Skip to main content Skip to footer

Claims Controversial Land Leases Cost PNG a Third of its Territory

November 29, 2013
Radio New Zealand International

There are claims Papua New Guinea has lost a third of its territory to foreign companies, which the think tank the Oakland Institute calls one of the swiftest and largest land grabs in recent history.

The Institute, with the Pacific Network on Globalisation, or PANG, has produced a film called, On Our Land, which documents the loss of land under the Special Agriculture and Business Leases.

The leases were aimed at freeing up customary land for productive use but mostly illegal logging operators had acquired it and the think tank says they are destroying the world's third-largest rainforest.

The film chastises the prime minister, Peter O'Neill, for failing to act, despite a government-sponsored inquiry, which revealed corruption and mismanagement over the land deals.

The film exposes the policies allowing for land acquisition that reverse land rights Papua New Guineans achieved with independence in 1975.

They also show the human and environmental cost of land and resource loss.