Stopping land theft in the Ramu

27 Feb 2012

Melchior Warre, a Papagraun (customary landowner) from Papua New Guinea's Madang Province, is attending a commission of inquiry investigation hearing into the use of Special Agriculture Leases (SABLs). Mel says why his Ramu People are against 99-year Special Agriculture Business Leases (SABL). Through agreements that appear legal, the leases take away land rights from landowners for at least three generations. Certain clauses in the lease agreements also allow foreign companies to sue customary landowners. The Commision of Inquiry has, so far, compiled a mountain of evidence that show that ordinary people have been cheated by foreign companies and middlemen. The people of the Ramu were among the first people to raise concerns about SABLs after a company began logging in the area.