The new land grab in Papua New Guinea

1 Mar 2011

Between the beginning of July 2003 and the end of January 2011, almost 5 million hectares of customary land in PNG (11 percent of PNG’s total land area) has passed into the hands of national and foreign corporate entities through a legal mechanism known as the ‘lease-leaseback scheme’.

In this paper Colin Filer explores the recent evidence of the operation fo the lease-leaseback scheme, with particular attention to its role in the promotion
of so-called ‘agroforestry’ projects. Using case studies, Filer questions some of the ideological assumptions which have interfered with a pragmatic or realistic assessment of the social, political and economic forces at work in this process of alienation and considers the consequences of a failure to reverse or halt this process.


This paper was originally presented at the International Conference on Global Land Grabbing 6-8 April 2011 at the Institute of Development
Studies, University of Sussex, UK


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