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19 July 2021 | dataset

Oil palm and small holder farmers

Department of Environment and Conservation

The Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) was established in 1985. Its mission (approved by the National Executive Council on 22 August 1989) is to ensure natural and physical resources are managed to sustain environmental quality and human well-being.

The key legislations administered by the Department are:

Environmental Planning Act 1978

Environmental Contaminants Act 1978

Conservation Areas Act 1978

National Parks Act 1982

International Trade (Fauna & Flora) Act 1979

Fauna (Protection and Control) Act 1966

Crocodile Trade (Protection) Act 1974

Water Resources Act 1982

It also has an important role under the Forests Act 1992.

The Papua New Guinea Forest Authority (PNGFA) was established in 1993 under the 1991 Forestry Act replacing the former Department of Forest, and unifying all Provincial Forest Divisions and the Forest Industries Council. The PNGFA has 19 provincial offices which include five regional offices. The PNGFA mission statement is to: Promote the management and wise utilization of the forest resources of Papua New Guinea as a renewable asset for the well- being of present and future generations.

PNGFA Group has been created to facilitate sharing of useful data / information that could feed into SOE, MEA and SDG Reports.

Providing quality leadership through formulation, coordination and alignment of plans,
policies and strategies to National, Sector and Sub National Priorities


Oil palm prices may hold up in the medium term, with strong demand from India and China. Yet, like other non-oil commodities, oil palm prices are likely to remain volatile, and to experience a long term relative price decline. (Chapter 3). 2. World prices are not the main problem for small farmers in PNG. Three factors are likely to place a ceiling on the economic benefits for small farmers: (i) small farmers remain at the highly competitive end of a large grower market, with little market power, keeping them as ‘price takers’; (ii) a large monopsony (all consuming), price-fixing corporate mill dominates small farmers, in the PNG ‘nucleus estate and smallholder’ model; and (iii) farmers in the export oriented oil palm business (unlike producers for local markets) are at the bottom end of a very long value chain, where other more powerful participants will always claim the largest ‘slice’ of value in the industry. (Chapter 3). International Finance Institutions (IFIs) – in particular the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank – AusAID and the PNG Government have subsidised and promoted involvement in oil palm in PNG. Their interests (eg. corporate profit, commodification of land and gaining foreign exchange) are not identical to those of small farmers. The IFIs have
pushed the interests of foreign-dominated export industries, with less regard for small farmers. (Chapter 4)