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Monday, 15 October


Is the clock finally ticking for PNGs illegal loggers? Devpolicy Blog from the Development Policy Centre

A time traveler from 1988 visiting Papua New Guineas forestry sector today would find it distressingly familiar territory. Three decades ago, Commissioner Tos Barnett was conducting his Inquiry into aspects of the forest industry, published as a two-volume survey of the corruption and illegalities allowing PNGs forests to be felled wholesale and exported, to the countrys economic and environmental loss. Barnetts famous pronouncement that logging companies were operating in Papua New Guinea with the self-assurance of robber barons is as relevant now as it was then. (Indeed, hardly a think piece on the industry can be published without repeating the quote.) What has changed in the interim is that those mostly foreign-backed companies have cut and sold off many millions more cubic meters of PNG timber, in a process that has signally failed to bring meaningful development to the countrys rural and forest-dependent communities.

PNGs ongoing crisis in forest governance has been meticulously documented since Barnetts day, including in a flurry of research published in the last several years. All of it tells the same story. Chatham House estimated in 2014 that 70% of the countrys timber may be produced illegally. The sustainability certification organisation NepCON gave PNG an abysmal score of 3/100 in its 2017 Timber legality risk assessment. In July, my organisation Global Witness published a report that included an analysis of satellite images of eight of PNGs largest logging operations. All of the companies involved in those operations, based on imagery that documented violations of the Forestry Act, appear to have broken the law many times over. None of them have faced any legal consequences, and all continue to sell PNG timber abroad.

For Papua New Guinean communities that depend directly on their environment for their livelihoods and cultural heritage, this devastation of their forests is a legal outrage as well as an existential threat. PNGs customary tenure system grants control over land to the people who have lived on and used it for generations. It should be no surprise that among the legal violations linked to logging that my team has documented across the country, violations of landowner rights are paramount. The people we have spoken with tell...




On the eve of APEC, Minister Justin Tkatchenko the Minister for Lands and APEC under the Peter O'Neill Government stands accused of nepotisim and promoting homosexuality, He brought over his lover and former EMTV News Presenter  Tukana Hasavi Jr on a very lucrative contract to the APEC Authority according to sources inside APEC.

Justin Tkathenko according to APEC Secretariat staff brought this gay lover Tukana Hasavi to APEC Secretariat and created a position that never existed on the structure and placed him on a lucrative contract, as sources tell us, Hasavi is an empty suit someone with no experience.

Tkatchenko rents an expensive apartment for Hasavi across the road off Boroko market, He has a collection of tailor-made suits handpicked and bought of course by his lover Minister Tkatchenko. He shops lavishly, he has a young family from a central wife but that is just a window dressing just like Justin Tkatchenko who is also married with a family but is highly involved in exploiting and having sex with young men from Papua New Guinea.

In 2015 Tkatchenko went under the spotlight again after a rape victim came out publicly to confirm legal proceedings have taken place to claim for damages done to him by the Minister while he was employed at the NCDC Botanical Gardens between 1998 - 2000.

The victim from Wapenmanda district in the Enga Province confirmed he been under duress and he's burdened with feelings of worthlessness, at one point even contemplating suicide and self harm after he was sexually abused by a man who is currently the face of PNG and the Pacific Games.

His intention is to bring to light what happened 16 years ago, The victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons is a father of 4 kids is now in his forties.

When queried by PNGBlogs on the long delay in seeking justice he said he could not hide this anymore after his family and tribe asked him to speak out because on his Anorectal diseases or Anal Disorder, he has been living in shame from his family all these years but decided he has had enough and is seeking damages in Court.

We are told Justin Tkatchenko compensated the victim when the information came out.




You might argue that my son (or daughter) has an exam and I can not allow this strike, or that my manager will not allow me, or I have a vital meeting, etc, etc. BUT yet you want the best for your family, best for this country and always dream of good opportunities for your kids' education, their employment and their bright future....simply put it, you desire for the best socio-economic outcomes to happen ...... but can NOT afford to sacrifice something today against such a corrupt govt for the benefit of the very life you aspire to see today and the years to come?

Then you appear more like a weakling and a free rider on other people's sacrifices (period!). Others will pay the price and you flow through easily. PNG right now is in a desperate SOS or ICU condition and we DO NOT NEED YOU SU, H WEAKLINGS!!!

Bigger sacrifices (spilling of blood through horrible wars, civil unrest & revolutions etc) were made by others in this world for the good of their country and today they are enjoying justice and fairness.

Our three leaders (Juffa, Bird and Krammer) are only asking for a "stay at home strike", which is a NONE violent type and the MOST WISEST approach to take, yet certhe tain type of our population thinks that is too big a sacrifice for their personal plans or businesses?

Logic: What is my grade 8 and grade 10 certificate and my University degree worth if there is no future in education and job opportunities for me??? It's dumb stupid to continue seat quiet and allow our whole good future over the cliff and to allow our certificates and degrees to become a pile of trash.

Let me remind all of us again. When the blood of corruption is profusing out of every part of this govt, draining and emanating out of every public organizations and govt run authorities and the cry for change has reached maximum proportion where the incubator of daily stress and stupidity has become a normal scene here, then we CAN NO LONGER GIVE EXCUSES and not do anything to support this present momentum for a nationwide strike!!! You want to be obedient to this slavery type govt by using exams and private company laws, etc as excuses, so be it !


Everyone now MUST sacrifice something to ga...


