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« Agriculture in PNG: A significant opportunity & significant peril | Main | Logging & mining threaten precious Woodlark Islands ecosystems »

02 August 2019

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Garry Roche

Phil, I agree that population growth is an issue. The main issue I was trying to point out is that traditional PNG highlands agriculture did not necessarily lead to serious deforestation. And even when a non-traditional crop like coffee was first introduced, as you will remember, numerous shade trees were planted all through the coffee plantations. I think the practice of shade trees may have later been abandoned. The tea plantations, - as the photo above illustrates – did not have shade trees.

Philip Fitzpatrick

Some people classify logging and oil palm as agriculture Garry.

You have to be careful about semantics when discussing mining too. Digging a hole and using the ore, be it coal, iron ore, copper or one of the other numerous minerals we deem essential, might look like a limited impact activity but when you take into account the end use, like burning the coal for energy, the environmental impact becomes much more pronounced.

The biggest problem by far is that there are now too many humans on the planet. Coupled to that is their insatiable taste for meat and the necessity to keep vast herds of environment destroying stock to feed that obsession.

Garry Roche

With regard to the UNFCCC report, it can be noted that Papua New Guinea was included in the research by Persson, Henders and Kastner concerning the impact of agriculture on deforestation, and thus on climate change.

However it was clear in that report that in PNG's case it was the oil palm industry and illegal logging that were the two main causes of deforestation.

It should perhaps also be noted that in traditional highland agriculture the replanting of trees was part of the whole agricultural cycle.

For research by Persson, Henders and Kastner see: - https://www.cgdev.org/publication/trading-forests-quantifying-contribution-global-commodity-markets-emissions-tropical

Daniel Wakena

"According to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) secretariat, the overwhelming direct cause of deforestation is agriculture. Subsistence farming is responsible for 48% of deforestation; commercial agriculture is responsible for 32%; logging is responsible for 14%, and fuel wood removals make up 5%."

Mining leaves considerably less footprint on the environment if carefully operated than agriculture/farming.

Look at how the Amazon rainforest is drastically decreasing at an alarming rate and it's not because of mining.

Strengthen the economy or protect the environment you can't have it both ways.

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