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Papua New Guinea
  • Independent State of Papua New Guinea Constitution, 1975

The Constitution of Papua New Guinea1 provides for environmental protection in its 4th Article:
"We declare our fourth goal to be for Papua New Guinea's natural resources and environment to be conserved and used for the collective benefit of us all, and be replenished for the benefit of future generations. WE ACCORDINGLY CALL FOR "(1) wise use to be made of our natural resources and the environment in and on the land or seabed, in the sea, under the land, and in the air, in the interests of our development and in trust for future generations; and(2) the conservation and replenishment, for the benefit of ourselves and posterity, of the environment and its sacred, scenic, and historical qualities; and (3) all necessary steps to be taken to give adequate protection to our valued birds, animals, fish, insects, plants and trees."

Papua New Guinea also got in 2000 an Environment Act. The objectives of this Act are:
"(a) to promote the wise management of Papua New Guinea natural resources for the collective benefit of the whole nation and ensure renewable resources are replenished for future generations; and
(b) to protect the environment while allowing for development in a way that improves the quality of life and maintains the ecological processes on which life depends;
And (c) to sustain the potential of natural and physical resources to meet the reasonably foreseeable needs of future generations, and safeguard the life-supporting capacity of air, water, land and eco-systems; and
(d) to ensure that proper weight is given to both long-term and short-term social, economic, environmental and equity considerations in deciding all matters relating to environmental management, protection, restoration and enhancement;
And (e) to avoid, remedy or mitigate any adverse effects of activities on the environment by regulating in an integrated, cost-effective and systematic manner, activities, products, substances and services that cause environmental harm;
And (f) to require persons engaged in activities which have a harmful effect on the environment progressively to reduce or mitigate the impact of those effects as such reductions and mitigation become practicable through technology and economic developments; and
(g) to allocate the costs of environmental protection and restoration equitably and in a manner that encourages responsible use of, and reduced harm to, the environment;
And (h) to apply a precautionary approach to the assessment of risk of environmental harm and ensure that all aspects of environmental quality affected by environmental harm are considered in decisions relating to the environment; and
(i) to regulate activities which may have a harmful effect on the environment in an open and transparent manner and ensure that consultation occurs in relation to decisions under this Act with persons and bodies who are likely to be affected by them; and
(j) to provide a means for carrying into effect obligations under any international treaty or convention relating to the environment to which Papua New Guinea is a party."

For further information regarding environment protection and environment conservation policies in Papua New Guinea, please access the official website of the Department of Environment and Conservation.

1. The official English version of the Constitution of Papua New Guinea is available on the Government's official website.