When we take action together we can have a massive impact - so never doubt the importance of making your voice heard. As proof of this ACT NOW! supporters have played a vital role in a number of very significant campaign victories.
Police Minister Jelta Wong has responded directly to ACT NOW’s call for him to confirm the cancellation of all SABL leases and put an end to the police intimidation and harassment of customary landowners.
In today's Post Courier newspaper, Mr Wong has said,
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has been left struggling to explain why the SABL leases have not been cancelled as recommended by a Commission of Inquiry in 2013.
The PM was put on the spot by journalists at a televised media briefing after weeks of intensive campaigning by ACT NOW!
Analysis of government data on log exports reveals that only a relatively small percentage of forests illegally acquired under the Special Agriculture Business Lease scheme, have actually been logged.
Of 77 known SABLs, issued between 2003 and 2011 and covering an area of 5,367,765 hectares, a total of 64 leases were designated for agro-forestry activities.
Of those 64 SABLs, covering an area of 5,150,071 hectares, only 13 are known to have been subject to logging activity.
The 13 SABLs where logging activity has been recorded cover an area of 609,788 hectares.
The Prime Minister has reiterated his commitment to cancel the SABL leases found to be unlawful in a Commission of Inquiry (see newspaper report below).
While some skepticism remains, as the PM made similar promises in 2013 and 2014 that were not actioned, the announcement remains a significant step forward.
Oro Governor, Gary Juffa, has publicly attributed the Prime Minister announcement directly to the impact of the campaign by ACT NOW! and our latest radio advert:
The government has announced the logging industry will be forced to pay more tax through increases to the log export duty.
This comes after a damning report from the Oakland Institute that revealed logging companies are evading corporate taxes by failing to declare any profits year after year and under-declaring log export values.
Canadian mining company Nautilus Minerals is facing a severe financial crisis that threatens not just its plans for experimental seabed mining in Papua New Guinea, but the future of the whole company.
Nautilus says not only is it delaying any further project spending, it desperately needs short-term emergency funding to continue company operations to allow staff more time to look for ‘significant additional funding’ or an “alternative transaction aimed at maximising shareholder value”.
The human rights situation in Papua New Guinea has recently been reviewed by the Human Rights Council at the United Nations in Geneva. This provided ACT NOW! with an excellent opportunity to raise a number of key campaign issues with the international community and put pressure on the PNG government to act.
According to media reports (below) Parliament has passed the law establishing an Independent Commission Against Corruption. This is the second piece of legislation needed in the process of establsihing an ICAC. The first legal change, amending the Constitution, was passed in November 2013.
ACT NOW! has been campaigning for an ICAC since AN! was established in 2010 and the fight against stealing from the public purse is one of ACT NOW!'s key campaigns.
ICAC Bill passed in Parliament
BY JEFFREY ELAPA, Post Courier
Following an intensive campaign by civil society organisations and community groups the National Exceutive Council has passed a resolution ordering more than 4 million hectares of land be returned to its customary owners.
A Commission of Inquiry had found that Special Agriculture and Business Leases had been used by foreign companies and unscrupulous Lands Department officials to illegally gain access to more than 5 million hectares of customary land, mainly for logging, but for more than a year the government stalled on acting on the Commission recommendations.