Modern Papua New Guinea

By Laura Zimmer-Tamakoshi | Go to book overview

Philip J. Hughes and Marjorie E. Sullivan


ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT,
PLANNING, AND MANAGEMENT IN PAPUA
NEW GUINEA

THE TRADITIONAL IMPORTANCE of the environment and its resources to Melanesian societies has been recognised in the Constitution of Papua New Guinea. The major piece of legislation covering environmental impact assessment, planning, and management is the Environmental Planning Act 1178, which requires that an environmental plan be submitted for any proposed development that may have significant effect on the environment. Under the Act ‘environment’ is broadly defined and includes the social and cultural as well as the biophysical environment. To date, this legislation has been widely used with project planning, but has not been applied on a regional scale.

The enactment of wide-ranging environmental planning legislation has had similar effects for resource management in Papua New Guinea, as did similar Acts in, for instance, Australia. In both cases it strengthened existing legislation, which was previously often difficult to enforce, by obliging developers to consider during the planning process likely impacts on natural and cultural resources.

The Environmental Planning Act is applied almost exclusively to new development projects, and of these, to date, only for the largerscale mining, agriculture, forestry, and infrastructure projects have environmental plans been prepared. Existing operations or new, smallscale projects that have not been subject to the Environmental Planning

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