30 Jun 2010

Civil war in PNG's Bougainville changed attitudes to land says nun

10:31 am on 30 June 2010

A nun running a rehabilitation centre in the Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville says the civil war changed attitudes to land and these now need to to be addressed.

Sister Lorraine Garasu is one of around ten delegates from Bougainville who attended this week's Pacific Co-operation Foundation workshop in Wellington which looked at land issues and the exclusion of women from decisions on land.

Sister Garasu says during the conflict many lost a lot of property and it changed attitudes to land, with individuals seeking cash at the expense of the rest of the clan.

"So now, when they distribute land or when land is distributed it is always like someone in the family or clan does it as an individual so that they can get cash to, you know, sustain their livelihood. Whereas in the past it was always the clan doing it so that it was the members of the clan or the members of the families within the clan could sustain their livelihoods."

Sister Garasu says there needs to be education to remind people that land in Bougainville is typically passed down matrilineally and it is for the benefit of all the clan.