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Wednesday, 13 September

15:14

Papua New Guinea Investment Conference a resounding success Business Advantage PNG

The Business Advantage Papua New Guinea Investment Conference was held last week in Sydney, successfully showcasing the nations potential as an investment destination and canvassing different views from the business community about the opportunities and challenges. A clear picture of the countrysand the Pacific regionsgreat untapped potential emerged.

Futurist Mark Pesce addresses the 2017 Papua New Guinea Investment Conference

The conference, held at Sydneys Shangri-la Hotel, opened with an insightful perspective from futurist Mark Pesce, who explored the possibilities of twenty-first century technologyespecially mobile phone and blockchain technology, drones and roboticsfor PNGs long-term economic future.

He described how PNG could use these technologies to leapfrog the industrial era and move effectively into the post-industrial world. In particular, he explored a possible convergence between banking and telecommunications, based on the use of mobile phones.

Pesces keynote really set the tone for the conference. Not only did he take a long-term viewwhich all investors must dobut he identified clear trends that, if pursued, could benefit PNG in particular, observed MC Andrew Wilkins of conference organisers Business Advantage International.

What is encouraging is that work is already underway in PNG in several of these areas. The central bank is actively looking at Blockchain, Oil Search is already using drones to inspect its pipelines, while the near-completion of the National Transmission Network, and a likely new underseas cable connecting PNG to the world wide web are signs of progress in connectivity.

Focus on growth sectors

...

15:02

Madagascar Farmers Confront Canadian Junior Mining Company Papua New Guinea Mine Watch

The owner of this land asked DNI not to use his land but the company ignored his request and has continued to exploit his property.

Mine Watch Canada | 12 September, 2017

Farmers from Vohitsara in eastern Madagascar are demanding that DNI Metals Inc. cease operations on their land and compensate them for damage to their lands, crops, trees, and fish ponds that the company has acknowledged destroying without their consent and fair compensation.

Malagasy civil society organisations and media reports have confirmed that DNI Metals has undertaken drilling and trenching on the villagers land in some cases without their agreement, while other farmers have signed agreements that provide vague and inadequate commitments from the company and do not meet basic standards of fairness.

The company had begun to undertake an inventory of damages jointly with Vohitsara villagers in July, but it was never completed. The company had previously done its own inventory, without the presence of the la...

14:56

Maru says Papua New Guinea must aim at import replacement in agriculture Business Advantage PNG

In an exclusive interview, Richard Maru, the new Minister for National Planning and Monitoring tells Business Advantage PNG that replacing food imports with domestic production is a priority for the new ONeill Government. State-owned investment vehicle Kumul Agriculture looks set to play a key role.

Minister Maru addressing the 2017 PNG investment Conference in Sydney

The intent to create a state-owned investment vehicle for agriculture was first flagged in 2015. Maru says the entity will soon start to receive funds to invest in the sector.

We will be parking equity funds in our own agricultural investment company to partner [with] local and international investors, he tells Business Advantage PNG at the Papua New Guinea Investment Conference in Sydney last week.

Maru says the state-owned enterprise, Kumul Agriculture, will hold all the states equity investments in commercial agriculture.

This is something we have not done in the past. We will be parking investment funds, starting this year through the Supplementary Budget.

Imports

The motivation is primarily to reduce PNGs reliance on food imports.

Maru says that each year PNG imports K34 billion in food that it could produce itself. The biggest item is rice, followed by dairy products from New Zealand and chicken feed from Australia.

Both human and animal feed is a big issue for us, he says. We have very fertile land: great agronomic conditions, good weather and we dont have too many pests.

The focus will be on serving the PNG domestic market.

All the conditions lend themselves to agricultureunlike countries like Israel, where you have basically a desert.

We have water and very fertile land. What we have to do now is to mobilise the land and then find investors who have the technology and the capital to partner us to start investi...

14:49

Governor of Bank of PNG tells conference higher food production critical Business Advantage PNG

Diversification of the Papua New Guinea economy is critical to maintaining economic growth, according to Loi Bakani, the Governor of the Bank of Papua New Guinea. He told Business Advantage Internationals Papua New Guinea Investment Conference in Sydney that a particular area of concern is the high level of food imports.

