Up for grabs
Greenpeace | 30.7.2012

Up for grabs
New findings: Millions of hectares of customary land stolen for logging

A massive land grab has occurred in Papua New Guinea (PNG) and the impact on communities across the country has been devastating. Greenpeace has produced a new report that details the extent of the damage.

PNG is a nation rich in forests, which have long been in the eye of foreign logging companies. Most of this dense forest land is held under customary ownership by communities. To gain access to PNG’s valuable forests, a scandalous scheme has been systematically rolled out across the country.

Greenpeace’s report ‘Up for Grabs’ details how customary landholders have been alienated from 5.1 million hectares of land and forests – land they depend on for their food, homes and livelihoods.

The scandalous scheme is called Special Agricultural and Business Leases (SABLs). It has allowed unrepresentative landholders and foreign-owned companies to swindle and steal people’s land and livelihoods for up to 99 years.

Greenpeace’s data and mapping analysis shows how this massive land grab occurred and how logging companies have been allowed to satisfy their appetite for tropical logs through this poorly regulated and often corrupt government policy.

The report also reveals that Crime file

In one case, in the Pomio District of East New Britain, customary landholders opposing the land grab were beaten and abused by police on two separate occasions. The police were being paid by notorious logging giant, Rimbunan Hijau.
Like many leases, the Pomio SABL was fraudulently obtained and many of the names said to have approved the lease were of dead people and local children - one was as young as three.

Greenpeace is standing alongside local communities in PNG calling for all fraudulently obtained SABLs to be overturned and for the people’s land handed back to them.

We’re also calling on the newly elected PNG Government to put the rights of landowners and communities before short-term company profits - the lives and homes of generations of Papua New Guineans depend on it.
URL to Article: https://farmlandgrab.org/post/view/20855

Source: Greenpeace 

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