Minister for Forests Hon. Solan Mirisim stressed this when addressing staff of the Papua New Guinea Forest Authority (PNGFA) in Port Moresby on August 1st, 2022 when he was welcomed after being declared the Member for Telefomin in West Sepik province. Present also at the occasion were some investors in the forestry sector and Hon. Mirisim used the opportunity to thank them and also inform them of what he expects of them if he returns as the Minister for Forests in the new government.
“When the government is formed, (for the forestry sector), first and foremost will be Downstream Processing to create opportunities for ordinary Papua New Guineans, the landowners.
“By 2025, it will be 100per cent downstream processing. Most times, you give excuses and continue to get our logs. Most of you investors have numerous projects in different provinces. Out of these, only one is into downstream processing while the rest are logging. That will have to stop.
“The second priority is reforestation and afforestation which investors need to promote also.
“You are here to contribute. Don’t just log and run away to another place. Let me appeal to the investors. Please do reforestation (replanting on logged over areas) and afforestation (planting on grassland or areas not yet planted with trees).
“The third priority is Management. Many of the (PNGFA) infrastructure throughout the country are rundown. We have to improve them. We have a very strong Managing Director (of the National Forest Service in Mr. John Mosoro), and with some good people we will be working with, we will ensure to build PNGFA, because we (forestry sector) make a lot of money for the government.
“I will also look at decreasing the (log) export tax. When it comes to supplementary budget, I will talk to them to reduce the tax so that our investors are happy.
“It’s about partnership. We are here to help you and vice versa, to deliver for the government of the day. Let’s all work together for the common good of our landowners and the government,” Minister Mirisim said.
He was accompanied by two Members Elect for Hela Province in Hon. Daniel Tindipu for the newly established Komo-Hulia Electorate and Member for Koroba/Kopiago Hon. William Bando who was a former member of the National Forest Board and former Hela Provincial Administrator.
“I am here as Minister for Forests until the writs are returned. And it is the prerogative of the Prime Minister whether to re-appoint me back to Forestry or elsewhere, or not be given a ministry.
“I scored almost 15,700 to win. It’s actually history for Telefomin because I am back for the third term and no one has achieved this, only second term. My people have spoken through the ballot boxes to give me a third term to deliver some unfinished projects for the electorate.
In his welcome, Mr. Mosoro said PNGFA worked well with Hon. Mirisim and hope he returns to the Ministry:
“We congratulate you and the people of Telefomin for electing you back as their member. We hope that when the government is formed, you will return as the Forest Minister.
“The Directors and senior officers have truly seen your leadership in motivating staff to work hard and get the job done.
“A lot of policies that the current government has already done, you took on and implemented. These include downstream processing which you supported us throughout with, plantation development, reforestation, State Marketing Authority and increase in royalties for landowners etc,” Mr. Mosoro said.