Land Summit or Land Grab?

Gilford Ltd. clearing land in West Pomio © Paul Hilton / Greenpeace

Gilford Ltd. clearing land in West Pomio. Copyright Paul Hilton / Greenpeace

Jubilee Australia and the Oakland Institute denounce the National Land Summit, organized by the Papua New Guinea (PNG) government, as a dangerous attack on the country’s unique customary land tenure system.

Land Summit or Land Grab? details how the summit organized from May 1-3, 2019 is an attempt by the PNG government to ‘mobilize’ customary land to allow greater access to multinational companies and commercial banks for logging, mining, and industrial agriculture leases.

The informal economy and the agriculture sector in PNG depend heavily on the maintenance of the customary land tenure system. The brief details myriad commercial and productive activities, even for the export market, that can be developed without destroying land rights of the communities. The brief contends that instead of devising new schemes to steal customary lands from their owners so that foreign businesses and banks can profiteer, the PNG government should focus on local initiatives that will help maximize the benefits for the national economy and the people.

Gilford Ltd. clearing land in West Pomio © Paul Hilton / Greenpeace