I write about the issue of landowners gaining and exercising their interests in the project life of the major mineral, oil and gas resources in the country.
I always feel a sense of pride and fuss that the Government of PNG and the developers who are interested to develop large scale mineral, oil and gas projects in the country do recognise the presence and importance of customary landowners.
Customary landowners do exist in PNG because it is a communal society.
Wikipedia says that over 80 percent of land in Papua New Guinea is customarily owned.
The ownership of land has continued to determine the economic and social livelihoods of the people of Papua New Guinea for centuries and today with the onslaught of rapid economic revolution, value of the land and the benefits derived from its use have quadrupled.
In many commercial arrangements, the landowners in one or the other are the bridge to the better side of the deal whether it be security, support, sustainability, continuity and value adding of the project.
If the landowner representative is allowed to glance the whole memorandum of agreement and do an independent review and recommendations, benefits will perhaps be maximised and corruption will also be at absolute minimal.