaints unit has so far received over 200 complaints from the public regarding lands issues and allegations of corruption levelled against Lands and Physical Planning Department officers.

Lands and Physical Planning Minister Justin Tkatchenko said last Friday that he will receive a full report this week on all the complaints received so far for further deliberation.

Mr Tkatchenko said some complaints that are verbal in nature still need additional information and investigation.

Since its reactivation over a month ago, he said all those wanting to lay their complaints should ensure proper documentations are provided to the unit independent units to attend effectively to their reports.

“We have received over 200-plus complaints against lands department staff, against lands deals, against corruption within the department and processes that have happened, where people have missed out legitimately on their land,” the minister said.

“Some of the complaints need more information, more investigations: they are more verbal than actual documented. This is what I said from day one: if people want to lay complaints with the Lands Department, not happy with the land deals that have come against them, or whatever the situation may be, they must provide all documentation and evidence to prove that they have been hard done by.”

The minister said an outside independent lawyer has been engaged along with state lawyers to ensure an independent body exists. He said the body and process excludes himself as the minister.

“Most of these complaints will go through the auditing system. We want to make it an independent process, so there will be no interferences at all from those complaints that have come into the department.”

“The complaints department was closed as you know, for whatever reason, for four years.”

“So now that we have opened it, I think a lot of people are not happy with that, but that is their problem.

“We are getting on with the job and making sure that we change the perception of the department from a corrupt department to a well-organised department that will ensure it gets on with its job for the benefit of land and our people in Papua New Guinea,” Mr Tkatchenko said.

 

Pacific Tuna Forum – O’Neill speech

 

At the 6th Pacific Tuna Forum

 

Under the theme:

“Fostering Greater Social, Economic and Financial Benefits – Through Sustainable Management and Development of Tuna Resources”

 

13 September 2017

 

Good Morning,

 

It is a pleasure for Papua New Guinea to host this very prestigious 6th Pacific Tuna Forum.

 

Tuna is indeed the natural resource that binds the peoples and Governments of the Pacific Islands together.

 

Tuna is also the major revenue earner for many of our Governments in the Pacific, and for some, it is their single source of revenue.

 

The importance placed on this resource cannot be overstated.

 

Even back in the 1970s, one of the main policy agendas of many Governments was co-operation together to manage their tuna resources.

 

This bi-annual Pacific Tuna Forum is an initiative of the Papua New Guinea Government, through the National Fisheries Authority, when it was first held here in 2007.

 

Today, it is held in Partnership with INFO-FISH, and our Regional Fisheries Management Organizations.

 

This 3rd forum to be hosted in Papua New Guinea, and also includes the inaugural fishery technology expo that was held yesterday.

 

This forum is a premier tuna industry meeting in the Pacific region.

 

I welcome all policy makers, fishery managers, NGOs and industry leaders from around the world, who are with us here today.

 

The theme of this Forum, focusing on “Greater Social, Economic and Financial Benefits Through Sustainable Management” is very timely.

 

This theme also resonates quote well with the theme of the 48th Pacific Islands Forum in Apia last week, that very much focused on sustainable development, management and conservation of the Blue Pacific.

 

At the Leaders’ meetings in Apia, we urged the establishment and mainstreaming of regional Minimum Terms and Conditions in all areas of investment and development.

 

This includes a focus on the environment, and compliance across all marine sectors, particularly fisheries.

 

We are placing our support behind a number of initiatives and export standards.

 

This includes Competent Authorities and Catch Documentation Schemes in our region’s small Island economies.

 

As a region we have access to over 50 percent of world tuna supplies.

 

However, the major markets for tuna are not within our region.

 

Papua New Guinea, through the National Fisheries Authority, recognised the importance of expanding our markets.

 

We have established a Trade Lobby Committee which is comprised of both Government and industry representatives.

 

The aim of this committee is to explore and develop new markets.

 

We must be proactive, and go out and look for markets for our fisheries products if we are to have a viable industry into the future.

 

But Pacific Island Nations need to maintain focus on what we must do to ensure we have a viable fisheries sector for our children and their futures.

 

We are building upon the 2016 Forum Communique calling for all high seas bunkering of purse seiners – to be forced into our zones and under license.

 

As part of this, we must broaden this to include long line transhipping and bunkering operations.

 

We have to work together to further prevent illegal activities.

 

Building upon the success of PNA nations in managing the purse seine fishery, we further urge Small Island Nations to use their strength in number, for greater leverage on their interests and to safeguard the interests of our countries.

 

As Pacific Island States we need to steer our destiny in zone and in self-determination, and ensure benefits go to the people and economies.

 

We must do this rather than struggle with external dictates by those believing they have paternalistic rights to our fish and our waters.

 

Overall we need to strengthen Pacific solidarity in ensuring collective efforts for joint initiatives for improved ownership, participation and returns from the Blue Pacific.

