Logging giant denies Greenpeace's illegal harvest claims
By PNG correspondent Steve Marshall
Posted Thu Sep 4, 2008
Greenpeace campaigners are continuing to prevent the ship exporting logs. (AAP : Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert)
Related Story: Greenpeace boards 'illegal' logging ship in PNG
A Malaysian logging company at the centre of a Greenpeace protest in Papua New Guinea has rejected claims that it harvests timber illegally.
Greenpeace campaigners are continuing to prevent a ship from exporting logs at a remote port on the PNG south coast.
The group's activists are currently on top of the ship's crane preventing it from loading logs for the Chinese market.
Greenpeace says the ship is working for Malaysian logging giant Rimbunan Hijau.
In a statement, a Rimbunan Hijau spokesman said the ship and the logging operation belongs to Taurama Forest Industries not Rimbunan Hijau.
However Greenpeace says the independent export monitor SGS lists Taurama Forest Industries as a Rimbunan Hijau group company.
The Papua New Guinea Forest Industries Association says Greenpeace accusations that the timber was illegally logged are pure propaganda.
Greenpeace argues that 90 per cent of logging in PNG is illegal because many permits were issued without proper consultation with land owners.
Land owner Keramu Bissue hopes Greenpeace protest will force the PNG government to review logging on his land.
"They were supposed to be out in the field checking whether the companies are working all right, or are they causing a lot of environmental destruction," she said.