Customary Land

Will Agriculture Summit Focus on the Right Areas?

Rural Farmers Need Support - Not Foreign Owned Agri-businesses. Photo: Oxfam

Author: Eddie Tanago

Papua New Guinea's first ever National Agriculture Summit should be focused on helping Papua New Guinea’s 3 million rural farmers and not on assisting large foreign owned industries to grab more customary land.  

SABL: A Misconceived Development Perception

Source: Centre For Environmental Law and Community Rights

The rural population of Papua New Guinea have long suffered at the hands of both foreign and national developers. This short documentary film captures the environmental injustice and human rights violation being experienced by the communities, living in the Special Agriculture Business Leases (SABL) project site of Pomio and Kairak in the East New Britain Province.

Bewani ILG Chairmen 'assaulted and forced to sign SABL agreements'

“Our houses were torn down, and we were beaten and threatened to cooperate with the company’s demands. Our MP Beldan Namah initiated the project, and so was leading in all that.”

That’s from Jack Luke, an Incorporated Land Group (ILG) Chairman from the Bewani Oil Palm Plantation in the West Sepik (Sandaun) Province.

SABL land grab dividing families

Anna Kwembi from Elis village of Bewani in the West Sepik Province is not fond of the experiences and changes the Malaysian logging company, operating under a Special Agriculture Business Lease, has brought to her area, and its impacts on her and her family. Like many others ActNow! has come across while investigating the Bewani area, Anna is struggling to keep the logging company out of her family’s land area, but she’s struggling alone.

SABL logger cheating Bewani locals

“What little I get from my royalty payments I give back to the logging company because most business houses in Vanimo town, including the only supermarket are owned by the logging company. Moreover, the company cheats me by claiming money from my royalty payments”

That’s from Emap Itep of Aimbai village in Bewani, West Sepik Province.