Dear brothers and sisters,
May the Lord continue to bless the beautiful relationship that Melanesian people have with their land! This pastoral letter has one purpose and it is to encourage you to be very careful when dealing with companies regarding your land.
It seems that some companies are getting agricultural leases for most of the land of the North Fly District and even more. These leases are given for a period of 99 years. My concerns are the following:
In the Melanesian culture, land is part of the life of the people. People identify with their land. People own land and are part of it. It gives them dignity. Will this beautiful relationship with the land be lost with the agreements being signed now?
Projected deforestation map for New Guinea. Based on data from Papua New Guinea Resource Information System, PNG Forest Information System, PNG Forest Authority, maps of logging and oil palm and transmigration sites overlayed on vegetation cover maps.