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The state versus custom - regulating Papua New Guinea's timber industry

CollectionsANU Resources, Environment & Development Group (RE&D)
Title: The state versus custom - regulating Papua New Guinea's timber industry
Author(s): Taylor, Rod
Keywords: forestry reform
Papua New Guinea custom
environmental protection
state intervention
customary landowners
timber industry
sustained timber yeild
rent sharing
resource management conflicts
local public interest
Publisher: Canberra, ACT: Resource Management in Asia-Pacific Program (RMAP), Division of Pacific and Asian History, Research School for Pacific and Asian Studies, The Australian National University
Series/Report no.: Resource Management in Asia-Pacific Program (RMAP) Working Paper: No. 9
Description: 
This paper examines attempted forestry reforms in Papua New Guinea geared to three broad objectives - environmental protection, sustained timber yield and equitable rent sharing. On all three fronts the reforms have met considerable resistance. Much of the resistance can be attributed to competition between the state and customary landowners for control of timber harvesting This paper examines attempted forestry reforms in Papua New Guinea geared to three broad objectives - environmental protection, sustained timber yield and equitable rent sharing. On all three fronts the reforms have met considerable resistance. Much of the resistance can be attributed to competition between the state and customary landowners for control of timber harvesting.The paper explores possible justifications for state intervention. It concludes that custom is better placed than the state to define the local public interest and that the state, landowners and logging companies can best reconcile local and national interests through project-specific agreements. This suggests the state should abandon reforms that attempt to dictate to landowners how their forest resources are to be managed - for their own or the nation's good. Instead, the state could direct its resources to providing extension services to customary landowners. The aim would be to strengthen the capacity of landowners to make an informed judgement of, and protect, the local interest and to negotiate on an even footing with other stakeholders
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1885/41141

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