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MILDA commemorates 10 years of Melanesian solidarity

Source: Joey Tau - PANG

A celebration of Melanesian people and our land took place last week in Takara village, Vanuatu to commemorate a decade of resistance and protection of Melanesian values and ways.

The Melanesian Indigenous Land Defence Alliance (MILDA) was formed in 2009 by a collective of individuals who shared a vision and commitment to working together to protect customary land systems and Melanesian values.

Land Summit warning viewed over 13,000 times

A short video warning customary landowners about the government’s intention to use the National Land Summit to spark a new land grab has been viewed more than 13,000 times in less than a fortnight.

Produced by ACT NOW!, the video explains how the Land Summit will lead to commercial banks and foreign companies being given more access to customary land. This is in response to the government being forced to stop the issuing of new SABL leases.

Minister must name cancelled SABL leases

 

ACT NOW! is calling on the Minister for Lands, Justin Tkatchenko to name the Special Agriculture Business Leases he claims have been cancelled. 

The Minister has stated on social media that of 53 Special Agriculture Business Leases reviewed, 34% have been cancelled via voluntary surrender, 2% cancelled via consent or court order and 12% have been referred for further verification. 

SABL Scandal Buried and Forgotten

 

The government has tried to bury and forget the SABL land grab scandal in which more than 5 million hectares of land has been stolen from rural communities.

It is using a well tested formula that we see employed almost every time a new corruption scandal is exposed:

  1.  First a long-drawn out official inquiry that is delayed by funding and other logistical problems.

  2.  Then a further delay before the inquiry findings are tabled in Parliament.

Construction Work Halted on Site of Fraudulent SABLs

Fraudulent SABLs that the government has failed to cancel despite the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry are still causing conflict and injustice - see stories below.

This is what the Commission of Inquiry said about the SABL over Portions 2465C and 2466C.  

“There was misrepresentation and fraud involved in the whole process” [Report p164]

Landowner signatures were forged in “a criminal act” [p150].

New Study Reveals Dangers Inherent in Land Registration

Photo: New oil palm planting and processing mill in Pomio District, ENBP

Customary land registration processes can easily be captured by local ‘big men’ and companies with disastrous consequences for local people. This is the conclusion drawn in a study on recent oil palm expansion in Papua New Guinea by academic Caroline Hambloch from the University of London.