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Land Grabbing

November 20, 2013
Fiji Times

PORT MORESBY - A US think tank has criticised Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister for failing to act on the findings of his Commission of Inquiry into controversial land leases.

Three commissioners took more than a year to investigate the leasing of more than five million hectares of land, often to foreign interests, without the permission of landowners.

The research findings have been revealed in a new report by the Oakland Institute, titled 'On Our Land — Modern Land Grabs Reversing Independence'.

The Oakland Institute has also launched an accompanying film about land acquisitions in PNG and the human and environmental cost of land and resource loss.

Policy director Frederic Mousseau produced eight reports on land grabs in Africa before turning his attention to Papua New Guinea.

Mousseau says land grabbing is taking place in PNG on a "shocking" scale.

"I have co-ordinated all the studies of land acquisition in Africa and I am afraid I have seen in Papua New Guinea some of the most shocking examples of land grabbing and extraction of resources for foreign interests in a developing country," he said.

More than 11 per cent of the Pacific nation's land mass has been let out under controversial Special Agricultural and Business Leases, or SABLs.