SABL land grab

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.

Posted by rait man

Community Advocacy group ACT NOW! says while it welcomes the Prime Minister's statement that illegal SABL leases need to be revoked, the delays in implementing this commitment are totally unacceptable.

On Thursday Prime Minister Peter O’Neill announced he is appointing a Ministerial committee to look into implementing the Commission of Inquiry recommendation that illegal leases be revoked.

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Posted by rait man

By Isaac Nicholas in Post Courier

THE national government will start cancelling special agriculture business leases (SABL) that were acquired illegally and restart the process with strict guidelines to protect landowners.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill told a FM 100 Talkback show yesterday that Cabinet has appointed a ministerial committee headed by Forest Minister Patrick Pruaitch and relevant industry ministers of Lands (Benny Allen) and Agriculture (Tommy Tomscoll) to take note of the SABL Inquiry report and implement its recommendations.

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Posted by rait man

From ABC Radio Australia

An international expert on land-grabbing says the Pacific has some of the world's worst examples of the practice.

Land-grabbing happens when, usually foreign companies, buy or lease large tracts of land for a pittance robbing traditional owners of a birthright that has been theirs for generations and which should be providing an economic future for their children.

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Posted by rait man

By John Papik on Radio Australia

Wanpela Papua New Guinea NGO, ACT NOW! i sapotim ripot blong SABL olsem gavman imas hariap nau na rausim planti korap tok oraet oa agriman em oli bin givim igo long ol bisnis man long lisim graon blong ol igo long ol foran kampani.

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Posted by rait man

By Jo Chandler in The Global Mail

Only the Amazon and Congo basins rival Papua New Guinea for pristine tropical wilderness. But 5 million hectares of its jungle is under threat from foreign land grabs and back-door logging. The PNG Government is under intense pressure to tear up illegal leases – but the chainsaws haven’t paused.

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Posted by rait man

From Jemima Garrett on Australia Network News

The chairman of Papua New Guinea's land scandal inquiry says flawed leases over millions of hectares of traditional land need to be revoked.

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Posted by Tim

ABC Radio Australia

Non-government organisations in Papua New Guinea are concerned that nothing will come of Prime Minister Peter O'Neill's task force set up to examine findings of the Commission of Inquiry into the PNG's land scandal.

Over a decade more than 5 million hectares of land, belonging to tens of thousands of traditional landowners was leased out, in many cases without their consent.

The Commission of Inquiry was so concerned it recommended 66 of the 75 leases it investigated be revoked.

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Posted by rait man

Community advocacy group ACT NOW! is backing the call from the leader of the SABL Commission of Inquiry for the Prime Minister to immediately revoke illegal SABL leases.

The head of the Commission of Inquiry, John Numapo, says it is clear the leases should be revoked because they are illegal. He says there can be no excuse for the government sitting on the Commission recommendations, which were presented to the Prime Minister 6 months ago.

Effrey Dademo, Program Manager for ACT NOW! agrees.

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Posted by rait man

From ABC Radio Australia

The Chairman of Papua New Guinea's land scandal Inquiry says action is needed to revoke flawed leases over millions of hectares of traditional land.

Three Commissioners took more than a year to investigate how 11 per cent of the country's land mass was leased out and if landowners had given their consent.

Many of the leases are for 99 years.

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