30 Jul 2012

Greenpeace report claims massive land grab in PNG

1:50 pm on 30 July 2012

Greenpeace has released a report revealing what it says is a massive land grab by foreign logging companies in Papua New Guinea.

The conservation organisation says between 2003 and 2011 the former government allowed companies to use Special Agricultural and Business Leases to circumvent forestry regulations and claim more than five million hectares of land and forests.

The author of the report, Paul Winn, says under the scheme communities receive as little as 15 dollars a cubic metre.

"Some in the community see these leases as leading to economic prosperity and employment. Sadly that's not the case and it's led to a great deal of fragmentation, clans are fighting against clans and families against families. As far as the environment is concerned it's enormous, the impact is enormous."

Paul Winn says the new government should table a report by a commission of inquiry into the scheme and pass legislation to stop more trees being wrongly felled.