SABL Campaign Updates

SABL logger cheating Bewani locals

“What little I get from my royalty payments I give back to the logging company because most business houses in Vanimo town, including the only supermarket are owned by the logging company. Moreover, the company cheats me by claiming money from my royalty payments”

That’s from Emap Itep of Aimbai village in Bewani, West Sepik Province.

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Police and army accused of serving SABL loggers

Peter Tai is the Chief of Aimbai village, one of 26 villages in Bewani, West Sepik Province. Just like the other people Act Now! met in Bewani, Chief Peter had no knowledge that Malaysian logging companies would be taking over their land, until they arrived.

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Government accused of lying over SABL land grab

ACT NOW! has accused the government of lying to the nation over the SABL land grab and says people across the country will be angry and disappointed.

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National Court rules another two SABLs null & void

Source: PNGi Central

The National Court has ruled a further two Special Agriculture and Business Leases null and void for constructive fraud.

David Mota -V- Albert Camillus and Akami Oil Palm Limited (2014) is the sixth reported National Court decision* in which SABL leases have been quashed for a failure by the State to ensure the informed consent of customary landowners and to strictly comply with the requirements of the Land Act.

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ACT NOW! in SABL call to new Ministers

New Ministers called on to confirm SABLs cancelled, logging stopped and police withdrawn

ACT NOW! is calling on the newly sworn in Minister for Forests, Douglas Tomuriesa, the new Minister for Lands, Justin Tkatchenko, and new Police Minister, Jelta Wong, to confirm the cancellation of all SABL leases.

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US retail one end of supply chain for illegal PNG logs

Bewani landowners walk across pile of felled logs, West Sepik Province

Bewani landowners walk across pile of felled logs, West Sepik Province Photo: Global Witness Media

Source: Johnny Blades, Radio New Zealand

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Lands claims 'legal issues hindering cancellation of SABLs'

 

The Prime Minister, Peter O'Neill, and the Lands Minister, Benny Allen promised in April that all Special Agriculture Business Leases (SABLs) were being cancelled. Their promises came one after another, seemingly coordinated to placate the public on the eve of elections. But now the Lands Department is claiming 'legal issues' have prevented any cancellations - see report below. It looks like the Prime Minister and the Lands Minister's promises were just empty words...

Source: The National Newspaper

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Value of customary land highlighted

The value of customary land when left in local hands and the issue of compensation for the SABL land grab have both been highlighted in a seminar organised by ACT NOW!

The seminar featured Sydney University academic Dr Tim Anderson. Dr Anderson presented his report on assessing compensation for the wrongful loss of customary land.

The event was featured by all the TV networks in their evening news programs - their coverage can be viewed below.

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Assessing compensation for the wrongful loss of customary land

The SABL land grab has once again raised the issue of compensation for rural communities when outsiders unlawfully occupy or cause damage on their land. How do you assess the losses when there are no market values for customary land in Papua New Guinea?

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Plenty more work needed to address SABL injustices

The government still has plenty of work to do to redress the injustice of the SABL land grab and illegal logging.

ACT NOW! is cautiously optimistic the government is moving in the right direction by cancelling the SABL leases, but this is only a first step.

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