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Climate: hold govt to account says Sir Paulias

In another noteworthy intervention into national politics, PNG Governor-General Sir Paulias Matane has said the government must be held accountable for the effects of climate change.

“Due to the fact that our Government’s finances rarely trickle down to our people as promised,” said Sir Paulias, “our rural people surrender their lush tropical forests to foreign logging operation under the pretext of development – in other words, the destruction of our natural forests.”

He said the effects of logging were seen in soil erosion and landslides and destruction of biodiversity and natural forest habitats.

Other climate change issues such as rising sea levels were a result of the inadequacy and inefficiency of the infrastructure of democratic government that the country had adopted at independence in 1975.

“Many of the social and economic problem connected with deforestation and climate change are direct results of being irresponsive and not resilient enough in implementing the fine principles the government has,” Sir Paulias said.

This year the Governor-General has increasingly injected himself into issues relating to governance, including crime and corruption, inefficient public servants and lack of infrastructure investment.

He has said PNG has suffered from “34 years of ineffective government and public service delivery” and is in an “unfortunate mess”.

In June he led an anti-corruption march through Port Moresby.

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