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07 July 2014


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Thanks for this article, Keith. I have placed it on the Sepik Region Development Discussion Forum site on Facebook. The people of Yangoru-Saussia are faced with something similar if they allow Wilmar to take over 100 000 hectares and create the biggest oil palm plantation in the world.

At the moment their MP, William Maru, is "doing the right thing" and is involved in improving roads, health services and education in this area.

We have to face up to it, it is a form of "development", and if it is what they really want then we can't stop them. But they have been warned of the consequences.

Deep down I think that Robin may be an "extreme right-wing Tea Partyist".

But then again, some things, like SABLs, designed to help rural landholders, get subverted by the unscrupulous and greedy too.

Agenda 21 is one of the favourite bêtes noires of the extreme right-wing Tea Partyists. It's one-world government! It's eroding property rights! It's the new world order!

Get a grip friends. It's actually about protecting local rights in developing countries, protecting indigenous culture, and trying to prevent exploitation.

Heaven forbid but I'm starting to buy into your conspiracy theories about the UN Robin.

That said, I'm still a big fan of the motives of the neo-cons theory as outlined by Klein.

I'm also alarmed by Albert Schram's comment on another post today:

"Apart from vague definition of the landowner in PNG, there is another fundamental issue with communal landownership.

"In absence of private landownership, a regular banking sector can not develop.

"In capitalist economies land is used as a collateral for bank loans, which in part provide finance for productive capital.

"Capitalism without capital is not a realistic expectation."

I'm hoping that he is not suggesting that the state in PNG privatize all land.

I worked on a Commission of Enquiry into Land Matters chaired by Sinaka Goava in 1972, which was responsible for the current land laws.

Back then they were also struggling with how to develop PNG while retaining communal land use. The Bougainville situation was very much in their minds, as was the situation on the Gazelle Peninsula.

The suggestions that they came up with were not perfect but they showed a path forward. The law based on their findings has since been modified to address the issue of fake landholders.

So in theory it should all work.

The factors not taken into account were the endemic corruption that developed and the rapacious nature of modern developers.

Like most things in PNG, if those factors can be brought under control, the laws can be allowed to work for everyone's benefit.

The events of the past month don't give much hope of that happening I'm afraid.

Some background to the palm oil bandwagon can be found here -

As well as destroying old-growth forests, substituting a monoculture of no benefit to local landowners, enriching multi-national corporations who care little about traditional land-ownership, it is also destroying the habitats of endangered species.

"In South-East Asia, alone, the likely equivalent of 300 football fields are deforested every hour, resulting in the deaths of more than 1,000 orang-utans each year. Some 90% of orang-utan habitat has been lost and at the current rate of deforestation, orang-utans could be extinct in the wild in less than 10 years."

Somebody, somewhere in the PNG bureaucracy knows and follows the recipe for the control measures so lamented by the victims of "sustainable development."

UN Agenda 21/Sustainable Development is the action plan implemented worldwide to inventory and control all land, all water, all minerals, all plants, all animals, all construction, all means of production, all energy, all education, all information, and all human beings in the world.

INVENTORY AND CONTROL.----Rosa Koire - See more at:

Considering its policies are woven into all the General Plans of the cities and counties, it's important for people to know where these policies are coming from. While many people support the United Nations for its 'peacemaking' efforts, hardly anyone knows that they have very specific land use policies that they would like to see implemented in every city, county, state and nation. The specific plan is called United Nations Agenda 21 Sustainable Development, which has its basis in Communitarianism. By now, most Americans have heard of sustainable development but are largely unaware of Agenda 21.

In a nutshell, the plan calls for governments to take control of all land use and not leave any of the decision making in the hands of private property owners. It is assumed that people are not good stewards of their land and the government will do a better job if they are in control. Individual rights in general are to give way to the needs of communities as determined by the governing body. Moreover, people should be rounded up off the land and packed into human settlements, or islands of human habitation, close to employment centers and transportation. Another program, called the Wildlands Project spells out how most of the land is to be set aside for non-humans.

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