PNG Forest Authority unaware of illegal harvesting and export of Massoia bark

PNGFA MD, Kanawi Pouru
The Papua New Guinea Forest Authority (PNGFA) is unaware of any illegal harvesting or export of the Massoia bark in the country as alleged by an academic. This was the word from Managing Director, Mr Kanawi Pouru.

Mr Pouru made this remark in response to allegations by Dr Topul Rali from the University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG) that Asians were illegally harvesting and exporting bark from the Massoia tree.

He said:
“PNGFA is not aware of this and we ask Dr Topul Rali to come to us, the government’s only regulatory forest authority in the country, with any information he may have so that we can investigate this matter further.”

Education News PNG reports Dr Rali calling for the authority to “penalise foreigners illegally harvesting and exporting the Massoia bark”.

He said foreigners were buying the bark at K3 per kg from locals in the Kubuna and Baidoku areas of the Central province.

PNGFA banned the harvest and export of the Massoia tree on May 31, 2012. Anyone caught breaking the ban would be deregistered with the authority and fined an amount not exceeding K100 000 , face imprisonment for no more than 5 years or both.

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