PNG LNG report signals commitment to work for community good
A report released on May 29 on the impact of the multi-billion dollar Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project in Papua New Guinea highlights the value of bringing diverse interest groups together to address social challenges, says Dr Kerry Enright, National Director of UnitingWorld.
The LNG project offers the prospect of substantial economic growth to Papua New Guinea’s Hela region. But with that promise has come significant social upheaval.
The report, The Community Good – Examining the Influence of the PNG LNG Project in the Hela Region of Papua New Guinea – recognises the industry’s contribution to the community and warns of continuing major concerns that must not be ignored.
“This report identifies opportunities and does not shrink from naming key issues the community, church, government and industry need to face up to,” Dr Enright says. “It also shows the various parties’ willingness to work together for the community good. The challenge is to act on the report in the crucial next two years.”
United Church in Papua New Guinea (UCPNG) Development Secretary Uvenama Rova echoes Dr Enright’s hope. “The research project enabled people with a range of views – the community, government and industry – to talk together about the issues we face,” he says.
“We’re especially grateful to our partner, UnitingWorld, for recognising the need and the value of this project and for supporting the production of the report.
“As a result we now have the chance to work together on the challenges identified in the report for the good of the community.”
UnitingWorld will continue to work alongside the United Church of Papua New Guinea to communicate the report’s findings and empower communities in the Hela Region regarding its recommendations.
The report results from an extensive research project initiated by the Papua New Guinea Church Partnership Program, a development collaboration between seven Australian church denominations, their partners in Papua New Guinea and AusAID, and Oxfam PNG.
UnitingWorld is an agency of the National Assembly of the Uniting Church in Australia and is a partner in the PNG Church Partnership Program (CPP). The CPP joined with Oxfam, ChildFund, University of Otago, Melanesian Institute and Jubilee Australia in sponsoring the research.