Communities fight to get customary land back in PNG

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Traditional landowners in Madang, Papua New Guinea have launched a protest campaign against the operations of a fishing company, RD Tuna. The dispute hinges around two conflicting ideas and systems of land and land ownership – one customary land and the other privatised land. In PNG approximately 97% of the land still falls under customary ownership, meaning most ordinary people still have some access to land, essential in what is largely a subsistence economy. But two communities in the Madang Province on PNG’s North coast have lost access to much of their lands and the lagoons and waters in the province since RD Tuna’s operations moved into the area 10 years. The Wire’s Antoinette Abboud traveled to Papua New Guinea where she met with members of the community involved in the struggle.

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