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Kuala Lumpur Kepong: Withdraw from Collingwood Bay

This petition had 1,363 supporters

Despite staunch protests, Malaysian palm oil giant Kuala Lumpur Kepong (KLK) have illegally forced their way forward to try develop almost 40,000 hectares of customary land in the Collingwood Bay region of Papua New Guinea.

The indigenous communities of Collingwood Bay have made themselves clear, they do not want their lands to be cleared for palm oil or anything else, but instead want KLK out of their lands with immediate effect.

The locals of Collingwood Bay are wholly dependent on the lowland forests, mangroves, hunting grounds and coral reefs for subsistence and survival. If KLK's plans go ahead, the Malaysian plantation group will cause severe environmental degradation and long lasting conflict with local communities. Unlike in Malaysia, indigenous peoples are the actual owners of most land and marine territories in the country.

Despite court orders prohibiting KLK from entering the villagers land, the company in November proceeded to land two barges with nursery material and land clearing machinery. In yet another illegal move, the company attempted to offload yet another barge on the 12th of December in Collingwood Bay, the day after the PNG court issued yet another injunction to stop the company from trespassing.

According to local contacts, KLK and its business partners have been forcing villagers to sign consent forms for the company to develop palm oil plantations.

The businesses leases that KLK claims to have legally obtained were cancelled out by the courts back in 2010, only to be illegally reissued in June 2012. At that time, the PNG government had in place a Moratorium on the issuance of such permits, pending an investigation into widespread irregularities, fraud and corruption associated with such permits. During a Parliamentary session last September, PNG’s Prime Minister Peter O’Neil commented that “We will no longer watch on as foreign owned companies come in and con our landowners, chop down our forests and then take the proceeds offshore”.

Please sign and share this urgent petition to help the people of Collingwood Bay and urge KLK to cease all plans there and withdraw.

Thank you.

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