Challenges faced in sustainably managing the tropical rainforest in Papua New Guinea

Patricia J. Blazey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Papua New Guinea houses the largest remaining tropical rainforest in the Asia Pacific Region yet is under grave threat from ongoing deforestation and degradation. This article looks at the challenges faced in introducing an international treaty to protect tropical rainforests particularly as almost all tropical rainforests are housed in developing countries due to their geographical position. Lack of good legal governance, poor development of land laws and the presence of systemic corruption prevent their sustainable management. In PNG the manipulation of tribal landowners and the continuing disregard by local and foreign enterprises for what is a part of the ‘global commons’ is causing the continual destruction of the rainforest. Customary ownership resides with over 800 tribe’s surveys and no surveys have ever been undertaken to determine ownership boundaries as rainforest territories pass from one generation to the next. It is therefore not surprising that under these circumstances that corrupt dealings are regular events whereby aggressive logging companies enter into contracts with naïve tribe’s people what are often bogus thus depriving the tribes of their timber rights. This article explores these issues and the underlying reasons for them yet argues that an international rainforest treaty is essential if rainforests are to survive in their present form.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-58
Number of pages24
JournalOIDA international journal of sustainable development
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Corruption
  • Deforestation
  • Degradation
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Rainforest

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