Oakland Institute

Reframing the Debate Inspiring Action

Land Rights

Forest Minister Loves to Show Off His Ignorance

Forest Minister Douglas Tomuriesa has splashed himself all over the media in the last few days trying to refute a report, The Great Timber Heist, that highlights the fact logging companies don’t pay any corporate taxes and deprive PNG of hundreds of millions of Kina in much needed revenues.

Unfortunately for the Minister, all he has done is show off his own ignorance—and invite legitimate questions about why he is so keen to try and defend foreign owned logging companies rather than fight for the rights of his own people…

Logging Companies Run Roughshod in PNG, Says MP

The Governor of Oro Province Gary Juffa has accused Papua New Guinea's government of ignoring rampant illegal logging across the country, saying logging companies can operate in the country however they please without obeying the rules.

PNG Forest Minister Urged to Allow Audit

The Papua New Guinea Forest Minister has been urged by a transparency and environmental NGO to allow an audit of financial reporting by the logging industry.

Despite a new report by the Oakland Institute tracking massive tax evasion by foreign companies involved in PNG forestry, the minister Douglas Torumiesa has defended the loggers.

Mr Tomuriesa attacked the report's findings as being inaccurate because the companies do pay log export taxes.

My Father, Who Dared to Defend Land Rights

Obok Akway Ochalla

Sir, Your Big Read article, “The billionaire’s farm” (March 2), captures well the ramifications of the takeover of land and natural resources on the most marginalised communities in Ethiopia, a destination for many of the foreign investors. The devastating impact is way too personal for some of us.

PNG Forestry Minister's Criticism Possibly 'Wilful Blindness': Oakland Institute

Richard Ewart

Papua New Guinea's forest minister has hit back at a recent report on the country's logging industry, which was critical of tax evasion and financial misreporting by foreign logging companies.

The Oakland Institute report says Papua New Guineans are missing out on millions of dollars in tax revenue annually due to these practices, and the stated aim of the report was to prompt the nation's politicians to take action.

Socfin, Multinazionale della Deforestazione

Vi è mai capitato di vedere un’aiuola circondata da filo spinato e invasa da improvvisati contadini? È quello che è successo la scorsa settimana a Bruxelles quando un gruppo di attivisti armati di rastrelli ha organizzato un’azione di protesta davanti alla sede della compagnia belgo-lussemburghese Socfin.

Little Hope for Displaced Sri Lankans to Have Land Returned

Niranjani Roland and Asanka Fernando, Colombo, Sri Lanka

Punchirala Somasiri feels helpless whenever his oldest child asks for extra money to buy things for school. Most of the time he has to borrow money from a friend to give to his child.

Somasiri was a successful farmer until a group of men forced him and his family off their land in Ampara district in southeast Sri Lanka in 2010.

Putting a Halt to the Great Timber Heist in Papua New Guinea

Frederic Mousseau

In a new report released last month, The Great Timber Heist: The Logging Industry in Papua New Guinea, the Oakland Institute exposed massive tax evasion and financial misreporting by foreign logging companies, allegedly resulting in the nonpayment of hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes in Papua New Guinea (PNG).

Action on Behalf of Indigenous Land Rights Leader in Ethiopia

Image of Mr. Okello Akway Ochalla

Mr. Okello Akway Ochalla is a Norwegian citizen who was kidnapped in South Sudan and renditioned to Ethiopia in March 2014. Charged as a terrorist—his crime is defending indigenous land rights—he has languished in jail for nearly two years. Mr. Okello is an Anuak leader from Gambella, which has been a key target for forced relocations and land grabbing by the Ethiopian Government.

The Great Land Rush - Ethiopia: The Billionaire's Farm

Tom Burgis, Images by Charlie Bibby

As an orchestra of mosquitoes and crickets greeted the dusk, Bedlu Abera looked out over fields of rice stretching across the Ethiopian lowlands towards the horizon. A flicker of contentment crossed his face. “It’s satisfying,” he said. “We are making progress.”