 

This needs to be through specific initiatives in the sectors such as fishing, processing, transport, trade, and food security.

 

We can build upon the successes of our regional brand for niche products, and ensure that we have the right standards.

 

I urge that we ensure that our operators are provided with more opportunities and supported by the government in the sector.

 

This can be support through the development of partner funded initiatives, so we are not just seeing 100% foreign ventures promoted in these sectors throughout the region.

 

We need genuine joint ventures.

 

We also encourage PPP initiatives, especially in port services, processing and cold store infrastructure development.

 

In my view there is has great potential for our economies, particularly in port waste management for the sector, and this has the added benefit of helping to preserve the natural environment.

 

We need to develop more downstream processing and provide more spin-off business opportunities for our people.

 

All too often we see the tuna sector that is alienating itself from pour people, and particularly our SMEs.

 

We must create more opportunities so that is industry can continue to provide, more support for labour mobility, and making sure that there are more income-earning opportunities for our coastal communities throughout the Pacific Island Nations.

 

These untapped resources, and the opportunities that are available, must be accessed at sea and onshore.

 

Our Government today, is taking a stand against those non-preforming ventures.

 

We are now going to review over the next three months.

 

We are going to review many of these ventures, and the agreements that we have, because as I said at the Pacific Islands’ Forum last week.

 

For far too long in our region, we see ventures that continue to never make profits, Maurice Brown-John said in Apia last week, they never want to leave either.

 

That is why, enough-is-enough.

 

It is time to stop playing these kind of games.

 

It is important that benefits are shared equally, and fairly, so that our people benefit from the resources that they truly own.

 

Our Government is continuing to undertake the responsibility to continue to build good public infrastructure, and provide more training, and tax incentives that will continue to strengthen the industry as we have done in the past.

 

Papua New Guinea has subsidised this industry over the past decade, almost to the tune of almost 1 billion US Dollars.

 

This is by way of concessional fishing rights, in addition to many other generous concessions to the fishing industry.

 

But the reality this hardly adds to the production output that we have sought to achieve.

 

So we can ask where are the results from the investment that the country has been making?

 

We only see market share eroding, for example countries are having access to the markets that are usually reserved for countries like Papua New Guinea, where the tuna originates.

 

So in countries like Germany, they are achieving market share of close to 40 per cent, from exports that come from Papua New Guinea and the Pacific region.

 

This is unacceptable to countries like ours, because it erodes the market share for our people and our country.

 

That is why it is important that we go back and review some of the agreements, where we are not seeing processing plants that are not even running up to 75 per cent capacity that is required to hold a license in the industry.

 

We have a scenario where only 1 in 5 fish, that our Government has subsidised, is actually processed in Papua New Guinea.

 

Only 1 in 3, or even 1 in 4 jobs to process the catch are in Papua New Guinea.

 

In reality it means that almost 80% of the benefits from Papua New Guinea, are actually enjoyed by other countries.

 

That is why PNG flagged vessels, that fish our waters today, who enjoy the discounts, and yet have not landed a single fish to our processors in 2 years will be held to account.

 

This is simply not acceptable.

 

Our Government will implement changes.

 

They will make the review, and by 2018 I expect that this scenario will change.

 

We will increase rewards and support to direct to those who are genuine in the industry, who are genuine in wanting to process the fish in Papua New Guinea.

 

Let me state again, we welcome genuine investors, but those who are only here for cheap fishing are welcome to leave.

 

Our Government is committed to building the necessary support infrastructure.

 

We will create facilities so that fishing men and women, and processors are able to bring fish into ports in a timely manner, can process them at a reasonable cost.

 

We are exploring funding options for the Wagang Port, a dedicated fisheries port in Lae.

 

We want this critical infrastructure to commence construction soon.

 

As many of you will know the Government of Papua New Guinea proposed the Pacific Marine Industrial Zone in Madang as a regional tuna processing hub.

 

We will continue to pursue this project.

 

There is no easy way and there are no shortcuts in building a truly robust and competitive fisheries industry together.

 

We need to build competitiveness by increasing productivity and reducing costs of production.

 

During this term of Government, the policies and the achievements of the PNG fisheries sector will be measured against the regional benchmark.

 

This will be as outlined in the regional roadmap for sustainable fisheries.

 

We will continue to pursue onshore investment so that we can support these policies, and work with processors towards meeting their processing capacities.

 

Our Government is committed to making this happen, and will work with all stakeholders, especially our locally based fishing and processing industries.

 

We have the greatest potential in our tuna industry.

 

And together we will build a fairer, sustainable and more profitable tuna sector.

 

I wish you all a successful, informative and productive forum and an enjoyable stay in Papua New Guinea.

 

I now declare open – the 06th Pacific Tuna Forum 2017.

 

Thank you.

Prime Minister – Peter O’Neill

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