Commission of Inquiry

Huge SABL's in Western Province 'not practical’

By Luana Paniu

A massive total of 2 million hectares granted under four but bordering Special Agriculture and Business Lease (SABL) reportedly for poultry and vegetable farming is not practical according to former Lands Secretary, Pepi Kimas.

The sub-leased areas which are located in the Western Province and extends onto the borders of both the Southern Highlands and West Sepik Provinces, includes one individual SABL totalling a land mass of 790,800 hectares.

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Sepik landowners argue over support for SABL

THE majority of the people in the Sausso local level government in East Sepik want the Special Business Lease (SABL) granted by the government under portion 144C for development of oil palm on the Sepik plains to stay, claims The National (which is owned by logging giant Rimbunan Hijau).

They said a recent statement by Jimmy Harinagu, from Rofundogum village, claiming that the people of the LLG area were unhappy with the SABL was incorrect.

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Papua New Guinea govt refuses to stop SABL inquiry

The Commission of Inquiry into the Special Agriculture and Business Lease will not be stopped, says the government.

Minister for Lands and Physical Planning Lucas Dekena told Parliament last Friday, in response to questions from Maprik MP Gabriel Kapris, that the inquiry was initiated by the former regime and the government had extended it for another three months to allow the commission to complete its work in the selected provinces.

He said the government would not stop the Commission but allow it time to submit its report to Parliament by March.

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Drekirir SABL illegal

By Luana Paniu

A K3 million agriculture and business project in Drekirkir, East Sepik Province has not been recognized by the Government as a Special Agriculture and Business Lease (SABL) despite functioning as one.

Under an agreement signed between a Malaysian Logging Company (named) and a prominent Leader, a least 56,000 hectares of land was leased in 1998 under lease-lease back arrangement for the planting of Oil Palm.

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Commission probes ITS over Western Province land deals

By Jacob Pok

THE Commission of Inquiry into the Special Agriculture Business Lease (SABL) is investigating a foreign-owned company over the acquisition of more than two million hectares of land in Western.

The Independent Timber and Stevedoring Company, a subsidiary of a US-based company, was engaged by the government to construct a 600km Trans-Papua Highway from Kiunga into Central’s Hiritano  and through three other provinces.

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Lands Officer approved SABL without Minister's consent

By Luana Paniu

A senior Government officer signed SABL approvals without the knowledge of the Minister for Lands and Physical Planning, the Commission of Inquiry in SABLs heard yesterday.

The CoI Commissioners while questioning the officer were frustrated to learn that approvals were granted without due processes being followed.

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Hundreds of new SABL cases popping up

By Luana Paniu

The Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into the Special Agriculture and Business Leases (SABL’s) has revealed that there are hundreds more SABL’s beside the 75 cases now currently before them.

According to Chief Commissioner John Numapo about one million hectares of land under the SABL had suddenly ‘popped up’ throughout the five months that the inquiry had been conducting investigations into these matters.

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Baina SABL project deal suspicious

By Luana Paniu

All necessary requirements for the granting of a Special Agriculture and Business Lease (SABL) to the Baina Agro Forestry project may hold political interest, according to the Commission of Inquiry last week.

During questioning of former Central Provincial Lands Manager, Cliff Boutau, the inquiry discovered the discrepancies with this particular SABL proved that plans had already been underway for Oil Palm development under the SABL on portion 29C Milinch Kase and Fourmil Buna for the term of 45 years.

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Civil society slam loggers access to controversial SABL leases

Environmentalists in Papua New Guinea have raised concerns about foreign companies investing in controversial land leases, reports ABC Radio.

In the latest investment, Hong Kong logging firm Pacific Plywood has joined forces with China's largest state owned timber company, Longjiang Forest Industry Group.

The investors plan to develop a 628 square kilometre lease in the East Sepik Province. 

The companies say the region has more than 2.5 million cubic metres of timber. 

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