Category Archives: PNG Forestry

NEC approves 5yr extension for registration of land groups

October 20, 2017 
Source: The National
THE National Executive Council (NEC) has approved a five-year extension for the registration of Integrated Land Groups(ILGs).
Lands and Physical Planning Minister Justin Tkatchenko told The National that it would be welcomed by the business community, especially in the agriculture sector, resources sectors and industries.
The extension is expected to give time to landowners to clearly identify their land.
The deadline lapsed in February.
“NEC has approved for the five-year extension for the ILGs to be identified and certified as requested by the industry and business houses, especially the New Britain Oil Palm, Mineral Resources Development Corporation, Oil Search and the big companies that deal with landowners in their developments and activities,” he said.
“Whether it’s agriculture, mining or development, whatever the area is, the ILGs can now be properly and correctly identified.”
Tkatchenko said a lot of ILGs had still not been clearly identified when the deadline lapsed eight months ago.
“Customary landowners and ownership of this ILGs have not been properly identified,” he said.
“So there was a request for the business side of things and for our big corporate companies that deal with customary land and landowners in our country.”
Tkatchenko said it was part of the 100-day plan that Treasurer and Deputy Prime Minister Charles Abel had put forward.

30 Million Hectares Intact: Tomuriesa



BY MATTHEW VARI of Post-Courier

PAPUA New Guinea currently has 30 million hectares of untouched pristine rainforest cover in the country.

This does not include an additional six million hectares currently subjected to human activities.

Minister for Forests, Douglas Tomuriesa announced the figures for the country’s forest inventory at the launch of the country’s National REDD+ Strategy (NRS) 2017-2027.

“I am pleased to inform the gathering today that about 75 per cent or 30 million hectares of our forest are still intact with very little or no human disturbances,” he said.

He said maintenance of natural resources should be recognised by the global community, and the priority of government rests with the wellbeing of the people, who own almost all the forests.

“The international community has time to involve Papua New Guinea and is able to talk with us about elements of REDD+ because of the abundance and quality of our forests.”

“We are thankful that out of these efforts and outcomes of performance-based approaches in the NRS, PNG will qualify for the revenue flows from the international climate change funds.”

“Of the 46 million hectares that constitute the total landmass of PNG, 36 million hectares, or 78 per cent, is under forest cover,” he said.

He said the country is aware of its global responsibility to protect the biodiversity of its natural forests, but other countries take on the approach.

“Our forests are critical to our development from biodiversity as well as from our source of economy perspective.”

“In PNG, forests are essential to our environment, our economy, and our society.”

Annually, the forest sector contributes significantly to the country’s GDP, and government revenues, and is a source for forest resource owners who constitute 85 per cent of the population in the rural areas.

The minister pointed out the main group in the country that needs convincing to maintain forests remains, are the landowners.

Announcements On SABL To Be Made This Week



BY MATTHEW VARI of Post-Courier

A major announcement will be made this week on special agricultural and business lease (SABL), says Lands and Physical Planning Minister, Justin Tkatchenko.


These leases have been the subject of much debate both within and abroad in addressing the issues of illegally acquired land leases under the guise of the lease arrangement.


Mr Tkatchenko said since his appointment to the ministry, he has ensured that a high-level committee dealt with all the leases.


“As you know, we have set up the committee to go through every SABL file and the decision from the commission of inquiry.”


“With that, I will be making some very strong and firm and positive decisions on the leases that have already been investigated by the committee,” he said.


“There are some serious matters from these SABLs that have come up and the country will be very happy because we have had enough.”


He said there has been stealing of public, customary, and other land, where no consultations had ever been done, but his ministry would get to the bottom of the issues before the New Year.


“To all the customary landowners, the ILGs, bear with me. We are going to make sure that before the end of this year that most of these issues are resolved.”


Tkatchenko assured the landowners that the committee in place is a serious one that sits every week to deliberate.


“The committee is not just a giaman (fake) committee set up just to make us look good. They have to work and get outcomes that pleases the situation at hand.”


Prime Minister Peter O’Neill announced in November last year Cabinet’s decision to revoke all SABL titles.


Despite the decision, concerns were raised on the slow response of the department responsible in carrying out the revocation process.

New PNG Lands Minister Promises Top To Bottom Cleanout

Papua New Guinea’s new Lands Minister says it’s his mission to clean up the entrenched corruption in the Lands Department.

Justin Tkatchenko says he’s formulating a five year plan to weed out a network of corrupt officials who facilitate crooked land deals that alienate Papua New Guineans from their land.