New report highlights human rights abuses caused by SABL land grab Act Now! blogs

The appalling human rights abuses being suffered by the victims of the huge SABL land-grab in Papua New Guinea are the focus of a new report published by ACT NOW! and UK based charity, War on Want.

The SABL Land Grab: Papua New Guineas Ongoing Human Rights Scandal highlights the devastating impacts on people living in rural communities and gives a voice to those who have suffered the illegal loss of their land to logging and oil-palm plantations.

People like Peter Tai who says people were threatened, beaten and turned away by armed police and the army when they tried to stop the logging and oil palm planting on their traditional land

When the company uses the police and army, they twist the law and beat us up very badly, to the point where we are afraid to attempt stopping the company again. 

It is not only violence that people have suffered: 

We, the people have lost our God given birth right to our land for 99 years and significantly our traditions, cultures, customs, virgin forest and friendly environment, the eco systems we depend on and our peaceful community living and life setting, explains a landowner from Pomio.  

The report highlights how the SABL land grab, as well as breaching PNGs own land laws and Constitution has breached a whole raft of international laws and conventions.  These include the International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, and the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, and many of the fundamental human rights protected in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 

ACT NOW! and War on Want are calling for immediate action to end the land grab and cancel the leases by the PNG government but are also asking the international community to be more proactive in pressuring for action by the authorities.

This includes calling on the UN Special Rapporteurs who have already written to the government expressing their concerns about the human rights abuses to come to PNG to see the impacts first hand and speak directly with the government.

They are also calling on China and the other countries taking logs and palm oil from the SABL areas to stop this illegal trade.

The testimonies that the report presents were collected over a two-year period by researchers who visited SABL affected communities in six different Provinces; Ne...


Coconut rhinoceros beetle: a huge threat in Solomon Islands and the Pacific Devpolicy Blog from the Development Policy Centre

A new invasive strain of the coconut rhinoceros beetle (CRB), Oryctes rhinoceros, is present in Solomon Islands and is spreading rapidly. CRB is the most serious insect pest of coconuts, essential for food security and cash income, resulting in significant yield losses and tree mortality. It also impacts oil palm, which is significant as the Guadalcanal Plains Palm Oil Company (GPPOL) employs around 1,500 people and contributes around 12% of national GDP. CRB also damages sago palm (important for housing), and the areca palm (the producer of betel nut, problematic from a health perspective, but also important for informal sector livelihoods in Solomon Islands). The CRB strain in Solomon Islands and elsewhere in the Pacific (CRB-G) is resistant to the virus that was used to control a different strain of CRB in Fiji, Samoa and Tonga in the 1960s and 1970s (this strain, CRB-S, is also present in Western Solomon Islands).

Symptoms of CRB-G attack were first reported in Honiara in January 2015. Subsequently, CRB-G has spread along the north coast of Guadalcanal, to the nearby small island of Savo, the Ngella (Florida) grouping, and to North Malaita in perhaps the most serious outbreak beyond Guadalcanal. More recently, CRB-G has been recorded in the Russell Islands group, which is home to the largest coconut plantation in the Southern Hemisphere, South Malaita, and on Ulawa Island. It is likely that CRB-G will soon reach other islands.

Contrary to the livelihoods threat from other invasive species such as the giant African snail, the Solomon Islands Government (SIG) is aware of the scale of the threat probably given the potential for huge economic and social impact from reduced yields of palm oil, copra, and coconut oil. GPPOL, for example, estimate that CRB will cost their business SB$40 million (AU$6.7 million) by the end of next year, or around 1530% of turnover. GPPOL and some coconut processors have been particularly vocal around the scale of the threat to their operations and proactive in trialling management responses. SIG declared a national CRB state of emergency through 2017 that remains in place.


Wednesday, 23 May


Edith Babul: A Plantation That Started With Ten Indian Guava Seeds "IndyWatch Feed"

By Scott Waide | #Inspirational #Papua New Guineans

Twenty years ago, Edith Babuls, young son, collected the seeds of a rather exotic Indian Guava fruit he found smashed on a road.

It was, at the time, a seemingly tiny deed done by a child for his mum. But over two decades, those seeds became a plantation of Indian guava trees whose fruits are now sold in Lae City.

He found the seeds and said, mum likes this fruit and he brought back about 100 seeds, said Edith Babul. From those seeds, 10 survived and those are among the trees we have now.

While Edith loved Indian guava, she didnt know the cultivation methods that would work efficiently.

At first it was all trial and error. I didnt know and I planted the seeds. It took a while.

In 2000, Edith harvested the first fruits from the initial 10 trees she had planted. She sold over 100 fruits and made K300.

Because I was still working, I told my husband and children that the demand for this fruit was good and that we had to carefully manage the trees.

It wasnt all easy. Some of the trees died and fruits were left to rot or succumbed to pest and disease.

As we walked through the guava plantation, Edith spots a large fruit. She pulls down the branch and picks a fruit which is bigger than her hand. Its fruits like this that have made her quite popular within agriculture circles.

Try it, she says, as we cut open the huge fruit. The guava is soft, delicious and far less acidic than smaller local varieties. Guava cultivation has become an art for Edith Babul.

She gives a lecture on insect management as we walk through the grove.

Never cut all the grass. When insect populations pick up in in June and July, you have to give them something to eat. Let them start with the grass first. If you remove all the grass, they will eat your fruits and leaves.


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