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.

Papua New Guinea’s Real Economy - Factsheet

Many outsiders and local elites like to describe customary land as ‘idle’, ‘undeveloped’ and ‘a barrier to development’

Customary Land Lies - Brochure 

But exactly the opposite is true:

Customary land is the only resource on which we can build a sustainable future that benefits the majority of the population rather than just a tiny minority.

But if we are to realise this opportunity people must be empowered to defend their customary land and must not to fall victim to the false promises of those who want to take it away from them.

This is particularly important as we struggle to cope with our population explosion, which will see numbers almost double by 2050, and food security becomes even more of a pressing global issue.

PNG’s Population Explosion - Infographic and Poster

Already some countries are looking to acquire customary land in Papua New Guinea to feed their own people while the threats from the foreign owned logging and oil palm industries are ever present. Adding to these pressures are the international banks who want people to use their customary land as security for loans and a government which continues to push its dangerous land registration agenda  and encourage incorporated land groups. ILGs give control over communal assets to a few individuals and open the door to corruption and, ultimately, alienation. 

Land Registration: Too Dangerous To Touch - Report and Factsheet 

It is to help address the urgent need for better information at all levels of society about customary land, its values and the threats, that ACT NOW! is launching its new campaign.

The campaign includes a television advertisement and a range of publications including reports, brochures, factsheets, infographics, videos and posters. 

Customary Land and the Huge Economy it Supports - video / TV advert

How to get involved:

  • SHARE - post links to our video and other campaign materials on all your social media and share them via email. Help create a huge audience.
  • DONATE - every contribution will be used to buy more TV airtime and print more awareness materials -
  • CREATE - email us [] with your ideas for songs, videos, cartoons, posters or anything else to help promote the campaign 
  • DOWNLOAD - all the campaign materials can be downloaded from our website and can be distributed as printed copies or pdf files