Bank of PNG Governor Loi Bakani addresses the 2017 Papua New Guinea Investment Conference

Bakani said the PNG LNG project, from 2010-2014, created a structural change in the PNG economy. But the resultant surplus in the current account did not translate into increased revenue for the Government, or sufficient foreign exchange inflows.

In particular, I am concerned about food imports, because it constitutes the highest demand for foreign exchange and it is not matched by any foreign exchange revenue from food exports.

This is an area of great potential for investment given the land mass and suitable land conditions we have, which can contribute to replacement of food imports and exports of the surpluses.

Middle income

Bakani said the PNG LNG project changed the country from a low-income country to a middle-income country. This affected habits of consumption in PNG.

Given the narrow export base and reliance on mineral projects and exports, the country has not reached a point of being resilient.

We know it will take a long time to change the consumption behaviour of our population, but some change needs to happen to move away from high consumption of imported food to locally-produced food.

I guess, this is one consequence of the change in the economy structure from low-income to middle-income country.

Narrow export base

Bakani told delegates the concentration of PNGs exports in the resources sector makes the economy vulnerable.

Given the narrow export base and reliance on mineral projects and exports, the country has not reac...

13:17

Ruling Party denies extending invitation to Pangu Pati MPs Papua New Guinea Today

The ruling  People's National Congress has denied suggestions they invited members of the Opposition to join the government ranks.

In denying suggestions from the National Alliance party, PNC said: The people of the country made their will clear when the People's National Congress was returned by a large margin to continue our work of providing free education, better health outcomes and a stronger economy that serves us all.

We are happy to work with mature leaders willing to put their differences aside for the good of the country.

The National Alliance party have not proven themselves to be that.

On Monday (Sept 11), Pangu Party Leader, Sam Basil, officially switched seats, joining the PNC-led Government.

Basil moved with all the PANGU MPs from Morobe Province, including Central Province, Sohe and Lufa.

The MPs that made the switch:

Sam Basil PANGU Party Leader and Bulolo MP

William Samb Goilala MP

Capt Lekwa Gure Rigo MP

Robert Agarobe Central Governor

Henry Amuli Sohe MP

Kennedy Wenge Nawaeb MP

Ginson Saonu Morobe Governor

John Rosso Lae MP

Thomas Pelike - Menyamya MP

Kobby Bamareu Tewai Siasi MP

Chris Yer Sumkar MP

Moriape Karori Lufa MP

The four PANGU MPs who did not move are Madang Open MP Brian Kramer, Moresby North-West MP Sir Mekere Morauta, Finschhafen MP Rainbo Paita and Wabag MP Dr Lino Tom.

Press Release

13:13

Workshop to help develop possible digital channels for the future of saving groups Papua New Guinea Today

Honiara, Solomon Islands A two-day ideation workshop is being held in Honiara, Solomon Islands
this week to help shape and develop linkages between savings groups to formal financial services
through digital channels.
Ideation is the creative process of generating, developing, and communicating new ideas. It is at the
core of innovation that PFIP has been pursuing through its workstream and setting up of Innovation Labs
that are aimed at encouraging the adoption and usage of mass market financial services by rural and
low-income households in the Pacific. Through hands-on design activities, the workshop aims to engage
the participants to collaborate to imagine appropriate services by following a human-centered design
process.
In the Solomon Islands, remote rural households, especially women (80%) form savings groups where
there are limited to no financial services available. Savings groups offer a convenient place for saving,
withdrawals, small loans besides opportunities to improve financial literacy, peer support for small
business owners, and building social capital and cohesion within the communities.
Despite the popularity and proliferation of savings groups in rural and peri-urban Solomon Islands,
members often face issues that cannot be met by traditional savings groups models alone. Savings
group members have limited access to a broader range of financial services. PFIP is exploring
opportunities for linkages through digital channels to appropriate and affordable formal financial
services.
30 participants from Saving clubs promoters - World Vision, Live & Learn, Ministry of Women, GELCA,
WARA and commercial banks, financial institutions like ANZ, BSP, POB, SPBD and SINPF will be
participating in the two-day activities.
In opening the workshop, Dr Jasmine Cernovs, Counsellor Economics, Australian High Commission noted
the Australian Government, through its support to the Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme (PFIP), is
happy to see the progress of financial inclusion in the country targeting rural Solomon Islanders,
especially women.
We are aware that initial work including a study of the savings groups in the country followed by a
grant project with World vision Solomon Islands covering remote communities in South Malaita reaching
nearly 2000 people has been successfully implemented by PFIP. We support the extension of this work in
assessing the feasibility of appropriate linkages with the private sector that will widen access to and
usage of formal financial services like banking, micro-savings, micro-credit, pensions by those in the
informal sector. These are steps in the right direction to include more Solomon Islanders into the real
economy and improve household and community resilience and well-being, she said.

