Even though the Commission of Inquiry into the land grab has found the SABL process was flawed, land grabbing continues. Many communities are still not aware of what SABL is and how customary land is being stolen.
Peter Sondakh, the Rajawali Group chairman and chief executive officer, has set his sight on making his company a global giant in the palm oil business and sees PNG as the game changer for the industry.
Companies with SABL leases are nervous that their unlawfully acquired rights could be extinguished and are looking for ways to protect their positions. Once again, it could be the Department of Lands that comes to their assistance.
Communities in the Collingwood Bay area of Oro Province, Papua New Guinea are fighting plans for mining on their customary land after winning a court victory against illegal leases for logging and oil palm held by Malaysia's KLK.
The SABL became a national and an international issue when it was uncovered that 5.2 million ha of customary land in PNG were converted to agricultural business leases without the knowledge and consent of customary landowners.