Kamula Doso

This Report was the final stage of a three year Ombudsman Commission investigation into a decision of the National Forest Board to give the logging rights for Kamula Doso forest management area in Western Province as a geographical ‘extension’ to an existing logging operation under the Wawoi Guavi Timber Rights Purchase.

The Report explains, the decision of the Forest Board ‘aroused widespread concern’ as the new logging area was almost double the size of the existing timber operation and by treating the project as an extension the public advertising requirements of the Forestry Act were by- passed.

The Report focuses on the propriety of the National Forest Board decision and in particular the considerations taken into account when the decision to grant an extension was made.

The Ombudsman’s principal findings were:

  • The Forest Management Agreement entered into between the Kamula Doso landowners and the PNG Forest Authority was void for non compliance with the Forestry Act
  • The decision to award the forest management area as an extension was based on improper considerations
  • There were many irregularities surrounding the Forest Board’s decision
  • The conduct of certain members of the Board and consecutive Ministers for Forests was wrong

The Ombudsman made a series of recommendations including revocation of the decision to grant the extension, changes to the Forestry Act to reduce political interference and the dismissal of two Board members.