Rights & Tenure in the News »
In Papua New Guinea, indigenous peoples' land rights revoked
On 28 May 2010, the parliament of Papua New Guinea amended key sections of the nation's Environment and Conservation Act of 2002. Opponents of the action feel that the changes, made in haste, are unconstitutional.
The amendments give the Office of Environment and Conservation (OEC) far reaching, and wide-ranging political powers to grant various land certificates to investors for environmental and natural resources planning. The amendment goes as far as to state that these provisions, at the discretion of the Director of the OEC, "may not be challenged or reviewed in any court or tribunal, except at the instigation of an Authorization Instrument."
Minister of Environment and Conservation of Papua New Guinea, Mr. Benny Allen, asserted that the amendments were made in the nation's "interest."
In response the deputy leader of the opposition party, Mr. Bart Philemon, stated that "the new laws [are] meant to protect the interests of investors at the expense of the environment and the resource owners. The new laws [are] selling [out] the rights of the people."
The changes remove the rights that Papua New Guineans have to protect their property from environmental harm and the right to sue for compensation for environmental damage and the customary rights to claim compensation for environmental harm. Papua New Guinea's history of environmental degradation includes death on a massive scale - notably when over 5,000 people lost their lives during a dispute between local land owners and Australian-owned Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL).
Read the original article from IRIN News here.
More coverage of the law can be found at these sources:
Posted By Lopaka Purdy at 1:36pm on June 07, 2010
This blog may contain links to external websites. These links should not be construed as endorsements by Rights and Resources of the content present. They are provided for informational purposes only.