Landowners call for transparency and fairness after SABL experience

Turubu villagers attending a landowner forum conducted last Friday. Photo by Jimmy Kalebe


Majority of the landowners along the Turubu East Coast in Wewak last week Friday declared to support developments that satisfy all requirements of establishment.

The declaration was made during the forum that was conducted to inform rural communities of the latest developments that are taking shape in the LLG as well as those that are being planned for in the coming years.

During the forum held at Mundawin village, 21 villages were represented.

The representatives called for transparency in all dealings related to developments on customary land and the usage of natural resources that are customarily owned.

The calls were made after past establishment of oil palm project saw majority of the land mass in Turubu in Wewak district and parts of Sausso local level government in Yangoru Sausia District were placed under a 99 years lease which landowners were not in favour of.

Spokesperson and clan elder Michael Surum of Bungain village while commenting on the issue said local people were once fooled and will not repeat the same mistakes again.

“As resource owners we must stand together and see that developers follow all rules and regulations set by the government to do any impact developments on our land adding previous companies have overlooked these resulting in local people loosing on benefits.

We will not make any mistakes again and must avoid backdoor dealingbs to see transparency in all developments that will be coming into our communities when surrendering our consents for impact projects on our land”, said Mr Surum.

The spokesperson made a call to ward members of the 21 wards in Turubu LLG to speak for the rights of the people and see that there is justice in all impact project developments.

Meanwhile Turubu Eco Forestry Chairman Augustine Mondu while addressing the forum said people are ready to part take in developments initiatives but that assurance must be there to guarantee their participation and be entitled to maximum benefits.

Mondu said without these, many people would just be mere spectators while their resources will be reaped under their nose.

He also pointed out in the forum that REDD+ project is another optional impact project that all landowners must ready to enter into so as to safeguard forested land from being deforested and degraded.

Mr Mondu commented that currently the national government is looking at REDD+ project as an alternative to forest destruction through subsistence gardening and logging practices.

Turubu Eco Forestry Development Program Inc will conduct another such fogrum towards the end of this month targeting villages in the inland of Turubu LLG.

Landowners of discussing developmental issues at Mundawin villages in Turubu LLG, Wewak East Sepik Province. Photo by Jimmy Kalebe