Community Confusion and Despair

Community Confusion and Despair

The SABL process has created confusion and despair. The communities have not participated or been consulted in the process. In the wake of the policy, there has been inter clan violence as once close communities become divided.

Canopy Watch discusses the state of New Hanover politicized culture at its work shop. It is clear that even in a post SABL Papua New Guinea New Hanover is scarred and still at the mercy of the industrialized logging industry.

SABL's Impact on Livelihoods

SABL's Impact on Livelihoods

Traditionally livelihoods have been sustainably interlinked with the forests and the reefs on New Hanover for over four thousand years. The Island has now been rapidly stripped of its resources the impact of the unconsidered forest communities who have inhabited, and customarily owner the Special Agricultural Business Leased areas are driven into poverty.

The Canopy Watch Listens to Monica's Voice on life in New Hanover before and after the SABL Policy.

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Min River Expedition

Min River Expedition

In 2016 Canopy Watch made an expedition in New Hanover to asset the impact of the logging there. The intention was to follow the logging roads into Central New Hanover's SABL that we visited in 2012.

However, the political situation on the Island had changed we could only access Central New Hanover via the Min River. Here we investigated the Impact of Logging and assessed the extent of the promised agricultural development that had taken place.

 

BACKGROUND TO SABL DISPUTES

Canopy Watch 2012 Pre Election Broadcast in PNG

In 2012 Campaign launched with a televised awareness appeal Broadcast on prime time national television before the Papua New Guinea Elections. At this election, the nation awaited the delayed Commission of Inquiry Final Report on Special Agricultural Business leases, a policy that had ripped into customary owned land with the purpose of setting land aside for agricultural development. However, it became clear that the new lease system policy was, in fact, used as fast-track way for logging companies to circumvent the forestry act.

 

LAVONGAI CHIEFTAINSHIP CEREMONY

New Hanover Rich Cultural Tapestry

Canopy Watch captured the inauguration of John Aini as a Traditional Leader in Lavongai, now referred to as New Hanover. His Chieftainship Ceremony in 2012 created an interlocking of the cultures of New Hanover and New Ireland for the first time in over 80 years. While this celebration took place in the South East of the Island, the Special Agricultural Business Leaseholders had started the process of stripping the timber assets in 2011, and by then their logging roads were deep into Central New Hanover clear felling a resource-rich island that sustained human settlements for over 4000 years. The customs and traditions of New Hanover's population are now in an unwanted transition, as the abundant natural resources that sustained them becomes degraded and diminished.

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COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO SABL

FINAL REPORT CRITIQUE

Paul Barker Institute of National Affairs

In 2016 the Canopy Watch Network conducted a review of the state of affairs with regards the Commission of Inquiry's Final Report on SABL's. How have the customary landowners been affected, have the recommendations of the commission been carried out? Canopy Watch had the opportunity of asking Paul Barker Executive Director from the Institute of National Affairs in Port Moresby.

 

Water Ways Polluted

New Hanover Impact

One of the main breaches in the logging code of practice is not respecting the buffer zone to waterways. There should be a minimum of a 50-meter buffer to a class one river. The logging operations in New Hanover do not follow this practice often compromising the only water resource communities have. In New Hanover, the rivers drain soil from the cleared forest into the rivers and then onto the reef. Therefore the impact is on drinking water, river fish and reef fish.

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Gabriel Mollock

Traditional Land Tenure System

Gabriel Mollock community leader in Turubu explains the complicated process of customary land ownership in Papua New Guinea. He expresses the need for proper social mapping when large-scale agricultural development projects are introduced.

 

JOHN AINI

A Name for Destruction

John Aini, a lecturer at the National Fisheries College of Papua New Guinea and the founder and director of Ailan Awareness, a small NGO in New Ireland, Papua New Guinea discuss his few of the implication of SABL's in New Hanover Where is a traditional leader.