Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Department of Land’

O’Neill’s illegal logging: 959 days and counting…

February 8, 2016 Leave a comment

count

There is still no sign of any action to undo the huge SABL land grab, revoke the unlawful leases or stop the illegal logging.

It is 959 days, since Prime Minister Peter O’Neill was told that the SABL leases were unlawful and should be cancelled.

On June 24, 2013 O’Neill was given the reports of the SABL Commission Inquiry which detail the widespread fraud and mismanagement used by foreign logging companies to gain illegal access to over 5 million hectares of land.

For more than two years O’Neill has REPEATEDLY told us the leases will be canceled and illegal logging stopped.

In September 2013 O’Neill said in Parliament:

“We will no longer watch on as foreign owned companies come in and con our landowners, chop down our forests and then take the proceeds offshore”

In June 2014, announcing an NEC decision supposedlycancelling the leases, O’Neill said

“We are taking these steps to reclaim our customary land illegally lost to foreigners with the help of corrupt public servants and leaders”

“As a responsible government we want to ensure that all citizens have access to the lands of their ancestors. We will not allow our land to be lost to unscrupulous people out to con our people” 

The Chief Secretary has also said:

“It is widely known that vast amounts of pristine forest have been logged to enrich a corrupt few people, while landowners have unknowingly lost their most valuable asset – their land”.

But, still no action has been taken to cancel the leases or stop the logging. Indeed, Forest Minister Douglas Tomuriesa, has declared the logging companies are effectively above the law, He says the SABL logging is legal and he will not be taking action to stop it.

So, despite all the promises, the fact is landowners are receiving no support from the government in their battles and against the land grabbing and WE ARE STILL WAITING for the leases to be cancelled and the logging stopped.

For 959 days O’Neill has failed to ensure the SABL leases are revoked and he has been complicit in the illegal logging of our forests by foreign logging companies.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has aided and abetted the theft of logs worth hundreds of million of kina and the destruction of thousands of hectares of pristine forest.

sabl cartoon

Unlawful SABL being used in money scam

February 4, 2016 Leave a comment

MAS Baina logging

A Malaysian owned business registered in the United States is trying to raise $500,000 via the internet using the promise of profits to be made in logging an illegally issued SABL in Central Province.

MAS Project Management claims it has ‘acquired’ the 42,150 hectares of land known as Portion 29C which it will use for logging under an agreement with Baina Agro Forestry Limited.

MAS claims the logging will deliver profits of over US$34 million but fails to disclose the SABL has been declared unlawful by a Commission of Inquiry which recommended the lease be revoked.

Dato Abdul Manaf Abdul Hamid is the man behind MAS Project Management. He says the company is registered in the US State of Delaware. He is also a shareholder and director of MAS Incorporated, which is registered as a local company in PNG despite being owned by Malaysians.

Abdul Manaf Abdul Hamid is using the EquityNet crowd funding platform to try and raise $500,000 from potential investors.

He has posted a promotional video on YouTube in which he claims logging in the SABL will deliver profits of over US$34 million, based on the export of 873,280 cubic metres of logs and an income of $122 million.

The video makes no mention of the costs of establishing an oil palm plantation which is promised on the EquityNet website and which is presumably the carrot being used to fool some local landowners.

Baina Agro Forestry is the company which was granted a 40 year SABL lease over Portion 29C in November 2005. It claims to be a ‘landowner’ company but only a very few local people are involved.

The SABL Commission of Inquiry found the lease had been unlawfully issued by the Department of Lands and recommended it be revoked. That recommendation has since been endorsed by the National Executive Committee.

The CoI found most of the 6,000 people living in the lease area had not been consulted about the SABL. Only 300 (5%) participated in the Land Investigation process. As well as the lack of landowner consent the CoI found numerous procedural errors in the issuing of the SABL.

