The first export of sustainably harvested timber from communities in East New Britain, Papua New Guinea (PNG), is on its way to New Zealand.

The sawn timber, harvested by West Pomoi communities, is billed as a positive advertisement for sustainably harvested timber in the country. The 30m3 consignment may eventually be used for specialist construction work in Hawaii.

Exports are expected to grow significantly, with production coming from two additional communities currently receiving training in sawmilling and chainsaw felling techniques.

Output could eventually reach 100m3 per month, according to the EU-funded Eco-Forestry Programme, which is backing the venture.