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Posted Mon Mar 1 2010: from Sydney Morning Herald, from DesdemonaDespair:
Rampant logging 'destroying Papua New Guinea'
Brother Jim Coucher worked in and near Vanimo on the north-west coast of PNG for 43 years until five years ago. Just returned from his first visit since, he was utterly horrified at the changes, he said yesterday, the speed of destruction caused by logging and corruption, and the plight of the local people.... ''I don't think anyone has an idea of the extent of logging, and I don't think anything can be done,'' Brother Coucher said. He does not want his religious order identified for fear of reprisals against members still working in Papua New Guinea.... The landowner, a sub-clan chief, said loggers destroyed a creek that had provided fish for his villagers. They bulldozed breadfruit trees, sago and coconut palms, and built a wharf in the harbour that meant villagers could not fish. They hired almost no villagers, he said. Instead, they brought in unskilled Asian workers. ''Malnutrition is rampant. It is horrible to see young mothers who are skin and bone. There is no sanitation, no running water -- it is a time bomb,'' the landowner said. ''They are logging Vanimo to its death.''
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