THE biggest challenge for the Government is to ensure that benefits from the extractive industry are translated into tangible development, an official says.
Department of Planning and Monitoring secretary Hakaua Harry told the Papua New Guinea Mining and Energy Development alumni forum in Port Moresby last Friday that more than 78 per cent of Papua New Guinea’s export was derived from the extractive industry. The forum brought together PNG alumni from the International Mining for Development Centre, Minerals and Energy for Development Alliance and Australia Awards from the Government, civil society, industry and academia to share practical experiences and outcomes in relation to mining and energy for development.
“The challenge for Papua New Guinea is to maximise the benefits emanating from the extractive industry and distribute these benefits to communities who are directly or indirectly impacted as well as the people of Papua New Guinea,” she said.
“Managing these natural resources in a sustainable manner to achieve high quality of life without having to compromise resources intended for future generations.
“This is a very big challenge that we face.”
Harry said successive governments had relied heavily on the US$19 billion (K54.8 billion) PNG LNG project when developing policies and plans.
However, the Government had reviewed some of the policies given the commodity and global markets situation.
“In developing the Development Strategic Plan, and the medium term development plan, successive governments focused heavily on maximising economic growth based on extractive industry and agriculture export commodity,” she said.
“The Government relied too much on the PNG LNG (liquefied natural gas) project during the formulation of the previous MTDP (medium term development plan).
“However, these challenges can be addressed by ensuring that policies and plans for the sector by Government is being implemented thoroughly by all stakeholders.
“It’s about inclusive work.”