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Papua New Guinea

Nestle, Kellogg’s and Colgate linked to extensive deforestation in PNG

An investigation by international non-government organisation (NGO) Global Witness has revealed shocking accounts of human rights abuses and extensive deforestation in Papua New Guinea.

Firms such as Nestle, Kellogg’s and Colgate are implicated in the destruction of thousands of hectares of forest.

Lela Stanley, senior investigator at Global Witness said Papua New Guinean communities have managed and protected their forests sustainably for countless generations.

“This investigation shows they are being sold out by their own government and global financial institutions in favour of a small number of highly-destructive companies, with devastating human rights and environmental consequences,” he said.

According to Green News, as this tainted palm oil continues to circulate in European supply chains, the NGO is calling for strong European Union (EU) action to end complicity and demand change in the industry.

Recorded on tape, executives were bragging to undercover investigators that they had bribed a Papua New Guinean minister, paid police to brutalise villagers, used child labour, and participated in an apparent tax evasion scheme.

“In a village, men and boys as young as 16 were dragged from their beds one night in July 2019,” a resident said.

“When the boys woke up, they were at gunpoint. They tied their hands at the back and blindfolded their faces so they could not see.”

The resident said five youths were beaten and held for weeks, part of a sustained pattern of abuse directed at communities suspected of opposing the companies’ ravaging activities.

Asked by Global Witness whether anything good had come from palm oil development, another villager said “only destruction”.

A second palm oil firm, Rimbunan Hijau, ignored repeated and avoidable worker deaths and injuries on its plantations, with at least 11 workers and the child of a worker losing their lives over an eight-year period.

The NGO’s investigation also raises serious concerns that plantations such as these were operating on grabbed land – in violation of land laws in Papua New Guinea.

Global Witness points to the upcoming EU legislative proposal on tackling deforestation – set to be published on November 17 – as an opportune moment to do so.

2 Comments
  1. John 7 months ago
    Reply

    As former industry analyst (agriculture& forestry) I confirm the findings of Global Witness. As state minister was paid big bribe by RH that he resigned from the ministry n parliament to run his own company. As well LO of this particular forest resource were held in shipping containers n toured for months.

  2. John Gitiri 7 months ago
    Reply

    The writer does not show any links between the food companies link to logging companies operating in Papua New Guinea.

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