October 22nd, 2014
Over 5 million hectares of customarily owned land has been taken from local people in a huge land grab. Using Special Agriculture and Business Leases (SABLs), foreign companies have unlawfully been given 99 year rights to an astonishing 12% of Papua New Guinea's total landmass.
A Commission of Inquiry has uncovered massive fraud and a lack of due process in granting the leases. The Commission has recommended 90% of the leases be revoked as they are illegal.
But the government led by Prime Minister Peter O'Neill has failed to implement the Commission recommendations and revoke the leases. As a result the leases remain in foreign hands and widespread logging is taking place in the lease areas.
Below is all the latest news about the land grab and the lack of government action.
October 22nd, 2014
Both the SABL land grab and the growing number of violent urban evictions in Papua New Guines are the symptoms of a misguided and destructive model of development.
The Papua New Guinea Forest Authority (PNG FA) will not cancel the Forest Clearance Authorities it has granted allowing logging inside Special Agriculture and Business Lease areas and thus is not defending the rights and interests of customary landowners.
This was made clear in a recent meeting of NGOs with the PNGFA.
Source: The National
A NATIONAL court judge has cautioned landowners to be wary of land hijacking.
Stephen Oli highlighted this during a court user forum in Kokopo last Friday.
He said with due respect, the Special Agriculture Business Leases (SABL) were a hotspot for corruption.
The PNG Forest Authority will not take responsibility and stop logging in Special Agriculture Business Lease (SABL) areas despite overwhelming evidence the logging is unlawful, says community activist group ACT NOW!
"We have met with the Managing Director, Kanawi Pouru, and senior managers and made a detailed submission but they seem more interested in protecting the interests of the foreign logging companies than defending the rights of local people", says Program Manager, Effrey Dademo.
On 26 September ACT NOW! led a delegation to meet with the Managing Director of the PNG Forest Authority and his senior managers to explain to them why the Forest Clearance Authorities issued by the Authority are null and void and should be cancelled.
The Forest Clearance Authorities have been issued to allow clear felling of forests in areas leased from customary landowners under Special Agriculture and Business Leases.
Picture: Logging i bagarapim wara long Inaina Wildlife management Area long Kairuku Hiri District long Central province (PWM Photo)
Source: ABC Radio Australia
Photo: Ka'apor Indians have formed an indigenous 'army' to combat illegal logging in their forest. © Survival
Source: Survival International
Ka’apor Indians in the Amazon rainforest have formed an indigenous “army” to combat illegal invasions of their land, following the government’s failure to protect their territory.
Source: Radio Australia
Three months after Papua New Guinea's cabinet ordered the cancellation of flawed land leases, only 5 companies have voluntarily handed back their titles.
Millions of hectares of traditional land has been affected by a land-lease scandal centred on Special Agricultural and Business Leases.
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