10 Jan 2019

Call for Rimbunan Hijau to meet terms of PNG mediation

10:49 am on 10 January 2019

The Archbishop of Rabaul in Papua New Guinea says multi-national logger and palm producer, Rimbunan Hijau, or RH, is not doing enough to meet the terms of a court ordered mediation.

Last year Archbishop Francesco Panfilo led a campaign on behalf of landowners in West Pomio in East New Britain.

Archbishop Francesco Panfilo

Archbishop Francesco Panfilo Photo: Archdiocese of Rabaul

The mediation requires RH and the landowners to re-negotiate controversial land leases that had already seen the company harvest thousands of logs and plant oil palm.

The re-negotiation, to be done by 2020, had to be with properly elected boards representing the landowners.

But Archbishop Panfilo said RH appears to not be playing its part in helping set these boards up.

"We feel that there is no response, positive response on the part of RH, because, according to the mediation we need to re-organise the land groups and there has to be election of directors that is properly done," he said.

"Not just, let's say, chosen or imposed as it was, perhaps, in the past. There have to be proper elections."