Home > Human rights, Land, Logging, oil palm, Papua New Guinea > Konoagil Oil Palm Project just another illegal logging scam

Konoagil Oil Palm Project just another illegal logging scam

December 28, 2016 Leave a comment Go to comments
Walter Schnaubelt listens as local people talk about their greviances

Walter Schnaubelt is the man behind the illegal logging of southern New Ireland

Thirty years on from the Barnett Commission of Inquiry that exposed widespread corruption in the logging industry, the people of New Ireland are still falling victim to illegal logging operations set up without the informed consent of ordinary people.

Konoagil district, New Ireland

Konoagil district, New Ireland

From New Hanover in the north right down to Lak in the south, New Ireland is awash with illegal logging operations, the latest being the so-called Konoagil Oil Palm Project, set up by Walter Schnaubelt, the intending National Alliance candidate for Namatanai.

According to the media reports on the project launch in April, the logging will cover an area of 120,000 hectares and will involve the establishment of 35,000 hectares of oil palm and an “international hospital and school, nurse training centre and banking facilities for the local people”.

However, ever since the project launch landowners have been raising their objections – even presenting a petition to the Forest Minister. The local people say there has been no proper awareness and consultation over the occupation of their land and destruction of their forests.

Forest Minister, Douglas Tomuriesa, has failed to investigate claims the logging permits were bulldozed through his department

Forest Minister, Douglas Tomuriesa, has failed to investigate landholders claims the logging permits were bulldozed through his department

In July, Schnaubelt was on-hand as CEO of Konoagil Agri Development Ltd, one of the companies he has set up to orchestrate the project, to try and reassure locals and the media all proper processes have been followed – but the truth is the project has been bulldozed through every stage of the legal process by Schnaubelt and his lackeys.

It was Schnaubelt who was behind the incorporation of land groups in highly suspicious circumstances. Local people say some were even forced to complete and sign the registrations while clan boundaries were done in haste and no genealogy studies were ever completed. Proper verification of ILG formation process and issuing of certificates was never done by the Department of Lands.

Schnaubelt then used the ILG certificates to induce two Malaysian owned logging companies, Millionplus Corporation and Islands Forest to move into the area and start logging.

Landowners say they have never been given proper information on project impacts and benefits – including the terms and conditions on which KADL claims to hold 20% of the equity in the business on behalf of the landowners. The landowners say no documentation has ever been shared with them.

Tomorrow we will present the evidence of how Walter Schnaubelt has set up a string of companies to try and hide his involvement as the orchestrator of the whole logging scam. We will also present documentary evidence of how Schnaubelt bulldozed the project through the PNG Forest Authority without the consent of local landholders – and scandalous details on the finances of the Malaysian logging companies involved.

  1. roland funmat Jr
    April 5, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    This project will bring massive benefits to our people. Leave Walter Schnaubelt alone!!!!

    • April 6, 2017 at 5:08 am

      Have logging and oil palm brought ‘massive benefits’ to local people in other parts of New Ireland and PNG – NO!

      • Roland Tumsok Jr Funmat
        April 6, 2017 at 8:41 am

        . Have you been to Konoagil LLG? What has the New Ireland govt done for the people of Konoagil? Nothing except for the Nasko High School which was sponsored by Newcrest Tax Credit Scheme. Leave Walter alone. West New Britain is benefitting from Oil Palm and Logging. Every project has pros and cons so why not leave Konoiagil Oil Palm PROJECT ALONE!!!!!

  2. Roland Tumsok Jr Funmat
    April 5, 2017 at 1:31 pm

    This Local level Govt is the richest yet least developed in New Ireland. Great that Walter Schnaubelt is helping his people.

    • Chan Philip
      May 30, 2017 at 9:32 am

      What I have witnessed here is the highest level of ignorance in our locals Including those commenting here who have been truly deceived to believe in such controversial arrangements.
      No proper consultation from concern communities and landholders.

      Voice of Konoagil.

      • Roland Tumsok Jr Funmat
        May 31, 2017 at 2:25 pm

        Thank you Chan Philip. Okay can you give me the background of the project because you are the voice of Konoagil. You are a candidate for Namatanai Open so what are your policies to develop Namatanai??????

  1. December 29, 2016 at 9:32 am
  2. December 30, 2016 at 9:10 am
  3. January 3, 2017 at 10:35 am
  4. January 5, 2017 at 10:02 am
  5. March 13, 2017 at 1:41 am

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