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PapuaNew Guinea and the Legal Methodsfor Maintaining Customary Land Tenure

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Chapter Summary

This chapter looks at the Papua New Guinea post colonial state, and its success or failure in instituting a system for income distribution based on recognition of customary forms of ownership. In Papua New Guinea over the decades since independence land registration has been one of the most controversial ownership issues. The chapter considers some of the important factors that contributed to the so called Bougainville crisis. Accordingly, individuals in the Southern Highlands began to take matters into their own hands in a manner that parallels Western forms of voluntary initiative. The chapter looks at the matters pertaining to forestry. It describes the performance of the Incorporated Land Groups (ILG) that are supposed to be empowered by the new Forestry Act. In contrast, membership in an ILG is not based on voluntary association but on a presumed customary linkage, which is not the product of individual choice.

Keywords: Bougainville crisis; customary land tenure; forestry sector; income distribution; Papua New Guinea; southern Highlands



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