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Forestry clarifies role in TA allegations

THE Ministry of Forestry and Research said it has no powers whatsoever to terminate any company based on a Technology Agreement as depicted.

The Forestry office responded to concern landowners from Makira, Western and Central Provinces expressing their disappointment over treatment of some logging companies with regard to the Technology Agreement in the media recently.

They claim they are not satisfied with the technology agreement allegedly obtained from the Forestry Office, which companies do not use, instead sold it.

In a statement, the Ministry of Forestry and Research says a Technology Agreement or referred to as TA is understood, is an agreement between two parties.

“In this case, it’s between the licensee or licence holder and the contractor; it’s not a licence on its own as mentioned.”

The statement explains, the Forestry Office in such case only acts as an evaluator or monitor.

Its only involvement is the approval of the initial Technology Agreement after license is granted to the company, it says.

This is clarified in the Forest Resources and Timber Utilisation FRTU (Felling Licence) Regulations 2005, Regulation 10(za), says the Forestry Office.

“…that the licensee shall not transfer, assign or dispose of the license but may, with the Commissioner of Forest Resource’s approval in writing, enter into a subcontracting arrangement for the carrying out of operations under the license.”

Thus, the Ministry of Forestry and Research is not liable to terminate any company on grounds that they breach their Technology Agreement.

It should be the licensee or the licence holder or the contractor who has the powers to terminate the technology agreement should there be any breaches to the agreement explains the Forestry Office.

The Ministry will only be notified of the actions taken by the licensee or the contractor with a copy of letter, it adds.