PAPUA New Guinea has a complex land tenure system that creates problems for development to take place on customary land, director of forest development with PNG Forest Authority (PNGFA), Tunou Sabuin, said.
“Successive governments have been unable to find solutions to address the issue to enable understanding between landowners and Government agents,” he said.
Mr Sabuin was speaking during a meeting with chairmen and members of 13 integrated land groups (ILGs) from Fayantina Forest Development in Henganofi district, Eastern Highlands province, last week.
The meeting was held in Goroka.
Mr Sabuin commended the ILGs for using their customary land to plant trees to develop forestry projects and for registering their groups.
“You will become the first role model for others in PNG, rather than become mere spectators on your own land,” Mr Sabuin said.
He said PNGFA had been involved in making landowners become active players in forestry projects.
“Under the new PNGFA corporate plan, landowners will be allowed to reap maximum benefits on any development taking place on their land, this would solve most of land issues that hinder development progress,” Mr Sabuin said.
The ILGs identified land boundaries, followed rules and guidelines in the ILG Act and were now legally registered to operate.
Mr Sabuin urged them to cooperate and put their differences aside to reap maximum benefits from their efforts.
The chairmen presented status reports of their groups and called for a speedy processing of the K400,000 committed for the Fayantina Forestry Development by Forest Minister Belden Namah.