customary land

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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Landowners give Hickey 14 days to provide answers on land grab

The people from seven villages in the Bogia district of Madang have given their MP John Hickey 14 days to provide answers on how their land has been given away without their knowledge and consent.

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Why April 17, the International Day of Peasant Struggles, is important

We should celebrate one of the largest but least recognised groups in the world, who grow most of the food we eat, says Henry Saragih*

Peasants and small farmers make up half of the world population and grow at least 70% of the world's food. This group includes small-scale farmers, pastoralists, landless people, peasant fishers and indigenous people all around the world.

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No justification for land grabbing in Papua New Guinea or any developing country

Papua New Guinea has recently lost over 5 million hectares of land to dubious agriculture projects, a scenario that is being repeated right across the developing world.

April 17, the International Day of Peasant Struggles, was therefore an auspicious moment for prominent farmers, fisherfolk, human rights and research organisations from around the world to sharply criticised the World Bank, three UN agencies and western governments for promoting agricultural investments that are resulting in land grabbing on a massive scale. 

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Papua New Guinea land reform is a sham

Post Courier editorial

Is the present Government involved in a conspiracy to take over all customary land in Papua New Guinea?

We ask this question because we are alarmed at the manner and rate at which the Special Agricultural and Business Leases (SABLs) are granted to date. According to our records, 5,114,911.85 hectares of customary land have been leased, much of the leases granted in the last two years.

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Lands Secretary signature 'all over' SABLs

The signature of the Secretary for Lands, Pepi Kimas, appears on the gazettal notices for leases taking away customary landowner rights to over 3.4 million hectares of land.

This appears to contradict Kimas's claims, Post Courier 5 April, that his Department is not responsible for the huge loss of land through 99-year Special Agricuture Business Leases over the last 5 years.

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