SEVEN sub-clans from the Zare Aingse and Siu villages in Waria Valley Morobe patrol post, have been recognised by the local land court as the legitimate landowners of the inland Giu mining exploration area.
The clans were Yewa Tawara, Yewa Wangwang, Yewa Wori, Yewa Muye, Muwo Bego Gawi, Bego Wangwang and Sakia.
Three years after the Morobe Mining Joint Venture (MMJV) entered into Zia territory for exploration licence area (EL) 1403, many illegitimate clans had claimed and benefited from environmental damages compensation.
Last Monday, the legitimate clans signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) at the local land court to verify their legitimate status.
The MoU was adopted after a series of heated meetings and mediation held at Zare and Siu villages.
By perseverance and persistence, the clans were identified through numerous land survey and mediation with assistance from Morobe LLG patrol officer Reuben Ason.
The clans had come far to create an umbrella landowner called Giu Resource Area Internal Landowners (GRAIL), chairman Philip Bore said.
The clan leaders submitted the legal documents to MMJV last Tuesday to confirm their birthright as legitimate landowners for the mining EL 1403 in Giu area.
The ceremony was witnessed by Morobe LLG president Michael Gape, acting Morobe LLG manager Esing Ulam, patrol officer Reuben Ason, Zare and Siu ward councillors Gayang Niaura and Gaziwi Wawa.
Mr Bore and Zare village Cr Gayang Niaura said any businesses to be conducted in the Giu area should be negotiated with these legitimate landowners.
Speaking from the MMJV office in Wau by phone, Cr Niaura said land dispute was a hindrance to economic development in rural areas.
He warned the seven clans to manage their natural resources carefully and equally distribute the benefits among the clan members.