The Policy, Research and Law reform program focuses on researching, analyzing and
contributing to the development of national policies and legislation that are relevant to
environmental protection, sustainable resource development, biodiversity conservation and
the protection and promotion of community-based property rights.
Principal Land Act 1996 Review
In 2018 CELCOR made a submission to the Department of Lands & Physical Planning (DLPP)
on the review of Land Act 1996. Our position was for the government to repeal sections 11
and 102 of the Act among other concerns as these two provisions provide the legal basis for
illegal land grabbing under SABL to carry out logging operations in PNG.
Voluntary Customary Land Registration
CELCOR also raised concerns in a statement to National Research Institute concerning its
proposal for Voluntary Customary Land registration. If this proposal becomes a policy, it is
obvious that customary landowners can permanently lose their land to corporations and
exposing themselves for exploitation.
Freedom of Information Bill
CELCOR became a member of the cluster committee on development of Freedom of
Information (FOI) Bill under the Open Government Partnership (OGP) initiative. Several
meetings were held at the Transparency International Papua New Guinea office to finalize
the National Action Plan (NAP) on the Freedom of Information Bill. Our interest is to see
information or official documents become easily accessible to public for purposes of
transparency and accountability. We have been facing challenges in terms of accessing
information from MRA and CEPA in our anti-coal campaign and experimental sea-bed
mining campaign. Hence the strategy now is to invoke section 51 of the PNG Constitution
and work with like-minded CSOs to develop the FOI Bill.
Engaging with communities and CBO’s to create by-laws for marine and community
conservation areas is also part of our objective. Work has been undertaken with instructions
from the Ward Member of Mbuke Island in Manus Province, to review their community by
laws under their locally managed marine area initiative (LMMA).
2017, CELCOR contributed a submission on the draft Protected Areas Bill to the
Conservation, Environment & Protection Authority. The submissions were
based on experiences that were found to be common in the forested and marine
communities that CELCOR has been working with. The Bill is yet to be tabled in
Parliament for enactment as legislation.
2018, CELCOR was requested to provide a submission to the PNG Extractive
Industries Transparency Initiative draft National policy. Areas of concern that
were highlighted in the submission included suggestions for enactment of
legislation that gives the administrative body to operate and a law that sets
out disclosure and compliance requirements of the administrative body.
Change (Management) Act review
2019, CELCOR contributed a submission and was a part of the southern region
stakeholder consultation. Currently, Climate Change development Authority is
taking the lead in reviewing the legislation and should inform stakeholders of
its current status.
Sustainable Land Use Plan
has also been a part of and contributed to the National Sustainable Land Use
Plan consultations. This process is spearheaded by the Department of Lands
& Physical Planning and is currently ongoing.
River Mine Environmental Impact Statement
has also provided a submission to the Conservation, Environment &
Protection Authority in March this year. This submission outlined several legal
and environmental issues that surround the construction of the mine, effects of
the proposed integrated storage facility (ISF) and the lack of FPIC and
consultation with the customary resource owners.
Act 1991 Review
has been instrumental in the initial review process of the Act that commenced
in 2019. We have continued this involvement through the Southern region
Stakeholder consultation in November this year and will ensure that our
concerns are captured in the Validation workshop in December, 2020.