“We congratulate the new ministers on their appointments, but we are urging them to immediately address the SABL issue which has been plaguing our country for far too long”, says Eddie Tanago, campaign co-ordinator for the community advocacy group ACT NOW!
“In March, the Prime Minister publicly declared all SABL are unlawful and their cancellation was publicly confirmed by the Minister for Lands in April. Both men said any leaseholders remaining on SABL land were there illegally.
“However, we are receiving reports from around the country that foreign companies are still occupying SABL land, that logging and oil palm operations are still ongoing and police are intimidating and harassing the lawful landowners.
“We are calling on the new Ministers to confirm all the SABL have been cancelled, all SABL logging operations stopped and all police personnel withdrawn from the SABL areas,” he said.
Source: Post Courier Online
A recent article in the National Geographic magazine has put Papua New Guinea’s tropical forests at risk of being taken over by foreigners.
The report titled “Stained Trade” says that 12 percent of our land, that’s more than 8 million acres has been invaded by foreign investments through a 99-year land leasing scheme, rent free, with the government collecting royalties on exported logs.The biggest consumer of wood products is the United States with China selling almost $15 billion worth of PNG logs made into furniture, and home improvement items annually.
It’s a shame that unknowingly the U.S may unwittingly be fueling illegal logging in Papua New Guinea’s tropical forests simply by shopping at furniture stores.
A non-profit organization, ‘Global Witness’, has tracked the 9,000-mile journey of timber from the South Pacific nation, where illegal logging is rampant, through Chinese factories to retail shelves in the U.S.
The report says companies are not doing enough to ensure the wood they’re selling is legal.
While the U.S. bans the import of illegal wood, China does not.
PNG is home to the world’s third largest tropical rain forest, with mountainous terrain and hundreds of islands, Papua New Guinea is considered one of the most biodiverse places on Earth.
BY: Quintina Naime
An article on a possible large scale scam published by the Papua New Guinea National Research Institute has called for the abolishment of the Konebada Petroleum Park Authority (KPPA).
The article revealed that there is a possible large scale scam that affects land belonging to customary landowners in the Port Moresby LNG corridor, which falls within the administrative authority of KPPA.
The role of the KPPA is to facilitate, regulate and manage the park, this includes planning and coordinating development through engagement of current and future stakeholders and bringing in investment.
The article, published on April 2, is titled “Is Konebada Petroleum Park Authority a scam?”
Through National Gazette No. G76, dated 07 February 2017, the Minister for Lands and Physical Planning declared over 23,000 hectares, starting at Fairfax Harbour and ending at the PNG LNG Site, to fall under KPPA’s administrative authority.
The article highlights that the Minister for Lands has failed to seek clarification on the status of KPPA and its funding, following the Parliament Accounts Committee Report, before increasing the boundary.
The Minister faulted in his due diligence by not checking whom the new boundary would affect and how it would affect them, which have implications for traditional villages and businesses situated on this land area, says NRI.
The article calls for the retraction of the Gazette, abolishment of the KPPA and calls for investigation into the Board and Management of KPPA and KPPA Limited, and if necessary, lay charges.
It also calls for the investigation of the Minister for Lands and technical staff within the Department of Lands and Physical Planning.
Researchers and writers of the article, Logea Nao, Belden Endekra and Lucy Hamago, say the government must intervene immediately and stop this scam before it becomes a monster that kills businesses and facilitates land grabbing.
They explained that this must not be a repeat of Taurama and Manumanu experiences within the Port Moresby LNG corridor.
BY: Cedric Patjole
Lands Minister, Benny Allen, has announced the creation of the Customary Land Acquisition Board (CLAB) which will have responsibilities to the Incorporated Land Group’s and the Land Title Holders.
Minister Allen said this during his Ministerial speech on the status of the Special Agriculture Businesses Leases (SABL’s) in Parliament on Thursday.
He said the creation of the Board was imminent “now that there is a need for the supervision of an oversight body on the time frames within which all applications are processed to enable speedy delivery of results.
“And as a matter of urgency, the Board will be preceded by a Committee to be established by the National Executive Council (NEC).
During his speech, Minister Allen also revealed that the Government has revoked all SABL’s and has called for the surrender of these licenses.
“I am pleased to announce that the Government has revoked and called for the surrender of all SABL titles and in set in place a process to convert all these titles and present them to customary landowners under the revised Incorporated Land Groups System and the new Voluntary Customary Land Registration System,” Minister Allen said.
“And the State should review the SABL Commission of Enquiry’s recommendations to revoke all the existing SABL’s, thus deal with them case by case through Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) with the leadership of the National Court and the Judges, and or Mediators appointed by the Courts. This is because the indefeasibility of Land Titles must be respected at all times other wise chaos will reign over land throughout the country,” Minister Allen said.