V. ASSESSMENT OF TRAINING AND INFORMATION NEEDS
C. Training needs
The findings of this study indicate that the current level of training in the environmental and mining agencies of the government appears to be woefully inadequate. The government agencies have been unable to effectively carry out their mandate for environmental monitoring and enforcement as a result of the lack of specialized skills in various areas. For example, there are only three senior officers in the Policy and Planning Branch of the Department of Environment and Conservation. The National Fisheries Authority and the Department of Environment and Conservation have benefited from development assistance for institutional strengthening schemes. ADB provided assistance in administrative functions while usAID">AusAID provided limited in-house training. Ad hoc internal local training has also been provided by the Papua New Guinea Institute of Public Administration and the National Research Institute. However, there has been no specific training for government officials in the integration of environmental concerns into development policy formulation.
The major need is for capacity-building within the Department of Environment and Conservation, the lead environmental agency. More mine inspectors need to be recruited and trained, and assistance is required in training staff in the preparation and drafting of regulations and standards for pollution control legislation. Department of Environment and Conservation staff require training in the collection, interpretation and reporting of socio-economic and environmental data, as well as conducting SIAs and social monitoring. Currently, many of those functions are carried out by the universities and independent consultants.
Although the manpower situation in the Department of Mining and Petroleum is somewhat better than in the Department of Environment and Conservation, it is still inadequate compared to the private sector. The Department of Mining and Petroleum has to compete with the mining companies for skilled staff. Given the more attractive conditions of service in the private sector, the Department of Mining and Petroleum has had problems in retaining skilled staff. While the issue of offering differential salaries within the public sector is a complex one, the government needs to urgently examine ways in which it can reduce the high turnover of skilled personnel.
Additional laboratory equipment and trained personnel are required by the Bureau of Water Resources in order to effectively carry out the analysis of samples and undertake monitoring and enforcement. Economists within NPO and NSO need to be trained in environmental and natural resource accounting, as well as environmental-economic modelling, to enable them to provide the policy makers with analyses of the trade-offs between the conservation of natural resources and development alternatives.