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Papua New Guinea: Vitro Plant pulls out of Woodlark

Source:  Copyright 2008, National
Date:  January 14, 2008
Original URL: Status DEAD

VITRO Plant, developer of a proposed oil palm project on Woodlark Island in Milne Bay, is said to have withdrawn the project.

Attempts to confirm the withdrawal from Vitro Plant directors Dr Marat Bolonski and William Lee in Australia were unsuccessful.

The Department of Agriculture and Livestock (DAL) was notified of Vitro’s intention to withdraw.

It is believed Vitro’s withdrawal is due to pressure from environmentalists and non-governmental organisations to conserve the natural habitat of Woodlark Island.

The proposed project was to cover 60,000 hectares of State land in the middle of this year.

Meanwhile, the National Forest Board has yet to receive a formal proposal for the development.

Forest Minister Belden Namah said this in a newspaper report last week, after receiving numerous enquiries on the project.

He said the proposed project had not met forest legal requirements to begin operations.

It could also put the island in danger in terms of environmental damages the island was too fragile .

Mr Namah said large scale clearing of the environment for projects should be carefully studied adding that the project was a DAL concern.

“The proposed project development is agriculture and is therefore outside the jurisdiction of the PNG Forest Authority,” he said.

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