Home > Corruption, Human rights, Land, oil palm, Papua New Guinea > Local people on Bougainville oppose Torokina oil palm

Local people on Bougainville oppose Torokina oil palm

November 14, 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments
oil plam seedlings

Rimbunan Hijau oil palm nursery in East New Britain

 

Submitted by ambros

As a local from Torokina I can confirm that the majority of the rural population of Torokina are against the oil palm project. It is a con paper project…

We are against being used to justify such a project just to secure project funds. We are against an environmentally destructive project which only benefit a few and other so called investors.

We want environmentally friendly development that we can owne and manage ourselves. There was no consultation with the rural communities. This idea was initiated from the top and pushed down the throats of our people.

Torokina does not need oil palm to develop. We have all the resources that we could ever wish to have compared to other districts. We only have to be smart and identify our weakness and opportunities/strengths so we could build on them and move and own and manage our our development and be truly independent.

The only reason why Torokina is last is because it will be coming first in the near future… if only we put our heads together. We cannot always destroy ourselves (environment) for the sake of development. We can always conserve/preserve our environment and develop.

These so called landowner chiefs who supports the project are short sighted, lazy and think they can make millions overnight. All they are interested in is themselves.

Oil palm…… is a big no…… over to you…

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  1. Dennis Vitou
    November 14, 2014 at 9:29 pm

    In addition to what Ambrose submitted,
    on behalf of the people of Torokina, we have this question to ask.
    Why should the people of Torokina be used to repay Hakau for someone elses debt? Our investigation on this matter found that Hakau sponsored someone’s election campaign in the last ABG election and was promised a logging and Oil Palm project in Torokina without the people knowing and without our consent. Torokina is NOT and must NOT be used as a dumping ground by the ABG for its rubbish.
    May I add also that for far too long, past Bougainville governments, including the current ABG, have always marginalized the people of Torokina and the Atolls as they regarded us as a minority group of people. We will not allow that to continue and we will continue to highlight this to the government.
    For those who continue to perpetrate this Oil Palm project, your answer is;
    THERE WILL BE NO OIL PALM IN TOROKINA – period.
    As for Henry Chow, SORRY, we are not related to him nor do we have any link or connection to him. He is a foreigner.
    As for the Torokina Real Estate in Madang, I will comment on it later as that is also a story on its own.

  2. November 15, 2014 at 7:02 pm

    The underlying issue with the proposed oil palm project in Torokina is one concerning land, to be exact, land ownership. You cannot go to communities thinking that you can buy land. No matter how much you offer or how much you project oil palm as a profitable investment with benefits to landowners, buying land will always be seen as a form of alienation and expropriation.

    The other, even more worrying aspect associated with the oil palm project is to do how it is alleged that Hakau was attempting to convert customary land in much the same way as SABL was allowed in many parts of the country. Under SABL Hakau would have unhindered “rights” to harvest logs and use the land however it pleases. The thought of losing your customary land forever, whether it is planted with oil palm or cocoa or mangoes or cashew nuts is something that landowners are prepared to defend with their lives. I think this is partly what Dennis is expressing.

    There is a lesson to learn here as well. If you are going to do anything on customary land it is important for the Government to do exhaustive consultations than going in half corked and trying to deal with quite obvious land related issues later.

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