I. NATIONAL INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS FOR INTEGRATING ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS INTO POLICY DECISION-MAKING PROCESSES
C. Institutional framework
3. Role of government and non-governmental agencies in the policy decision-making process
Table 5 provides a listing of the relevant government and non-governmental organizations involved in environmental management in Papua New Guinea. In this section a brief overview is given of their functions and influence in the policy decision-making process in the minerals sector.
Table 5: Relevant ministries, departments, agencies and non-governmental organizations with some environmental responsibilities in Papua New Guinea
The Ministry of Finance is responsible for economic and social planning, budgeting, and social and economic statistics. As already mentioned, the Department of Environment and Conservation is responsible for environmental assessment, monitoring and enforcement, while the Department of Mining and Petroleum is responsible for monitoring the mining operations and environmental safeguards. Department of Environment and Conservation is also responsible for the development forums which are an essential part of EPA. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Department of Environment and Conservation are responsible for the implementation and discussion of international treaties. The Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, through the National Fisheries Authority, is responsible for the management and conservation of fish stocks and stock assessment. The National Fisheries Authority cooperates with the Department of Environment and Conservation in enforcing related environmental legislation such as the Dumping of Wastes at Sea Act. The Ministry of Forestry and the Ministry of Agriculture through their relevant departments (National Forests Authority and the Department of Agriculture and Livestock) are responsible for forest management and commercial/subsistence agriculture, respectively. The Ministry of Law and Order, which embraces Parliament, the judiciary, the Attorney-General's Department, the police and correctional institutions, is responsible for formulating environmental legislation, and the arrest, prosecution and detention of offenders.
The tertiary educational institutions offer courses in environmental science, natural resource/environmental economics and environmental law, and they conduct environmental assessment, and monitoring and research. School syllabi contain units on the environment and ecology. The National Research Institute conducts research and provides advice to government policy makers. Other public institutions which play a role in environmental management include the National Museum and the National Culture Council. As already noted, NGOs such as the Melanesian Environment Foundation and the Wau Ecology Institute are actively involved in environmental awareness and education campaigns in Papua New Guinea.
Table 5 also provides a subjective ranking of the various agencies/institutions in terms of their influence in decisions affecting environmental matters in the minerals sector. The Department of Finance and Planning, in its role as controller of the national treasury, has the most influence in decisions regarding the environment and development. The Department of Mining and Petroleum, which oversees an economic portfolio that contributes significantly to national income, also has a major influence in the decision-making structure. Although the Department of Environment and Conservation may emphasize the environmental aspects of non-renewable projects, it does not have much influence over the final outcome.
In some cases, the concerns of the Department of Environment and Conservation have been over-ridden. Table 5 also shows that NGOs have the least influence in the formal decision-making process. However, those organizations have been very effective in expanding environmental awareness and education, and they have been successful in galvanizing public support for many environmental causes.