ID landowners first, says MRDC

Armed clansmen in the town of Komo in Papua New Guinea’s Hela Province. Photo courtesy of Michael Main

The fact this even needs to be said is a terrible indictment of our Nation’s mis-management of resource extraction industries over decades. If social mapping and proper landowner identification is not being done then there can be no free, prior, informed consent and most projects are simply illegal.

The National aka The Loggers Times | March 20, 2019

THE issue of social mapping and landowner identification must be done prior to the commencement of any project, says Mineral Resources Development Company managing director Augustine Mano.

He said it should not be left till very late as was the case with the PNG LNG project.

Social mapping and landowner identification for the PNG LNG project took 10 years to complete.

“It must be the first thing to be done in any future project in the country,” Mano said.

He said for the Papua LNG and the P’nyang projects, landowners or beneficiaries were identified prior to the development forum so that only they were involved.

He said that was important for project security because it was different from other countries where genealogy was documented properly over the years.

Mano said the MRDC as the landowner fund manager was making sure that the benefit distribution was done according to the Oil and Gas Act – 40 per cent to the landowners, 30 per cent for community infrastructure and 30 per cent for further investments.

The secretary for the Department of Petroleum, Lohial Nuau, said landowners issues were now being better managed.

He said the department had taken stock of outstanding government commitments under the various agreements which would be channelled through the Independent Issues Committee.

“This is positive step towards improving landowners issue management,” he said.

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Filed under Financial returns, Human rights, Papua New Guinea

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