Home > Corruption, Land, Logging, Papua New Guinea > SABL Case Study No.3: Tutuman and the Danfu Extension

SABL Case Study No.3: Tutuman and the Danfu Extension

November 28, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

SABL Commission of Inquiry Report 2: Pages 359-384

“The C.O.I recommends that SABL Portion 817C be revoked on the basis that the integrity of the Lands Group Registration process and the Land Investigation process fundamental to good title was flawed and must be nullified” [p382]

“There was evidence of non-compliance with Immigration laws… We are concerned that Immigration and Tutuman officials have collaborated to short circuit the immigration work permit process.” [p368]

Much of the population… were totally surprised to hear that their land was subject of the SABL [and] Agriculture Sublesae agreement to TDL for 40 years” [p369/70]

“The SABL project has not yielded any significant progress and changes to the people of the Danfu SABL project area…” [p371]

“Tutuman Development Ltd funded the operational cost for the Officer conducting the land investigation and directed and took charge of the whole process” [p382]

“The funding and time spent on the Land investigation is a testament of the continuing ignorance of DLPP Management and its field officers in safeguarding the interests of the landowners…” [p372]

No files have been furnished by the Lands Department. This is one of the many that the system has either lost or simply cannot locate because of the chaotic and disastrous system it maintains.” [p373]

This case study covers the Special Agriculture and Business Lease over Portion 871C in the Namatanai District of New Ireland Province. 

SABL CoI report 2The SABL covers an area of 29,581 hectares and the lease was granted to Rakubana Development Ltd (RDL) in October 2007. The lease is for a period of 99-years.

RDL subsequently subleased to Tutuman Development Ltd (TDL) for a period of 40 years.

There are seven villages located within the lease area, which is located within the expired Danfu TRP logging concession area. RDL is a nationally owned company formed by villagers within the expired TRP concession area. It has 22 shareholder and the same number of directors.

On a site visit the Commission team saw no evidence of current logging operations but observed a log pond and makeshift harbor and jetty, an overgrow and neglected nursery for cocoa trees, cocoa trees planted along the roadside which were not yielding because of the wrong soil type. There were five Asian nationals on site who were engaged as store keeper, mechanic and in other general duties “normally work reserved for PNG Nationals”. [p367]

Tutuman Development Ltd was originally engaged by RDL to undertake logging under an agreement signed in 2005. In the SABL sublease Tutuman was to enter into an agriculture project to grow cocoa, coconut and oil palm.

The CoI heard complaints that logging roads and soil have been washed into rivers and polluted drinking water.

The Provincial Administrator in 2011 requested the SABL be extinguished ‘due to lack of due consideration and consultation’ by DLPP.

“His concern resulted from the constant complaints flooding his office…”

There was a lack of coordination between DLPP and the Provincial Office for the land investigation which evidence suggests was funded by TDL. The Lands Officer “was paid between K1-2,000 in allowances, accommodation and incidentals”. [p374]

There are no official records of the application for the Land Investigation and the CoI did not sight any Lease/Lease Back agreement.

“In view of the land form and mouton after the coastal strip, there was grave doubts as to any potential for cocoa or agriculture development”. [p374]

“DLPP never really took ownership and custody of what was supposed to be an independent investigation. This general trend continued in place of normal process and justifies nullification”. [p375/6]

There was no Certificate of Alienability issued to allow for the registration and issuance of the SABL.

The Agricuture Development plan has only 5 pages – the other 20 are missing. But DAL did approve the application by TDL for a Forest Clearance Authority (FCA).

TDL “did not develop a detail agriculture plan for growing of cocoa, coconut and oil palm after felling of the remaining stand of forest as required” [p377] TDL did not even prepare a detailed agriculture development plan.

“The sublease granted to TDL for investment in large-scale agriculture and land use development is flawed… ” [p378]

A FCA was granted to Tutuman in August 2010 by the PNG Forest Authority. The Regional NFS office raised ongoing concerns about Tutuman’s lack of compliance with the Forestry Act. In a very rare positive comment the CoI noted “The NFS of PNG based in the New Guinea islands seem to have been vigilant, diligent in the implementation or administration of the tasks it is supposed to do” [p381]

DEC accepted the EIS submitted by Tutuman and issued an Environmental Permit but did so BEFORE any sublease to TDL was executed.

“The Notice of Direct Grant, Gazettal Notice, Registration and Issuance of Title are legally deemed to be void” [p383]

  1. ToPam
    November 29, 2013 at 10:34 am

    This SABL saga is an agricultural camouflage for logging only or more correctly, raping of the remaining forests resources. NFS, DAL & DLPP are all aware of this and why are they continuing to entertain these SABLs. These loggers(investors) are smarter than the officers of NFS, DAL & DLPP, because they can easily talk these officers into approving the SABLs without any problems.

    These SABLs are becoming a problem, because if the COI findings of SABLs not being developed according to the original intentions, than why should we allow them to continue, they should be suspended.

    The land and resource owners are the main victims of this corrupt dealings between so-called representatives and investors.

    I believe we have substantial evidence from the COI to put an end to all the SABLs, whether legitimate or not. the Oneil/Dion Government must take a drastic step to end this madness.

    Thank youi

  1. January 13, 2014 at 7:13 am

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