This is how MAS Project Management describes its plans:

MAS had acquired a piece of land for an agro-forestry project located in the Goilala District of Central Province, Papua New Guinea. It covers a total of 42,150 hec. of forest and is geographically located approx. just 100 km west of Port Moresby.
MAS INCORPORATED (PNG) LTD a company incorporated in the Independent State of Papua New Guinea on 19th July, 2007and wholly owned by Malaysian Bumiputra had acquired a piece of land for an agro-forestry project located in the Goilala District of Central Province, Papua New Guinea.
It covers a total of 42,150 hectares of forest land and is geographically located approximately just 100 km west of Port Moresby, the National Capital of PNG. The location is within the vicinity of the Doa Rubber estates in the east and Mariboi Rubber Plantation in the north.
Besides being registered as a private limited company, MAS has also been certified by Investment Promotion Authority (IPA) as a foreign enterprise and recognized by the PNG National Forest Authority as a Forest Industry Participant under the Forestry Act 1991.
The Landowners and the Clan Leaders of Baina Agro-Forest had endorsed a Logging & Marketing Agreement (LMA) dated 28th October 2008 signed between BAINA AGRO FOREST LTD (BAF) a Landowner Company (LOC) and MAS INCORPORATED (PNG) LTD (MAS). Under the LMA, MAS is given the rights to extract and market the timber resourses felled in the area.
A SUB-LEASE AGREEMENT dated 12th December 2008 was also signed between Baina Agro Forest Ltd and Mas Incorporated (PNG) Ltd. whereby the Baina Agro Forestry Land was leased to MAS for 40 + 99 years.
The approval to start a clear felling operation on the first designated area of 5,000 hec. was given by the Department of Agriculture & Livestock (DAL) and the PNG National Forest Authority (NFA) since 7th October 2009.
The approval paved the way for MAS to apply for the Forest Clearing Authority (FCA), an overall approval from the DAL and the NFA to clear fell the forest in the designated area for agricultural development.
The merchantable timber extracted from the area are allowed to be exported while the small and the super small volumes that cannot be exported can be utilized locally for downstream processing.

O’Neill’s illegal logging: 952 days and counting…

February 1, 2016 Leave a comment

count

px-logo land grabbing

Peter O'Neill: Theft of forest resources: Guilty

sabl cartoon

Malaysian company signs agreement to log illegal SABL

January 28, 2016 1 comment
An agar plantation has saved See Goh's Compugates from bankruptcy

An agarwood plantation has saved See Goh’s Compugates after years of financial losses but is the Chief Executive aware the Marienberg SABL is a fraud?

A Malaysian electronics distribution company claims it has signed an agreement to log the 26,000 hectare Marienberg SABL in East Sepik Province [see story below]

The SABL was originally issued to another Malaysian owned company, Brilliant Investments in 2007.

The SABL Commission of Inquiry recommended the SABL be revoked as it was unlawfully issued without the consent of landowners and without following many of the necessary steps mandated in the Lands Act.

The CoI  found there was a “serious lack of landowner involvement” in the issuing of the SABL and no “majority consent on the engagement and authorization of Brilliant Investments to be named as the grantee of the SABL”.

Brilliant was issued with a Forest Clearance Authority (11-02) in June 2009 despite failing to lodge many of the required documents with the PNG Forest Authority.

The CoI noted that although Brilliant had logged large areas of forest it had not taken any genuine steps to establish a promised cocoa plantation. It now seems the company has fallen out with a group of local landowners and their company Marienberg Hills Investment Limited.

According to Compugates, it has signed a logging agreement with MHIL – although it remains unclear how much forest remains to be logged.

Compugates may venture into logging in PNG
The Star
Compugates Holdings Bhd has been invited by Papua New Guinea-based Marrienberg Hills Resources Development Ltd (MHRD) to log 26,000ha of its forested land.
The consumer electronic product distributor told Bursa Malaysia that its unit Compugates Perak Sdn Bhd (CPSB), which cultivates and sells agricultural products, had entered into a memorandum of understanding with MHRD, which would maintain its exclusive invitation to CPSB for six months.
The logging and marketing contract will be for a term of five years and will be renewable.
Compugates, which posted a net loss of RM5.6mil for the first nine months of last year, said the financial effects of the MoU could only be determined on the finalisation and execution of a binding commercial enterprise with MHRD.
Compugates shares closed unchanged at 4.5 sen on Tuesday, with 30.89 million shares changing hands.
__________

O’Neill’s illegal logging: 945 days and counting…

January 25, 2016 1 comment

count

There is still no sign of any action to undo the huge SABL land grab, revoke the unlawful leases or stop the illegal logging.

