Campaign launch: Celebrating and defending customary land
ACT NOW! is today launching a new multi-media campaign 'Celebrating and Defending Customary Land’.
Why? Well, customary land is the most valuable and important asset available to most Papua New Guineans but its critical role is often misunderstood or misrepresented, particularly by outsiders.
Too few people realise customary land supports an economy estimated to be worth K40 billion a year, provides jobs and incomes for 3 million farmers and provides housing and a sense of community for more than 7 million people.
Already some countries are looking to acquire customary land in Papua New Guinea to feed their own people while the threats from the foreign owned logging and oil palm industries are ever present. Adding to these pressures are the international banks who want people to use their customary land as security for loans and a government which continues to push its dangerous land registration agenda and encourage incorporated land groups. ILGs give control over communal assets to a few individuals and open the door to corruption and, ultimately, alienation.