The United Nations has sent Papua New Guinea’s government a please explain letter about millions of hectares of land allocated for what some say is “logging by stealth”.
In October last year AAP reported PNG villagers in Western Provinces were outraged the government had given away more than a million hectares of pristine forest for Special Agricultural Business Leases or S-A-B-L, without their knowledge or consent.
Western Province now has half of PNG’s allocated 5 million hectares of S-A-B-Ls.
The leases are for projects like oil palm farms, but some view them as a backdoor way for foreign companies to log pristine forest.
The chairman of the UN’s Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, Anwar Kemal, recently raised the UN’s concerns in a letter to PNG’s UN Ambassador Robert Aisi.