Acting PFIP Manager Krishnan Narasimhan said the su...

11:12

Union Heavyweight Sally McManus Backs Hritier Lumumba In His Stand Against AFL Racism "GroovUs Feed Anews"

The nations most prominent union official has weighed into the racism scandal that has engulfed the AFL, warning Australias richest sporting code that its not immune from workplace health and safety laws.

Former Collingwood AFL star Hritier Lumumba who played 199 games for the Magpies under the name Harry OBrien was the subject of a recent documentary aired on SBS called Fair Game, in which he revealed that throughout his career, he was subjected to frequent racist taunts and jokes by players and officials.

Sally McManus, the head of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) told New Matilda in a written statement that all workplaces, even major sporting codes, were not immune from workplace health and safety laws.

Shop-Sparkke-Change-the-Date-740-x-200

The AFL has the same responsibilities to players as any other employer would to workers in their workplace. They have a responsibility to ensure that players are safe, preventing racial abuse from fans or anyone else is a part of that responsibility, McManus said.

The ACTU congress has made clear its opposition to all forms of racial abuse, wherever it occurs and all Australian unions stand with Hritier Lumumba and support him for speaking out.

The AFL is a powerful cultural institution, and clear leadership on this issue from them would make a real difference in workplaces across Australia.

This issue has dogged the AFL for weeks. The sporting body has been caught lying about how it dealt with the scandal, and accused of a campaign of smear, with CEO of the AFL, Gillon McLachlan claiming the issue was not about racism, rather Lumumbas state of mind.

CEO of the AFL, Gillon McLachlan, in a screencap from a video of a recent appearance on Radio 3AW.CEO of the AFL, Gillon McLachlan, in a screencap from a video of a recent appearance on Radio 3AW.

Lumumba told film-makers that during his time at Collingwood, he was nicknamed Chimp by some players, and subjected to consistent racial abuse and jokes through his time in the AFL.

...

11:07

People moves: Kina Group, KPMG Business Advantage PNG

Kina appoints a new brand ambassador, new KPMG partner appointed

Kina Group has appointed Sydney-based professional tennis player Abigail Tere-Apisah as its new brand ambassador.

***

KPMG audit partner, Peter Zabaks, is returning to the KPMG Sydney office. Herbert Maguma is his replacement in Port Moresby.

The post People moves: Kina Group, KPMG appeared first on Business Advantage PNG.

10:55

In brief: Highlands Highway re-opens after a month-long blockade, and other business stories Business Advantage PNG

Normal services along the Highlands Highways resume, coffee exports steady but expected to fall next year, and China approves loan for Pacific Marine Industrial Zone. Your weekly digest of the latest business news.

Two sections of the Highlands Highway which were blocked by relatives of two policemen killed during last months elections have re-opened, allowing normal services to flow. The highway was blocked off for a month, affecting the entire Highlands region.  Lae Chamber of Commerce and Industry President, Alan McLay, said the blockade had been devastating for business, adding that trucking companies were struggling, and on the verge of layoffs.

