I. NATIONAL INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS FOR INTEGRATING ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS INTO POLICY DECISION-MAKING PROCESSES
In 1880, gold was discovered on Sudest Island. In 1926, substantial deposits of gold were discovered in the upper Watutu and Bulolo rivers in Morobe province, and the following year a Royal Commissioner was appointed to listen to the grievances of small claimholders against the leaseholders who had already claimed the best parts of the Morobe goldfields. As a result of the basis of the findings of the Commission, a new mining ordinance was formulated based on the Queensland Mining Act of 1898. During the period of colonization by Australia no articulated policy or legislation existed which related to environmental protection and no institutional arrangements were in place for dealing with environmental issues. The exceptions were the Fauna Protection and Control Act, 1966, the Crocodile Trade (Protection) Ordinance, 1966, and the National Parks and Gardens Ordinance, 1966. Environmental legislation and institutions were developed after Papua New Guinea achieved independence in 1975.
This chapter describes the existing regulatory systems and the institutional framework for integrating environmental concerns into the policy decision-making process. In discussing the institutional framework, new government initiatives such as the creation of a National Planning Office (NPO) in 1996 and changes to the provincial government system are considered as both have implications for the integration of environmental concerns into the policy decision-making process. In addition, the relevant NGOs which have a role to play in the process are identified and an assessment of the adequacy of the existing arrangements is provided.