Land is life! | Land Portal

Land is life in Papua New Guinea. Handed down over generations from father to son, or mother to daughter. To own land is to have a lifeline, our bloodlines, our inheritance, our identity is dened, strengthened and made complete by it.For centuries the world over, blood, sweat and tears have been spilled, empires built and crumbled, heroes have risen and fell in itsdefense or acquisition, whether rightfully or not. Whatever the reason, they form the legends, the stories that become our inheritance, granting us the right of ownership or usufructuary rights as determined by folklore and cascading bloodline.

The recent reports and increasing determination of the Central Province Governor, Honourable Robert Agarobe, is testament to the rising sentiments of a people who have long been marginalized, pushed aside even, in the name of development. Their plight, their arguments has perhaps been long ignored and never properly acknowledged over long periods of time.

The latest developments regarding land are an indication, it’s about time the Government heeds the matters that are being raised by Governor Agarobe seriously and takes the time to listen to what the Governor is saying on behalf of the people of Central Province.

In particular are pieces of land (on the outskirts of the City Capital, Port Moresby) and within Central Province near the City Boundaries that have been acquired through seemingly dubious means by private rms or individuals.

The Government and especially the department of lands needs to review and devise solutions that will free up or cancel any transactions that have proven to be done outside of the proper processes, in consultation with legitimate landowner clans or groups and have these parcels of land returned to the rightful landowners.

Our media coverage of the eviction of “settlers” at 14 Mile highlights the complications that can arise when there is a lack of proper consultation and clear demarcation of the relationships and transactions that may or may not have happened. And whether the transactions can be considered legal and morally justied at the time in which they were created or entered into by past administrations.

While we respect the legitimacy that the City Authority may have over relevant development and expansion plans or programmes as part of its vision. We urge NCDC City Hall and its Management to also conduct a historical review into the acquisition of land that now forms the city’s limits. How was the land acquired? What transactions took place? What was the agreement at the time? What were the agreed boundaries? Who were the parties or individuals that accepted and agreed to the transactions? And after ascertaining this information we ask Governor PowesParkop and the NCDC team to assess whether the transactions carried out at the time were conducted in the principles of fairness and morally just. There must be a need to consider the changing circumstances today and allow for any necessary adjustments or concessions in the principles of fairness. And do this working closely with Central Governor, Robert Agorobe.

What is happening in Central and in the City of Port Moresby will not go away. And as you cast a glance across our country there are land related issues cropping up as a result of encroaching development plans and aspirations.

We stress again it highlights the need for national authorities such as the National Department of Lands to be closely attuned to the developments in order to provide agreeable and workable solutions for discourse. The reality as we all know is, land related issues will always be here because it is an essential fabric of our very existence. Therefore, managing the issues prudently is important because Land is Life.

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