***

Coffee Industry Corporation CEO, Charles Dambui, reportedly says coffee exports are steady, despite the coffee berry borer (CBB) affecting production eight months ago. Dambui said 2016 was a record year, with 1.12 million bags exported, worth K649 million. He said the effects of the CBB would be felt in 2018.

***

The Womens Micro Banks Ricky Mitio. Credit: Loop PNG

Chinas Exim Bank has agreed to fund the new plan for the Pacific Marine Industrial Zone project in Madang, with a US$152million (K350million) loan,  says Trade Minister Wera Mori.

***

The Womens Micro Bank is releasing seven million shares at K1 per share to mem...

10:12

Direct flights to Townsville from Port Moresby Papua New Guinea Today

Air Niugini is now flying to Townsville directly from Port Moresby. Return flights to Townsville are starting from PGK 1,020* and flights are operating on Mondays and Fridays.

Begin your exploration in the blooming city of Townsville. Townsville City combines federation architecture with classy restaurants, accommodation and shopping like no other regional Queensland city. Townsville is a nature lovers paradise. The Great Barrier Reef, tropical islands, wetlands, wet tropics rainforests and a glorious beachfront are few major attractions. Townsville offers you a diverse range of historical, military, island, active and relaxing experiences. Townsville is packed with activities to excite every travel style!

So book your trip to Townsville with Air Niugini. Visit www.airniugini.com.pg to book online now.

10:10

China Exim bank approves PNG K350m PMIZ loan Papua New Guinea Today

The China Exim Bank have agreed to fund the new plan for the Papua New Guinea governments multi-million Pacific Marine Industrial Zone (PMIZ) project with a US$152million (K350million) loan.

The loan is concessional and will be repaid by government when the project is operational and generates returns.

This was announced by the Minister for Commerce, Trade and Industry Wera Mori Tuesday.

Mori said the initial Financial Investment Decision (FID) by the Exim Bank was stalled by the lengthy court battle with the Madang Environmental groups.

The initial Financial Investment Decision (FID) by the EXIM Bank of China was stalled by the lengthy court battle with Madang Environmental NGOs, resulting in the withholding of funds that had been earmarked for its development. However, the minister said traction was made on the project under the leadership of his predecessor now Planning Minister Richard Maru.

Under Maru, the PMIZ was redesigned to cater for all the communities and to hall larger ships into the new wharf.

Further for the redesigning and renegotiation of the FID with the EXIM Bank of China, Mori said.

Mori said he would be calling for a general forum to gauge the views of all impacted stakeholders to gauge their views which will be captured in a supplementary Memorandum of Agreement (MOA).

He said given the disruptions the project had suffered, this was his initiative for a way forward to discourage any further delays and wastage of resources.

The PMIZ project must be delivered under my leadership without any further delays, the minister stressed..
SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS/PNG Today

10:02

PNG Registrar of Political parties yet to hear from pro-Pangu MPs Papua New Guinea Today


Pangu Pati has moved only seven MPs from the 10 it has on record, according to the official registry of political parties.


Along with it on Mondays announcement were four pro Pangu independents Robert Agarobe (Central), Lekwa Gure (Rigo), Henry Amuli (Sohe), John Rosso (Lae), and THE party member turned Pangu member Lufa MP Moriape Kavori.

The Registrar for Political Parties Dr Alphonse Gelu said the movements by independents who have aligned to Pangu are yet to be officially lodged to the registry.

Dr Gelu said however, that it was just according to the registrys official record and does not stop any movement occurring by MPs that have already occurred.

He said independent movements registered so far have only been lodged by the ruling party Peoples National Congress.

We only received the four (independents) that have moved to PNC and they have formalised that, but the other political parties not as yet, Dr Gelu said.

We havent received anything from Pangu. We havent received any paperwork from them. They will have to advise us in order for us to recognise them as members of Pangu Party.

Dr Gelu said officially those who had moved with Pangu are still considered independents as far as the Organic Law on the Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates was concerned.

Mondays move by Pangu and pro-Pangu independents reduces the number of MPs in the Opposition ranks of 46 MPs in the Alliance coalition, the biggest opposition ever assemble in the past four terms of parliament.

