10 Oct 2005

PNG lobby group says reform of customary land tenure not needed

8:15 pm on 10 October 2005

A Papua New Guinea environmental lobby group, the Eco-Forestry Forum, says the land reform agenda may be a well-calculated ploy by powerful elites to try and detach ordinary people from their land.

The Forum says it doesn't accept that customary land tenure is an obstacle to development in the country, as some claim.

It says in PNG land is everything to the people and alienating their land through proposed reforms, under the pretext of development, will create enormous harm.

The Forum says those who think customary land tenure is an obstacle to development should check themselves before pointing fingers at the current regime.

It says it is not customary land tenure that impedes development but the bad decisions and the poor management of the economy by a powerful minority which hampers the country's ability to progress.