land alienation

Campaign Launch: Celebrating and Defending Customary Land

 

ACT NOW! is today launching a new multi-media campaign 'Celebrating and Defending Customary Land’.

Why? Well, customary land is the most valuable and important asset available to most Papua New Guineans but its critical role is often misunderstood or misrepresented, particularly by outsiders.

Too few people realise customary land supports an economy estimated to be worth K40 billion a year, provides jobs and incomes for 3 million farmers and provides housing and a sense of community for more than 7 million people.

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We Took Part In An Australian Aid Program. It Was More About Helping Your Country Than Ours

By Aminio David and Anita Tenkon, published in New Matilda

Advocates for traditional landowners in Vanuatu, Aminio David and Anita Tenkon were left disillusioned by an Australian aid program. Here, they explain why.

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PMs lawyer joy over SABL scrapping

Source: PNG Loop

A legal adviser to the Prime Minister  has defended the Government’s record in fighting corruption, citing the action against the controversial SABL land deals.

Ms Tiffany Twivey-Nonggorr, law firm partner, said on Facebook today that the Government had “just killed the biggest corrupt dealings of the past 10 years’’.

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Namah in 'conflict of interest' over SABL

By PETER KORUGL*

New Opposition Leader Belden Namah has blasted the Government on its decision to set up a Commission of Inquiry into the Special Agriculture and Business Leases (SABL).

However, he may be in a conflict of interest situation because a company connected to him had such a lease and was logging in his electorate, it emerged yesterday.

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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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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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Pacific being forced to follow the wrong model of development

From Radio Australia 

Land alienation is a problem not just in Papua New Guinea but across Melanesia, and it has the potential to have a catastrophic affect on Melanesian society, according to one of the region's most experienced anthropologists.



Kirk Huffman, a former Director of the Vanuatu Cultural Centre and a Research Associate at the Australian Museum says, when it comes to land, even well-meaning investors and aid donors in Melanesia have the wrong model of development. 



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Probe into land allocations

By PETER KORUGL*

An expert team is to probe how five million hectares of customary land were acquired by foreign firms to cut logs under the pretext of developing the land for agriculture and other business activities.


The commitment was made by Lands Minister Lucas Dekena in response to concerns raised by the United Nations, green groups, NGOs and interest groups in PNG over the allocation of land in PNG by the Lands Department under the Special Agriculture and Business leases (SABL).

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Over 10% of customary land lost in dodgy agriculture leases

There has been a massive increase in the alienation and the conversion of customary land in recent years through the issuing of special agriculture and business leases (SABLs). 

The allocation of these leases, some covering hundreds of thousands of hectares, seems to be occurring outside all proper legal channels and without the informed consent of affected landowners. The leases are being handed out by the Department of Lands without compliance with relevant laws, which indicates either negligence or fraud on the part of lands officers and the government.

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