Serial logger, Belden Namah, cries foul over SABL land grab
Belden Namah, the West Sepik Governor and Former Deputy Prime Minister, who has made a small fortune out of logging his peoples forests, has been been heavily implicated in the illegal SABL land grab and who once famously gambled away $800,000 in a single night, is now crying foul as his people realize their promised dreams are never going to be fulfilled and they have been conned by their MP and his logging mates…
Developer plundered our forest, village, Governor says
Source: The National (ironically owned by Rimbunan Hijau – another serial illegal logger)
SANDAUN Governor Belden Namah’s dream of hosting the biggest oil palm plantation in the southern hemisphere is now in ruins after the proposed developer allegedly plundered his forest and village.
He now regrets bringing the developer into his Vanimo-Green electorate in West Sepik.
Namah even invited Prime Minister Peter O’Neill to launch the oil palm project by planting the first oil palm seedlings in 2012 during the O’Neill-led Government.
The oil palm tree planted by O’Neill has withered away. “I brought the Prime Minister in 2012 and we launched it. The Prime Minister planted the first oil palm. We had a big dream. The company boasted to develop and plant oil palm plantation, only to realise that we have been defrauded.”
Now Namah is planning a massive legal action against the developer to the extent of terminating the agreement and seeking compensation for environment damage.
“We brought the company to develop an oil palm project under the Special Agricultural Businesses Lease agreement. The developer was supposed to log the forest and then plant oil palm. Instead, they have moved away from their core purpose which is agriculture to come and plant and develop an oil palm estate,” Namah said.
“I was proud when I introduced this project and I thought it will be a leading oil palm project in the southern hemisphere.
“But when they started to sell the first shipment of logs, they forgot about oil palm plantation and focused on logging. They didn’t observe the best agriculture practices by clear felling logs and planting oil palm before moving on.
“Instead they just logged the area and move. Only on the side of the road they just plant oil palm juts like window dressing.
“But you go further in, there are logs lying and dumped in the river, creeks and clear fall areas logs are there.
“About 150,000 landowners are now displaced. The project was supposed to improve their daily livelihood. Instead it has allegedly turned out the opposite and devastated about 150,000 hectares of forest.
“The logging operation displaced over 150,000 people by destroying their lands and rivers and creeks.
“Even my own village has been affected. We can’t make gardens, hunt and fish anymore.”
Namah claimed that the Forestry, Agriculture, Environment, Labour and Immigration departments are turning a blind eye against the company’s operation.