It is 945 days, since Prime Minister Peter O’Neill was told that the SABL leases were unlawful and should be cancelled.

On June 24, 2013 O’Neill was given the reports of the SABL Commission Inquiry which detail the widespread fraud and mismanagement used by foreign logging companies to gain illegal access to over 5 million hectares of land.

For more than two years O’Neill has REPEATEDLY told us the leases will be canceled and illegal logging stopped.

Peter O'Neill: Theft of forest resources: Guilty

In September 2013 O’Neill said in Parliament:

“We will no longer watch on as foreign owned companies come in and con our landowners, chop down our forests and then take the proceeds offshore”

In June 2014, announcing an NEC decision supposedlycancelling the leases, O’Neill said

“We are taking these steps to reclaim our customary land illegally lost to foreigners with the help of corrupt public servants and leaders”

“As a responsible government we want to ensure that all citizens have access to the lands of their ancestors. We will not allow our land to be lost to unscrupulous people out to con our people” 

The Chief Secretary has also said:

“It is widely known that vast amounts of pristine forest have been logged to enrich a corrupt few people, while landowners have unknowingly lost their most valuable asset – their land”.

But, still no action has been taken to cancel the leases or stop the logging. Indeed, Forest Minister Douglas Tomuriesa, has declared the logging companies are effectively above the law, He says the SABL logging is legal and he will not be taking action to stop it.

So, despite all the promises, the fact is landowners are receiving no support from the government in their battles and against the land grabbing and WE ARE STILL WAITING for the leases to be cancelled and the logging stopped.

For 945 days O’Neill has failed to ensure the SABL leases are revoked and he has been complicit in the illegal logging of our forests by foreign logging companies.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has aided and abetted the theft of logs worth hundreds of million of kina and the destruction of thousands of hectares of pristine forest.

O’Neill’s illegal logging: 938 days and counting…

January 18, 2016 Leave a comment

count

Peter O'Neill: Theft of forest resources: Guilty

px-logo land grabbing

billboard poster - give land back to landowners

Government in disarray over SABL land grab?

January 15, 2016 1 comment

headless chickens

The government appears to be in disarray over the SABL land grab with everyone from the Prime Minister down singing from a different song book. But are the PM and his Ministers just running around like a bunch of headless chickens or is the apparent confusion really a smokescreen to hide the fact they have no intention of cancelling the unlawful leases or stopping the logging?

This week the Prime Minister said the delay in canceling the SABL leases is down to the Department of Lands ‘dragging its feet” and leaseholders taking legal actions [Post Courier, 13 January].

This directly contradicts his Chief Secretary who late last year said the delay was due to the need for legislation as no powers exist to cancel the leases.

But Lands Minister Benny Allen is telling yet a different story. He says his Department has no intention of canceling the SABLs and is instead preparing a submission to NEC proposing the leases be converted to registered land. [Loop PNG 13 January – warning, ignore the silly headline!]

Meanwhile Forest Minister, Douglas Tomuriesa, doesn’t know what all the fuss is about. According to him it doesn’t matter if the SABLs are valid or not he is not going to stop the logging companies from carrying on their forest clearances.

With more than 5 million cubic metres of logs, worth more than $500 million having already been exported from the SABL areas it is clear the Prime Minister was right when he told Parliament the foreign owned logging companies have conned landowners and are chopping down their forests and taking the proceeds offshore [September 2013]

Unfortunately the PM seems to have failed to convince his Forest Minister – or is he too happy to see the logging continue while he protests his own innocence in the whole affair?

What can we conclude from all this?

Clearly someone is paying someone to make sure nothing happens!

And either the PM has completely no control over his government or he and his Ministers are happy to be seen running around like headless chooks in order to try and cover up their complicity in the illegal logging and land grabbing.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,049 other followers