Australia is the largest single beneficiary of rampant and unsustainable logging and land grabbing in Papua New Guinea, according to leading community activist group, ACT NOW!
Moves by the government to review the Lands Act and introduce revised legislation are premature and focus attention away from the real problem - corruption, says community activist group, ACT NOW!
“Changes to the law ignore the corruption that is at the root of most of the current problems with land administration and therefore any changes will do nothing to stop the ongoing abuses”, says Program Manager Effrey Dademo.
The PNG Forest Authority will not take responsibility and stop logging in Special Agriculture Business Lease (SABL) areas despite overwhelming evidence the logging is unlawful, says community activist group ACT NOW!
ACT NOW! and the Bismarck Ramu Group have warned the Prime Minister that landowners will not be satisfied until they know the NEC decision to cancel the unlawful SABL leases and amend the Land Act has been implemented.
They are also calling on the National Forest Board to immediately revoke the Forest Clearance Authorities granted under the SABL leases and stop the illegal logging.
John Chitoa says while the announcement of the NEC decision is an encouraging sign promises have been made before without any follow up action.
Canadian mining company misleading investors and the markets
Canadian mining company Nautilus Minerals is misleading its shareholders and the financial markets by falsely claiming it has reached agreement with Papua New Guinea to proceed with its controversial experimental seabed mining project, Solwara 1, says community activist groups ACT NOW!
The PNG government's decision to sign a new agreement to participate in the controversial Solwara 1 experimental seabed mine has been condemned by community activist groups including ACT NOW!, Bismarck Ramu Group (BRG) and the Pacific Network on Globilisation (PANG).
"The government has completely failed to answer any of the serious community concerns about this project" says ACT NOW! Program Manager, Effrey Dademo.
Commercial banks want the government to change the law to make it easier for land leases to be used as collateral for loans, but their plans are ill-timed as the wider problem of corruption in the Department of Lands remains unresolved and this latest plan could mean the legality of fraudulent leases like the Special Agriculture and Business Leases titles could not be challenged.
The banks have issued a report calling for the authenticity of titles issued by the Department of Lands to be protected so the leases can become bankable.
The government must be congratulated for protecting PNG interests and rejecting the very poor agreement signed by the Somare government to support the proposed Solwara 1 experimental seabed mine, says community activist group ACT NOW!
Nautilus Minerals has announced it is terminating an agreement with the State of PNG after the government refused to put over $100 million of taxpayers money into the project.
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.
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.