Home > Corruption, Land, Logging, Papua New Guinea > No more Coca Cola at Vision City?

No more Coca Cola at Vision City?

December 13, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

image001Coca Cola has declared zero tolerance on land grabbing according to media reports (see below).

PNG’s biggest land grabber, says the recent Commission of Inquiry that uncovered widespread fraud and illegality, is Rimbunan Hijau:

Our investigations reveal that over 50% of the so-called developers’ currently holding subleases on SABLs are connected in one way or another to Rimbunan Hijau (RH) Limited, which by far is the biggest logging operator in PNG. [p242]*

Rimbunan Hijau has been exploiting the SABL leases to illegally grab land from customary landowners, in collusion with corrupt government officers:

“With corrupt government officials from implementing agencies riding shotgun for them, opportunistic loggers masquerading as agro-forestry developers are prowling our countryside, scoping opportunities to take advantage of gullible landowners and desperate for cash clan leaders.” [p242]

Vision City was built by Rimbunan Hijau using the money from its illegal logging operations

Vision City was built by Rimbunan Hijau using the money from its illegal logging operations

Rimbunan Hijau owns and operates the vast Vision City shopping mall in Port Moresby, as well as other retail outlets around the country.

If Coca Cola is being honest about its zero tolerance for land grabbing then Coke will no longer be available in Vision City or any Rimbunan Hijau supermarket, hypermarket or logging camp canteen….

Come on Coke, do the right thing and stand by your commitment to ZERO TOLERANCE FOR LAND GRABBING!

* The full quote from the Commission of Inquiry:

A preponderance of the evidence before us indicate that logging companies are the biggest beneficiaries of the SABL scheme. Most sublease holders are using sublease agreements primarily to extract logs. Most of them do not even make the attempt to clear fell harvested areas to start work on the agriculture component. They take full advantage by exploiting the flawed lease-leaseback process and capitalize on the poorly regulated and badly administered oversight apparatus. Our investigations reveal that over 50% of the so-called developers’ currently holding subleases on SABLs are connected in one way or another to Rimbunan Hijau (RH) Limited, which by far is the biggest logging operator in PNG. [p242]

Coca Cola joins wows to stop land grabs

By Jimmy Kalebe in the Post Courier

THE world’s largest buyer of sugar, Coca Cola, in a landmark announcement last month, has committed itself and its suppliers to a policy of zero tolerance on land grabs.

The commitment came in a reaction to demands from a quarter of a million people mobilised by a hard-hitting Oxfam campaign targeting the world’s top 10 food and beverage companies. The Oxfam campaign states that sugar, along with soy and palm oil, is driving large-scale land acquisitions and causing land conflicts.

In the report released by Oxfam International, Coca Cola worldwide has set the bar high and campaigners are sure to use this to call on governments, investors and the rest of the food beverage industry to step as well.

The report said currently Oxfam International is calling on two other sugar giants, Pepsi and Associated British Foods, to match Coke’s commitment.

In many cases in Papua New Guinea, land acquisition and land conflicts have been linked to human rights violations and loss of livelihoods turning land deals into land grabs.

Oxfam International PNG is urging the government and companies to stand against this practice and respect the law of the land.

Over the past decade there has been scandalous land grabbing in PNG as documented by the inquiry into Special Agriculture Business Lease.

Meanwhile, local landowners of Turubu inland in East Sepik claim they have had their land taken away from them.

An oil palm project was established in their region but the villages of Tring, Ibap, Wandomie and Samap never signed an agreement to be part of the project. However, they were surprised to learn that a logging company, engaged by landowner company Limawo Holdings Ltd, logged parts of their forested land without their consent.

Landowner Augustine Mondu of Nimbuam clan said the locals engaged Centre for Environmental Law and Community Rights lawyers to take up their legal battle.

Locals have been fighting to protect their land for the last five years. With the help sought from the lawyers they will try to make sure logging and other operations happening on their customary land stops.

Since the oil palm project was introduced in 2008, the entire constituency of the Turubu local level government area falls under special agriculture business lease.

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  1. Simpson Aope
    December 13, 2013 at 1:22 pm
  2. kanex Kanarepa
    December 13, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    It’s all RH everywhere in this country. Most land in and around POM in one-way or another is owned by RH so I am not suprised RH is said to own 60% of the SABL leases around the country. This is done through corrupt means perpetuated by prominent people in PNG including Politicians and Public servants through “Under table Cash Diplomacy” which is the trade mark of the people concerned!! GOD WILL ONE DAY UNCOVER THIS ROT TO SAVE THE POOR PEOPLE OF THIS COUNTRY. This will surely happen not in the too distant future but soon!!!

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