A Greenpeace report says million of acres of land in Papua New Guinea have been given to foreign-owned corporations and unrepresentative landowner companies.
Published: Aug. 1, 2012 at 2:44 PM
PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea, Aug. 1 (UPI) -- A Greenpeace report says that more than 12.35 million acres of customary-owned land in Papua New Guinea have been "given away" to foreign-owned corporations and unrepresentative landowner companies.
The report, called "Up for Grabs," points to a concession introduced by Papua New Guinea's Somare government in 2003 called Special Agricultural and Business Leases, which it says were often awarded without the permission of customary landowners.
Greenpeace says 75 percent of the leases are foreign-owned and some of the biggest beneficiaries are Australian and Malaysian logging companies.
Papua New Guinea has the world's third largest tropical forest. But a 2008 satellite study, citing the rapid deforestation, indicated that more than half of PNG's trees could by lost by 2021, The Guardian newspaper reports.