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January 20, 2012

Good News – Papua New Guinea: Legislature Revokes Amendments to Environmental Law

On January 19, Minister for Environment in the O’Neil-Namah Government, Hon Thompson Haroquave, carried through on his promise to the people of Papua New Guinea and ensured that Parliament repealed amendments to the Environment Act that had been made in favor of the Chinese mining company, MCC. The amendments had prohibited landowners from suing for damages to their property or their livelihoods, if these were negatively affected by MCC’s dumping of mine waste into the Bismarck Sea. The repeal of the amendments reinstates landowners’ right to sue for such damages. Tiffany Twivvey, lawyer for the Rai Coast landowners who unsuccessfully tried to block the ocean dumping via the courts, celebrated the news by posting a message to Mr. Thompson on Facebook, reading, “Thank you for caring about the people’s land and their survival into the future.”