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.
The Papua New Guinea National Interpretation 2014 is based on the generic document of the Principles and Criteria for Sustainable Palm Oil 2013 (P&C 2013), which will be used as a standard for palm oil mills and plantations attaining certification under RSPO. The new Criteria, with associated Indicators, that have been added into the P&C 2013 are:
Criteria 1.3 – Ethical Conduct
Criteria 6.12 – Forced and Trafficked Labour
Criteria 6.13 – Respecting Human Rights; and
Criteria 7.8 – Minimizing GHG Emissions from New Plantings
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)
Report for the Centre for Environmental Law and Community Rights on the economic prospects for small farmers in PNG’s oil palm industry