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« Evidence says InterOil's gas isn’t commercially viable | Main | Democracy, custom & the elasticity of the Melanesian Way »

21 August 2012


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The program on the Torres Strait masks is now available on YouTube.

Further to my post late last night of people not knowing what is happening, the Post Courier today (23 August) reported:

'Finsch mineral explorers urged to meet with landowners' by Franco Nebas

COMPANIES intending to explore the Lalan mineral deposits in Hube Local Level Government of Finschhafen district have been urged to meet with landowner representatives to iron out understandings.

Spokesman for the Lalan village people Mr Philip Dow called on the Speaker of Parliament and the member for Finschhafen Mr Theodore Zurenuoc to investigate with the Department of Mining in Port Moresby how companies have obtained EL in the area.

With controversy raging over the rapacious forest activities in the jungle of PNG, I recall one Lavongai lass who worked for the government in Conservation.

She was vetting some Environmental Plans before the department from the biggest caterpillar of them all. She noted that the rivers were wrongly named; the inheritance system was described as patrilineal etc etc.

Turns out that the insects had merely copied a previous EIA from another of their areas and photocopied to be attached to formal application.

Imagine their bag carrier in capital would take a departmental staffer out to lunch and then hand over the bulky file; guessing that it would be too much for the public servant to completely read and after all he or she would have no knowledge of Lavongai. “Pay your fee and get your permit!”

The exploiters knew then they can get a good long file prepared and accepted without real vetting of its details. Have things really changed in the corridors of Waigani where smartly dressed bureaucrats and their entourage appear to go through the motions from 8 till 4.

Hospitals without drugs or broken-down basic life saving machines; teachers without homes; shipping safety rules ignored and still killing PNG citizens.

Witness the shambles of the Ten Yearly Census - postponed; Five Yearly Electoral Rolls badly prepared; 2nd half Education Subsidy payments taking over two months to distribute; 1,100 new teachers unpaid for 8 months this year; unpaid water bills stopping departmental taps or darkening offices sweltering because of unpaid power bills. Even filthy sweaty parliamentary offices.

And so it goes on and all the time the SABL clear felling deforestation goes on under the eyes of Forestry Officers and Ministers.

Sorry I don't have much faith in any paperwork being of much worth in the corridors of power! Once a real clerk and still poor to prove it.

The religious kind brought significant changes to Papua New Guinea - there is commendation for their efforts from all corners of Papua New Guinea.

Depending on what lens, one is wearing, controversy will always be there.

PNG would not have made much progress, had it not been for the missionaries.

Stories of their sacrifices and commitments would also fill libraries and museums around the world too.

The current National Planning Minister is one of those descendants from the London Missionary Society who landed in PNG.

Bulk of the politicians, bureaucrats and ordinary PNGeans are students from mission established schools - something that our tumbunas and government weren't able to provide.

Kudos to the missionaries who landed in PNG!

I do social mapping in PNG. Social mapping is a multidisciplinary exercise that includes anthropology. It is mandatory under the Oil and Gas Act and will shortly be so under the Mining Act.

Done properly it is a much better system than that employed under Native Title in Australia because it considers all the impacts of exploration on a community.

Resource explorers can't get onto their tenements until they have done first stage social mapping.

Haddon's British New Guinea data is used extensively in social mapping in Papua, where most of the big oil discoveries occur.

His work, unlike that of others, still stands up well after all these years.

Re the ABC link kindly provided, I would have shared this link on Facebook but, sadly, on attempting to view, received the message: "Due to copyright reasons this video program is available for download by people located in Australia only. If you are not located in Australia, you are not authorised to view this video."

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