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Police attack villagers protesting land grab

Reports from Rovang village in the Pomio area of East New Britain say that young men protesting against logging have been beaten by police with fan belts and tree branches, according to the PNG Exposed blog.

It is alleged that an aircraft from Tropic Air, operated by notorious Malaysian logging company Rimbunan Hijau, flew the police into Palmalmal from Kokopo. Kokopo police said they were not aware of this.

Bikpela bagarap - the human face of logging in Papua New Guinea

Bikpela Bagarap is a new documentary film revealing the human face of logging in Papau New Guinea.

PNG is home to one of the richest rainforests in the world but today remains one of the few countries that still allows the export of raw logs, and this is greatly exploited by Asian logging companies. The World Bank estimates that 70% of all logging in Papua New Guinea is illegal, although most unofficial sources put the rate even higher than that.

PMs land reform promises a sham

By Peter Korugl*

On May 5, Acting Prime Minister Sam Abal announced that a Commission of Inquiry (COI) was to be established into the issue of Special Agricultural and Business Leases (SABLs) over customary land in Papua New Guinea.

Abal said the COI would investigate the granting of SABLs to ensure that all legal requirements were followed and that the leases were being used for the purposes intended in the Lands Act.

Should PNG follow the Congo and publish all resource contracts online?

The Bloomberg news service is reporting the Democratic Republic of Congo will make all resource contracts public within 60 days of signing (see below). 

Like PNG, the Congo has large mineral, oil and timber reserves and like PNG, a lack of transparency and corruption are two of the problems blighting the resource sector.

The initiative in the Congo could therefore provide an interesting example for PNG to follow.

No justification for land grabbing in Papua New Guinea or any developing country

Papua New Guinea has recently lost over 5 million hectares of land to dubious agriculture projects, a scenario that is being repeated right across the developing world.

April 17, the International Day of Peasant Struggles, was therefore an auspicious moment for prominent farmers, fisherfolk, human rights and research organisations from around the world to sharply criticised the World Bank, three UN agencies and western governments for promoting agricultural investments that are resulting in land grabbing on a massive scale.