PNG's mangrove forests to disappear within 20 years

PNG's mangrove forests to disappear within 20 years

PNG's mangrove forests to disappear within 20 years

Posted 27 May 2008, 15:55 AEST

Scientists are warning Papua New Guinea's mangrove forests will disappear within 20 years unless moves are made now to protect them.

A marine biologist from the University of PNG, Thomas Maniwavie, says the harvesting of mangrove forests has become an unsustainable commercial industry.

He says the increasing population and the rising cost of cooking fuels like kerosene, has led to the increased burning of mangrove forest wood.

Dr Maniwavie, says if alternatives aren't found then mangrove forests will be wiped out because of over harvesting by 2028.

"Firstly village women and elderly women were picking up firewood, in small bundles for sustainable usage, then switch to menfolk in fact chopping down trees, and then only within the last five years menfolk have come along with chainsaws and with chainsaws they've ripped down more trees than they're required," he said.

"I'm quite fearful that if this rate continues we might end up having no mangroves in the next twenty years or so".