By Chris Lang
Two more communities have written letters complaining about the operations of NIHT Inc on their lands. In March 2022, Maililngan Incorporated Land Group wrote to William Lakain, managing director of the Climate Change and Development Authority. In April 2022, the Baining people of East New Britain wrote to NIHT Inc. NIHT Inc has developed a REDD project in New Ireland and has big plans to expand its operations in New Ireland and East New Britain.
REDD-Monitor has written several posts about NIHT Inc’s operations in Papua New Guinea:
This isn’t the first time, then, that communities and NGOs have written letters of complaint about NIHT Inc’s operations in Papua New Guinea. The Papua New Guinea Environmental Alliance has also written a letter and a statement demanding proper REDD safeguards and implementation of the moratorium on voluntary carbon market REDD projects in the country. Both the letter and the statement specifically mention the problems with NIHT Inc’s REDD operations.
The letters from the Maililngan Incorporated Land Ground and the Baining people are posted here in full:
The Managing Director
Climate Change and Development Authority
P. Box 4017
BOROKO, 111, NCD, PNG
Attention: Mr William Lakain
Subject: REMOVE NIHTS AND KAILO KAMA OUT OF MAILILNGAN ILG LAND
Maililngan Land Group Incorporated of Pomio District, ENBP, PNG, has 81,866 hectares of tropical rainforest and is interested in biodiversity conservation, climate change mitigation and adaptation.
The Maililngan ILG is interested at guarding its topical rainforest from loss of biodiversity and its ecosystems, serious challenges as to the mass extinctions of flora and fauna species from existential threat of climate change and foreign logging companies, oil palm development and bolstering resilience to climate change in our area are also threats to our livelihoods.
We are also interested in building local capacity and to raise public awareness on the importance of protecting some the world’s rare and endangered flora and fauna species discovered during the Biodiversity Rapid Assessment of Nakanai Mountains. And for mandatory purposes our proposal is currently with the Office of Conservation Environment & Climate Change to be approved and gazetted by the National Executive Countil (NEC).
Whilst we await NEC approval, NIHTS and Kailo Kama from New Ireland Province illegally entered Maililngan ILG land mass and is intending to survey it for voluntary carbon trading despite the moratorium imposed by the Minister for Environment Conservation and Climate Change. This is total disrespect for the Minister hence the laws of this country. It is evident here that these are the carbon cowboys that Hon. Governor for Oro was referring to on the flow of the parliament.
We are law abiding people, thus, would kindly request the Hon. Minister to restruct NIHTS and Kailo Kama to do business in New Ireland Province alone where they are rightfully belong and completely keep out of Maililngan ILG land in Pomio District, ENBP, therefore, we remain;
[Signed by 110 people]
Cc. Managing Director – Forcet
23 April 2022
The Executive Vice President
2094 Old Taylor Rd
Suit 155 Oxford, MS 38655
RE: VALKAN ILG ILLEGITIMATE STATUS AND ITS ILLEGITIMATE CARBON RIGHTS
Althout Valkan ILG is registered with the Registrar of Incorporated Land Groups, the land and forests it claims are outright communally owned and held in common trust in perpetuity by the following villages and communities: Whole Yalam Village, Whole Komgi Village, Whole Radingi Village, Whole Kulti Village, Whole Raunsepna Village, Whole Lamarain Village, Whole Walmetki Village, whole Takis Village, whole Panarepka Village, whole Morokindam Village, whole Takis village, whole Poiniar village, whole Konako village, whole Lan village, whole whole Nangas village, whole Taraiwara village, Whole Puktas village, whole Lassul village, Whole Vilaingpemgi, and Kamanakam village.
The land and resources in question are tribal.
No one Baining man nor ILG nor any illegally formed group can lay claim over these tribal resources.
They form a very significant part of the very intrinsic fabric of our Qaget society.
Valkan ILG does not own any resource on its own. It is only an extraction of opportunists from two ILGs from Raunspena. It has intimidated the original inhabitants of these villages over their lands. It has instigated fights with these villages with some people barely surviving those fights. VALKAN ILG has been forcing people off their lands on which they have lived their whole lifetimes.
Valkan ILG has been illegally using force and intimidation to forcefully remove people from their rightful lands so that it can carry out its illegal and illegitimate activities with NIHT Inc.
Valkan ILG has violated our numerous village boundaries and claimed our land and forest resources in its fraudulent claims.
VALKAN ILG has effectively disturbed our social peace.
This is fraud. Fraud that is facilitated on the basis of economic greed over our communal tribal resources.
Under our cultural social structures, our land tenure system, and our customs, VALKAN ILG is not recognized and doesn’t exist amonst us, now nor in the whole long past.
The Baining society is a patrineal society where land and resources are communally owned in perpetuity.
The activities by VALKAN ILG are a fraud attempt on our tribal lands and resources. They constitute a threat to our traditionally maintained social security offered by our tribal lands and forests that we live off.
Upon receipt of this letter, please cease all dealings with the illegitimate VALKAN ILG forthwith.
Please cease forthwith all dealings with all other Baining ILGs as well.
NIHT Inc and its associates must withdraw from and completely refrain from any carbon offsets dealing over our tribal forests in our area and in whole of the Bainings.
We do not expect to engage in any further correspondence nor communication in any form with your company after this letter.
We all are in the process of instituting legal interpretation and proceeding against Valkan ILG.