customary land

Opposition against Abal's Commission of Inquiry on land leases says Namah

Acting Prime Minister, Sam Abal’s decision to appoint a Commission of Inquiry into  Special Purpose Agriculture and Business Leases (SABLs) and subsequent suspension of forest clearance permits issued under such leases, has come under scathing attack from vocal Opposition MP, and PNG Party leader, Belden Namah.

Namah also says more stiff opposition is expected from stakeholders throughout Papua New Guinea.

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Lands Minister's denial of a scam is beyond comprehension

By Lester Seri

Minister Lucas Dekena’s denial that “there is no scam, con or land grabbing in PNG” is the worst denial of the century made by any Minister in PNG. To make statements of denial while there are scores of documented evidence on land fraud starring at him is beyond comprehension.

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Commission of inquiry applauded: Post Courier

The Special Agricultural and Business Leases (SABLs) over customary land has been the subject of much debate in recent months. On our part, we [Post Courier] have been investigating these land deals, and have done our part by exposing some of those fraudulent activities with the help of the affected landowners, non-government organisations and green groups, who have also been taking up the fight, on behalf of the village people who have lost their rights to their land in these dealings at the government and international levels.

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ACT NOW! congratulates Acting PM on land grab announcement

ACT NOW! has congratulated the Acting Prime Minister, Sam Abal, on his announcement of a Commission of Inquiry into Special Purpose Agriculture and Business Leases and an immediate moratorium on any further deals. 

“We applaud the Acting Prime Minister for recognizing these leases have been abused and the potentially devastating impacts they have on the lives of so many people,” said ACT NOW! Program Manager, Effrey Dademo.

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Commission of Inquiry into Special Agriculture and Business Leases announced

Acting Prime Minister, the Hon. Sam Abal MP, has announced the government’s intention to set up a Commission of Inquiry into the issue of Special Purpose Agriculture and Business Leases.

The Commission will investigate the grant of Special Purpose Agriculture and Business Leases covering some 5.2 million hectares of customary land to ensure all legal requirements have been followed and that the leases are being used for the purposes intended in the legislation.

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Papua New Guinea Lands Minister rubbishes agriculture lease claims

Papua New Guinea's Lands Minister has come out in the media to strongly back the controversial Special Purpose Agriculture and Business Leases which have been heavily criticized by landholders, NGOs, scientists and academics in PNG and overseas.

The leases have been described as a huge land grab, but the Minister apparently sees nothing wrong.

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Government hit over land grab in Wantok adverts

NGOs in Papua New Guinea have published two full-page advertisements in this weeks tok pisin language Wantok newspaper criticizing the government over its alienation of more than 5 million hectares of customary land.

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Government wants to expand leases to cover 20% of Papua New Guinea

Lands and Physical Planning Minister, Lucas Dekena, has confirmed the government has handed out 99-year leases covering more than than 5 million hectares of customary land and revealed that the government intends to double the number of leases so they cover 20% of Papua New Guinea's land mass.

The Minister has rejected the widespread criticism of the Special Agriculture Business Leases (SABL) and said the state had no choice as it wanted to free up land for development because more than 95% of the land was owned by the customary landowners.

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Lands Secretary response on agriculture leases fails to address the real issue

While addressing members of the media and NGO groups, on Thursday 21st April, the Acting Secretary for the Department of Lands, Romilly Kila-Pat, made comments to the effect that the State has no control over business dealings between customary landowners and foreign businesses after a Special Agricultural Business Lease (SABL) title is registered.

This statement missed the point completely and failed to address the main issue and surrounding the controversial SABLs issued over 5.2 million hectares customary land throughout Papua New Guinea.

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