Community activist group ACT NOW! is supporting a call from the United Nations for a moratorium on new mining activities in Papua New Guinea but says the analysis and policy changes recommended by the global body do not go far enough.
Forest Minister Douglas Tomuriesa needs to ensure all logging in SABL areas is immediately stopped says community activist group, ACT NOW!
This follows assurances from the Minister that 74 Special Agriculture and Business Lease that were illegally obtained have been revoked and customary landowners would retain their land.
"The Minister is claiming the leases have been revoked, but logging still continues in many of the areas", says Eddie Paine, Campaign Coordinator for ACT NOW! "The Minister needs to ensure the logging is immediately stopped as it is illegal."
The Asia Pacific Rainforest Summit being hosted this week by the Australian Government, must address the serious problems of land grabbing and illegal logging in Papua New Guinea and the rampant corruption that underpins them, says community activist group, ACT NOW!
The forests of Papua New Guinea form part of the third largest remaining tract of tropical rainforest left on the planet - but ACT NOW! says this forest is quickly disappearing thanks to land grabbing and illegal logging by the Malaysian dominated logging industry.
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.