Appointed as Lands & Physical Minister this month in Peter O’Neill’s new-look government, Mr Tkatchenko warns that he may make himself unpopular with some department staff.

He spoke to Johnny Blades about taking on the job.



JUSTIN TKATCHENKO:  Yeah it is a major responsibility and it has huge problems that need rectifying immediately and for the long term. And I have faced in my own electorate in Moresby South issues and problems with the lands department with land grabbing and stealing and all this sort of stuff protecting public places and all the rest. So I understand the problems we have that need to be rectified.

JOHNNY BLADES: How is it there are these problems through the lands department and with the way the land is used.

JT: I think this has accumulated for many many years. And land is a scarce commodity in our country especially in our city areas our urban areas we are finding selfish greedy individuals are bribing and corrupting land department officials to get portions and allotments of land that they are not entitled to and stealing public places. Land is a quick way of making money. And through the lands board we have had great difficulty where the land has been given away to foreigners and to Papua New Guineans and then not applied for and what they wanted to do on that land has not been implemented and they have just utilised that land got the land and sold it and made money. So there’s rorts in the system everybody clearly has the perception that the lands department is totally corrupt. So it is my job to change that perception and that is going to be a massive task so we are introducing some key sectors here and one of them is the setting up of the fraud and complaints unit with the department of personnel management inside the lands department. Where any person or public can go and register their complaints on land deals and the staff within the lands department. That really hasn’t been done and we are putting in four staff dedicated from the personnel management area. HR and as well as two lawyers to go through all the complaints all the fraud. Look at all of those who have been suspended and reinstated or terminated and reinstated and just clean up the department from top to bottom. Now I am not going to be the most popular person here I am probably going to be the most hated minister after I do it. But at the end of the day it is needed. So the public places, recreational facilities land our people’s customary land is finally given back to the rightful owners and for the right usages.

JB: I was going to ask you about the SABLs ?

JT: That I will be making a press conference on that in the next couple of days and with that the NEC has issued for a high powered committee to be set up to review and to cancel all SABLs that are not adhering to what they are set out for them to do. For example how can you have an agricultural lease here in Port Moresby in a residential area? It doesn’t make sense. So there are a lot of SABLs that are totally not doing the purpose that they are supposed to be doing in respect to agriculture and other things like that. There are some SABLs that have worked very very well in the country. And the people have done the right thing when they have applied for it. So these need to be sorted out.

JB: I guess you have been, you will be well aware of some of the complaints from some of the landowner advocates or that the statement about the cancellation of the ones that have been fraudulently obtained which according to that report back in 2013 was the majority of them. But they still hadn’t been cancelled and I think the forestry minister had indicated that they would probably be converted to customary leases which just sounds like another name for something that is still bad. So what can you do about that?

JT: So what has happened is that within the department and the state solicitor is involved with this as well and the provincial affairs office. We there has been a high power committee set up to go over the reports especially that was given to us by the two commissioners and from there we will then issue the SABLs will be either cancelled or continued on terms and conditions that I would say ninety percent of them will be reviewed of being cancelled. No other SABLs given the direction are to be issued at all from our department. That is now stopped and cancelled and we have to rectify all these ones that are currently causing problems for our people as we speak. So this is going to take time and I will personally get involved to ensure that there is no side deals and the complaints are taken seriously and legitimately and we will work with the department of forestry and the agriculture department on the ones that are working well, those that are not will be cancelled.



Source: Radio NZL

Call To Improve Timber Value

THE Director of PNG Forest Institute in Lae, Dr Martin Golman, has called for institutions to work together to promote the downstream processing of timber and improve its value.


He made this call last Friday during a workshop by several partners from PNG and Australia to enhance value-added wood processing in the country.


“Collaborative support from every organisation can improve downstream processing of timber in the country. Only 20 per cent of timber is processed here while 80 per cent is exported and processed overseas so we must work together to increase that,” he said.


Dr Golman highlighted that processing of timber in the country promoted the Governments’  policy of downstream processing.


“Small-scale timber producers who produce 500 to 5,000 cubic meters of timber can treat process their timber before exporting,” he said.


Head of the Department of Forestry at University of Technology Dr Mex Peki said that downstream processing of timber could be improved through more research.


“By 2030, we want more than 80 per cent of our timber to be processed here in the country. This can be achieved through continuous support from institutions,” he said.


The workshop is was funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, PNG Forest Research Institute, Unitech, PNG Timber and Forest Industry Training College and PNG Forest Industries Association.

via: The National [15/08/17]