Meanwhile, the registry of Political Parties says the decision made by Pangu is the prerogative of the party and its leadership.

Dr Gelu said each MP has the prerogative as to where they want to move to, with the registry only involved as far as recognised party listings.

That is Pangus decision, the Registry has no say, not only Pangu but any other party, when they want to move that is their decision to make, Dr Gelu said.

Here at the registry we have nothing to do with that.

We have our listing on the movements. Now it is up to Pangu to move from the opposition to the government together with those members of parliament, 12 members.

When asked about what happens to those members of Pangu or affiliates that remained with the Opposition, Gelu said it also remains an internal matter for th...

09:40

Papuan landowners in PNG to receive first LNG project royalties of K15m Papua New Guinea Mine Watch

Boera village in Central province landowners from the PNG LNG Project to receive royalties. Video: EMTV News

Meriba Tulo in Boera village | Asia Pacific Report | September 13, 2017

After more than three years and 200 shipments, landowners of Boera village in Papua New Guineas Central province have became the first beneficiaries from the PNG LNG Project to receive royalties.

This followed the release of royalty benefits for PNG LNG Petroleum Processing Facility Licence 2 (PPFL2) area landowners to the Mineral Resources Development Company (MRDC) from the Department of Petroleum and Energy, Department of Finance, and the Central Bank.

Royalty payments for the four villages of Boera, Papa, Porebada and Rearea are in line with the Ministerial Determination number G692, 2015, which will see 83 clans receive a share of K15.6 million (NZ$6.7 million).

According to the Oil and Gas Act 1998, only 40 percent is to be paid as cash disbursement to landowners, with the remaining 60 percent to be set aside in two trusts the Future Generation Trust Fund (FGTF) and Community Investment Trust Fund (CITF).

Royalty Payment Allocation:
1. Cash Payment to Landowners: K6,250,701.00
2. Community Investment Trust Fund: K4,688,026.00
3. Future Generation Trust Fund: K4,688,026.00

From the K6,250,701.00 cash allocation, this is further broken up according to the following:
1. Rearea Village: K1,746,946.00
2. Papa Village: K1,746,946.00
3. Boera Village: K1,352,027.00
4. Porebada Village: K1,154,755.00
5. Others: K250,028.00

Meriba Tulo is a senior reporter and presenter and currently anchors Resource PNG as well as EMTVs daily National News. EMTV News items are republished by Asia Pacific Report with permission.


06:30

Im concerned about Sam Basil, who called ONeill spineless Keith Jackson & Friends: PNG ATTITUDE

FRANCIS NII

Sam Basil
Sam Basil - what happened to the honour, the principle?

KUNDIAWA - The speculation surrounding Sam Basil and his Pangu Party convening a secret meeting to join the Peter ONeills government finally became a reality on Monday when nine Pangu members and four independents from the opposition moved to the government side.

The Pangu MPs who joined the government are Sam Basil (Wau Bulolo), Kobby Bamarea (Tewai-Siasi), Kennedy Wenge (Nawaeb), Thomas Pelika (Menyamya), Konnie Iguan (Markham), Chris Nangoi (Sumkar) and William Samb (Goilala).

The four independents are Robert Agarobe (Central), Lekwa Gure (Rigo), John Rosso (Lae), Moriape Kavori (Lufa) and Henri Amuli (Sohe).

Politics in Papua New Guinea is always fluid and unpredictable. Something occurs now and later the exact opposite can happen.

No one had ever imagined Sam Basil would marry Peter ONeill who seemed to contradict all that Basil stood and fought for including good, prudent, honest and transparent governance.

Basil had been very vocal about how badly the ONeill-Dion government had handled the economy and finances of this country. He even declared ONeill as his number one enemy in an anti-ONeill slogan, Friend to all enemy to one Peter ONeill.

Most Papua New Guineans looked up to him Basil, ranking him alongside Garry Juffa, Mekere Morauta, Kerenga Kua, Allan Marat and Belden Namah to lead a strong alternative government for the next 18 months before a vote of no confidence motion could be taken against the ONeill regime.

