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 James Cook University

An unprecedented increase in oil palm developments may be underway in Papua New Guinea (PNG) through controversial ‘Special Agricultural and Business Leases’ (SABLs) covering over two million ha. Oil palm development can create societal benefits, but doubt has been raised about whether the SABL developers intend establishing plantations. Here we examine the development objectives of these proposals through an assessment of their land suitability, developer experience and capacity, and socio-legal constraints.