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Old 02-02-2005, 01:03 PM
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West Pomio resource owners export timber

THE recent placement of buffaloes and trailers to assist in the sustainable harvesting of natural forest resources of the West Pomio communities in the East New Britain province, has achieved its goal, with the first export of sawn timber being prepared for shipment to New Zealand under the watchful eye of Timber Marketing Officer Aiten Maniho.

Although the timber was inspected before it left Pomio, a final inspection was carried out by Papua New Guinea Forest Authority (PNGFA) forest inspectors in Rabaul. The sawn timber will leave PNG shores as a positive advertisement for the promotion of timber harvest from sustainable managed resources.

This milestone achievement has largely been attained as a result of the will of the respective communities with some input by the European Union funded Eco-Forestry Programme (EFP). Eco-Forestry Advisor Robin Kimpton is very upbeat for the future of this venture and the positive role it can play in benefiting other communities that may wish to utilise their natural forest resources in a sustainable manner.

The recent tragic tsunami in South East Asia is already having a bearing on timber exports, with a resultant increase in sawn timber prices being noted. The timber from West Pomio although initially going to New Zealand, could eventually be used in specialist construction work in Hawaii, according to the importersí representative.

Ongoing training in timber export documentation and product presentation will endure the West Pomio resource owners and their communities will be very self reliant in the future.

The initial export order is less than 30 cubic metres which earned the resource owners about K30,000 but this will significantly increase with the production from two more communities that are currently receiving training in sawmilling and chainsaw felling techniques. Production could eventually reach more than 100 cubic metres per month, Mr Kimpton said.

He described the clustering of a group of wokabout sawmills as a Multifor Scheme, adding that this concept is being developed as part of the EFP. It is being considered for areas in the Highlands and Madang province.

Ends//

Timber Marketing Officer Aiten Maniho with the sawn timber packed for shipment to New Zealand. Photo: Robin Kimpton.
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