However, Basil ditched his own integrity and the trust, respect and honour the people of PNG had placed in him and proceeded to marry his number one enemy, Peter ONeill.

In my view, Basil will go down in history as the hypocrite of the century. He has also made himself a laughing stock in the eyes of the international community.

In PNG politics, personal integrity as a national leader is not important to most members of parliament. There is no moral principle in them.

They something now and tomorrow they twist their ton...

05:30

Basil has moved to the government that has wrecked PNG Keith Jackson & Friends: PNG ATTITUDE

Mekere Morauta (2)SIR MEKERE MORAUTA

PORT MORESBY - Sam Basils decision to move to Peter ONeills government, along with other MPs from the Alliance, is extremely disappointing.

This was the last thing I thought would happen when I asked my colleague independent MPs to join Pangu Pati.

Of course, I respect the decision by the individual members to move as they see fit. But I do not agree with the move.

The ONeill government had wrecked Papua New Guinea during the last five years wrecked important oversight institutions, interfered with law enforcement agencies, allowed corruption to flourish, grossly mismanaged public finances and forced the economy into recession.

Why join a prime minister with such a reputation?

I do not support the view that members have to be in government to receive district services improvement funds or other development funds.

Every member, whether in government or opposition, represents Papua New Guineans who have an equal right to share in the nations wealth and opportunities.

It is unfair and immoral for the prime minister to use development funds as toys for his own political survival.

I am urging all members of parliament on both sides to fight to save the country.

The last thing MPs should be doing is giving Mr ONeill more political oxygen to continue the train wreck of damage.

Rather than entrenching the mismanagement and destruction, leaders should be fighting to stop it which obviously means not joining his government or strengthening his position as prime minister.

We have a responsibility to protect Papua New Guineas future.

04:30

B'ville bureaucracy: Where the Peace directorate fights over chairs Keith Jackson & Friends: PNG ATTITUDE

Leonard RokaLEONARD ROKA

PANGUNA - I was rather shaken by Gorethy Kenneths article, Do away with PNG habits at workplace, that appeared in the Post-Courier not so long ago.

Behaviour and performance in the workplace is an issue affecting Bougainville as well as Papua New Guinea and I believe some words about the Autonomous Bougainville Government bureaucracy may be usefully written.

When people are recruited by the ABG, they have a mission to dedicate much of their life to keep the government functioning and delivering for the people.

Im one of these people. And I say give away much of their life because, in Bougainville, we leave behind our families and travel north to Buka, deserting them in the villages and entering urban Bougainville. Some people have proper accommodation for their families but not most.

The ABG says we need to find accommodation in Buka that is less than K300 a month, which is almost impossible. Before 1990, when I was a kid, nearly all employees of the then North Solomons Provincial Government were provided with residences within Arawa township.

But we now sleep in our offices in Buka and in the morning pack our things under the tables and get dressed in a bureaucratic mode and saunter high for the world to see us.

If you enter one of our offices in Buka you will see bent and buckled cardboard cartons beside our tables. Those are our sleeping mats.

You cannot expect a public servants to deliver when their basic needs are not been met.

Let me talk about our work.

I am in the Department of Bougainville Peace Agreement and Implementation. This department has four directorates - autonomy, peace, veterans and referendum. It is the most important department for Bougainville at this time.

But the ABG is not supporting us. In Buka this department has no office of its own, meaning it is not housed in one building, Many of us do not know what we are doing despite the fact our work should end by June 2018.

Veterans occupy a space I do not know. Autonomy another spot. Peace and Referendum fight over the limited number of chairs and tables. They occupy the condemned Green House building in the administrative compound next to Buka Hospital.

In the Green House, each day we battle for one of the four chairs. The first to reach the office in...

