Letters & Opinions

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Monday, July 22, 2013

Federation sees flaws in ILG legislation

The Resource Owners Federation of Paua New Guinea Inc. is concerned by National Research Institute’s (NRI) call for Papua new Guineans to register customary land, whilst there are significant flaws in the incorporated land groups (ILG) legislation.

The ILG legislation seeks to extinguish customary law over registered customary land. The law further prohibits a land owner from registering as a member of more than one ILG. This means that, a person who currently holds multiple land claims through his parents, grandparents or others will lose all these land claims, except one.

The ILG system should seek to formally legalise customary law and practises, not seek to destroy them and dispossess citizens of their numerous landownership claims and practises.

We note that the ILG legislation is not consistent with the 2007 United Nation’s Declaration on the Rights of the Indigenous people of the world, which seeks to protect the cultural practise, traditions and ownership of lands and resources by indigenous people of member countries. The current ILG legislation seeks to further dispossess Papua New Guineans of their cultures, traditions and rights to land and natural resources in accordance with their customary laws.

There may be other flaws the Federation has not yet picked up on, but in the meantime, the Federation does not support the current legislation nor support the NRI in its push to register customary land under the currently flawed legislation.

Jonathan Paraia
Port Moresby

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