All SABL licenses must be surrendered: Govt

This was announced in Parliament on Thursday by Minister for Lands and Physical Planning, Benny Allen.

The Minister announced this when he delivering a Ministerial Statement on the status of SABLs.

“I am pleased to announce that the Government has revoked and called for the surrender of all SABL titles and in set in place a process to convert all these titles and present them to customary landowners under the revised Incorporated Land Groups System and the new Voluntary Customary Land Registration System.

SABL issue must be addressed: NRI article

That is the title of the latest blog article released by the PNG National Research Institute (PNG NRI).

The article highlights concern around issues raised by customary landowners over the lack of action on recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry (COI) on SABL.


Advocacy group calls for accountability for SABL failings

In a statement, Program Manager, Effrey Dademo said someone must be held accountable for the failure to cancel unlawful SABL leases.

“Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has publicly blamed the Department of Lands for failing to cancel the leases, but unless people are made accountable, nothing is going to change” says Dademo.

The NEC decision cancelling the leases was made in June 2014, but since then not one lease has been revoked by the Department of Lands.

Report highlights PNG’s fight against land grabbing

“Oakland Institute, Taking On the Logging Pirates, Land Defenders in Papua New Guinea Speak Out!” speaks against the corrupt practices made possible by local officials and foreign companies.

In recent years, Special Agriculture and Business Leases (SABLs) – a government scheme – has been instrumental in fueling land grabs all over the country, with over 5.5 million hectares given away to foreign companies.

Considering the pre-existing logging concessions, now over 15 million hectares – more than one third of the country – are in the hands of foreign firms.

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Juffa volunteers to shut down illegal logging activities


In a video post on Facebook, Juffa said if the Government was serious about cancelling SABLs then they must do so by physically shutting down illegal logging operations.

“Now the Government is saying it’s going to cancel the SABLs, I’m not convinced, I’m cynical,” says Juffa. “I want to see it really happen.

Yala calls for stop in land grabbing

Dr Yala also extended the call to the government and warned against the recent proposed amendments to the Land Act 1996 being mooted by the Minister for Lands and Physical Planning Benny Allan.

He said the amendment will see certain segments of the Lands Department whose actions will see customary landowners deprived of their land through continued use of the SABL leases.

Dr Yala added that the proposal to keep the terms of the current SABLs intact, and the idea of increasing the alienation of customary land to 20 percent, constitutes land grabbing.

NRI Director slams SABL systems

Dr Yala in a statement said as exposed by the Commission of Inquiry Report, the SABL system has unnecessarily exposed customary landowners to poverty.

“In recent times, we have witnessed successful cases involving SABL titles being quashed by the courts.”

Dr Yala, when acknowledging the Government for creating the Office of Customary Land Development (OCLD) said  this office, which will report directly to the Minister for Lands and Physical Planning which will facilitate the development of customary land through the Voluntary Customary Land Registration (VCLR) system.

Juffa calls for cancellation of SABL

Juffa echoed these sentiments after applauding the landowners of East New Britain and East Sepik who have secured a victory in overturning an illegal SABL in their provinces.

Juffa, who had supported a similar case in his province to overturn an SABL said justice has truly been served.

He said that prolonged delays suggested that the Government was compromised or scared of the companies involved in the illegal logging of forests granted under the SABL scams.

Government cancels SABL leases

 Minister for Lands and Physical Planning Benny Allen said most of the landowners have raise concern about the SABL issues and the government is on the right track by hearing their plight.

He added that most developers of SABL have not complied with processes and procedures in the agreement which leads to this decision made by the government.

He said while the committee has been set up to look into the matter, the Department of Lands have taken a different  approach in dealing with the matter.