01:06

This is Samoa; its a free country West Papua Action Network

http://sobserver.ws/en/12_09_2017/editorial/24215/This-is-Samoa;-it%25E2%2580%2599s-a-free-country.htm

This is Samoa; its a free country

11 September 2017

Mataafa Keni Lesa

The fight for West Papua might be far from a victory for people there but at last weeks 48th Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting; the vocal local protesters who made the issue known can claim a moral victory.

The mere fact it was acknowledged in the official communiqu is a step in the right direction. Some people might say it is not enough but it must be said that small steps are better than no step at all.

On the other hand, for allowing the protest to proceed barring an incident where protesters were asked to produce a permit the government of Samoa can also hold its head up high that it allowed a basic freedom in a democracy to be exercised.

The fact that the protesting group was allowed to express their views without having anyone dragged into Police cells, as weve so often seen in these things, is a good sign for Samoa.

The only downside was the Police demanding a permit when from what weve been told such a permit is not required.

We are not lawyers but this is perhaps something that needs to be clarified in terms of going forward. Whether the Police made a mistake, someone should own up and acknowledge that.

What we do know is that the second protest went ahead unopposed.

Which was a massive relief.

We say this because wherever protests are involved, there is no guarantee that there will be no confrontation. In countries near and far, weve often seen these confrontations turn ugly, extremely ugly.

Yet in Apia last week, while it did create a scene, common sense prevailed in the end for the sake of Samoa and the preservation of democracy on these shores.

The mere fact that the Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Dame Meg Taylor, made an appearance to acknowledge the views of the protest group speaks volumes about the mutual respect we have in the Pacific. She couldve just ignored them but she didnt.

Whats more, the recognition of the issue in the official communiqu is even more encouraging as it means the issue of human rights abuses in West Papua is not being ignored, as some people say.

Reads the Communiqu: Leaders recognised the constructive engagement by the Forum countries with Indonesia with respect to elections and human rights in West Papua and Papua and to continue a dialogue in an open and constructive manner.

Well thats great, isnt it?

Interestingly enough, this completely throws Indonesias official response to the protesters out the window. Last week, an angry Ambassador of Indonesia to New Zealand, Samoa and Tonga, Tantowi Yahya, criticised the prote...

00:30

SABL logger cheating Bewani locals Act Now! blogs

What little I get from my royalty payments I give back to the logging company because most business houses in Vanimo town, including the only supermarket are owned by the logging company. Moreover, the company cheats me by claiming money from my royalty payments

Thats from Emap Itep of Aimbai village in Bewani, West Sepik Province.

A Malaysian logging company has logged his forest and now has an oil palm plantation on his land under a Special Agriculture Business Lease (SABL).

The company came and said they have a Special Agriculture Business Lease and so have the right to claim my land for oil palm. When I realized its getting my trees and exporting them overseas while clearing the forest for oil palm, it said it will develop my village in exchange for my trees. I regret believing them because now I cant get whatever Ive grown and cultivated for food and income within the areas that the company has claimed, a worried Emap said.

Like most of the people Act Now! has come across in Bewani, Emap was not aware that the government has ruled all Special Agriculture Business Leases illegal and void. To Emap, the government seems like a nightmare that he unknowingly took part in creating, a government thats now terrifying him by allowing the company to continue and not standing by him.

The Moresby Government says cancel the SABLs but the Vanimo government lets the logging and land theft continue in Bewani. I dont understand, whats the need for a government if it cant operate as one for the people? he stated.

Emap was told by the logging company that he would no longer have to travel long distances to access basic services like health and education etc. He needed the very things that the company promised and wanted to see them happen so he, along with others welcomed the company in and has since been suffering at its hands.

The company said it will build a school in my village, an aid post, permanent houses etc, but first I have to give him my trees. I gave it permission to only get the trees but its claimed my land and said the land is its for 99 years. The cost of services it promised to deliver for free as a trade for my trees, has since been deducted from my royalty payments.

Emap gave an example of how the company fooled him and takes back money paid as royalty payments to him.

If I tell the company I need a school to be built in my area, the company calculates the cost of getting the school up and tells me that that amount will be deducted from my royalty payments, except with a 100% interest. For instance, if it calculates a classroom to be K1000 to build, then it tel...

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