Award winning author gives public lecture in Port Moresby.

Couple weeks ago I went to a public lecture given by the award winning author Prof. Jared Diamond. His award winning book “Germs, Guns and Steel” was mostly derived from his research in PNG. The lecture was titled “Business & the environment”, or something to that effect. The main issue he was promoting I think was that you can conduct businesses, in particular mining and petroleum industries, with minimal impact on the environment.

He was asked by Oill Searh Limited to conduct some studies on different species of birds that are found where Oil Search is operating to determine if their operations has had any impact on these bird species. Professor Diamond was actually engaged by WWF to conduct the studies. The used the birds as an indicator to determine how much environmental damage had been done by Oil Search Limited.

I was more interested in logging in PNG but unfortunately Professor Diamond had very examples of sustainable logging in PNG. All the talk was on Oil Search. I guess it’s a promotion for Oil Search and a showcase for Oil Search Investors that Oil Search is an environmentally friendly company. I wish the same could be said for other mining companies in PNG.

I was fortunate enough to be the last person to ask him a question…Thank you Misus Kamit for choosing me. My question was, “What is your definition of sustainable logging? And have you seen any in PNG?. Professor Diamond answered the first part – He gave 10 criterias that are used to define sustainable logging. I forgot all of them but will Google “sustainable logging, definition” and see if I come up with the 10 criterias that Professor Diamond gave. The second part of my question was not answered. I guess time ran out or simple because there is no sustainable logging in PNG at present..LOL! And I got Professor Diamond’s autograph.


About rodney itaki

Medical doctor and public health specialist from Papua New Guinea.
This entry was posted in Mining & Petroleum, Politics, Research & publication, Writing. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Award winning author gives public lecture in Port Moresby.

  1. Ta says:


    I am glad you got to hear Jared Diamond. I missed him both times he has been here giving public lectures. We had some good discussions on vortexPNG about his books. Examples of sustainable logging is discussed in his book Collapse which is a good read and concerns how the Tokugawa shogunate adjusted to the economic boom following the establisment of the shogunate in Japan in ? 16th century and also shows what contrasting policies have occurred in the DOminician Republic and Haiti which share the island of Hispaniola.

    Unfortunately I was in Honiara when I heard the talk was on.

    We cannot on one hand halt economic development but if it is done in as ecologically friendly way as possible we can benefit from this.


  2. James Deboi says:

    Hi Rodney,
    Good to see you back in PNG. I believe you have learnt a lot of things in Japan which PNG can learn and implement to improve the health and living standards.
    PNG is undergoing an economic boom which every PNGean needs to tap in and prosper. PNG has learnt a lot from past experiences and I believe that if right decisions are done now mainly in the Political Side, PNG will see some light within the next 10 to 20 years.
    Send me your contact so that I can catch up with you in POM during my field break.
    Cheers mate and wellcome back!
    Dr. Deboi

  3. rodney itaki says:

    Yeah, James, I am back and in POM. Call in at the Paradise Private Hospital when you are in break.

    We need more public lectures to bring important issues for debate and discussion among the public.

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