From the Mining Seminar as reported by the Post-Courier

Despite hosting some of the largest mining companies in the country, Papua New Guineans are still "virtually poor", says Madang Governor and former Chief Justice Sir Arnold Amet.

He challenged the National Government and the bureaucracy to come up with proper benefit sharing mechanisms and policies so that Papua New Guineans saw tangible benefits from the mines they hosted.

He said PNG still ranked poorly in development indexes world-wide and "where does all these wealth go to?" he asked.


By Eric Tapakau (Post-Courier newspaper)

Many landowners continue to spend a majority of their benefits from the extraction of their minerals on immediate consumption rather than investment.

Mineral Resource Authority Managing Director Kepas Wali said this when speaking at the 2009 mining Seminar yesterday. His paper was titled "Mining Benefits and Responsible Equitable Distribution."


Amidst the shortage of office space in Port Moresby, Nambawan Super is gearing up for a new A-grade standard commercial office development in which construction is being planned for mid 2010. The six-storey building which will have a key unique feature with a design that will be based on “Environmentally Sustainable Design" (ESD) principles or more commonly known as a “Green” building may become the first of its kind built in the country.

The new building to cost K60 million will be built alongside the Hubert Murray Highway opposite the Murray Barracks. The new office complex will include five levels of commercial office space, ground floor of lobby and retail space and two levels of basement parking.

The building design will include a central atrium running the full height of the building in order to enhance and provide natural daylight to all the office floors, as well as allowing fresh air circulation to improve indoor air quality and environment. The atrium also allows for interconnecting communications stairs between floors to enhance flexibility and connectivity of the office environment. Among other Environmentally Sustainable Design initiatives being considered in the building plan will be to incorporate extensive sunshading to the facades and developing a management system to manage all the building services systems such as the monitoring of energy use, and water recycling.

The total development will be 5500 square metres with each typical commercial office floor covering 1000 square metres. It is envisaged that the two floors will be occupied by Nambawan Super, and the remaining floors for other services and commercial offices. The Architect, and the design consultant team will soon be appointed to start work on the design of the office complex while tender for a builder is expected to be announced next year in order to select a builder to begin construction work. The total development which includes design, planning authority approvals, tendering and construction will take at least 29 months to complete and should be available for tenancy by early 2012.



Jean Michel Cousteau’s love for the warm tropical ocean waters had its beginnings in a humble little group of Micronesian islands in the Manus called Wuvulu. Jean Michel is the “77-year-young” son of the famous ocean pioneer, the late Jacques Cousteau. It was in 1973 that the young Cousteau first came to dive in the caves off the coast of Wuvulu. He was mesmerized by the unusual blind fish and Orca whales in the caves, and has been enchanted by Papua New Guinea ever since.

When we in June last year in Port Moresby his eyes lit up when my girlfriend Eva Arni introduced herself and said she was from Wuvulu. His spontaneous open arms and tight embrace was enough to make you think that they were long lost friends. But that is the charm of Jean-Michel.

The formal interview I had planned turned into a lovely afternoon chat with someone who obviously not only has a passion for what he does but also has a genuine bond with the people who habitat he has ventured into and has explored.


The gush of warmth and enthusiastic energy was evident as he spoke; "I have a soft spot for Wuvulu." In a way he was trying to explain his all-embracing nature but at the same time, find a connection with Eva and I. Here I was in the presence of such a famous adventurer, ocean hero and philanthropist and he was speaking of the little known islands with such fondness! This was certainly a pleasant surprise and an inspiration for me.

As the conversation progressed I discovered he had even bought a small island in Wuvulu for a mere $20.00 in 1973 and it was still there with one coconut palm standing. During the conversation, Eva would recall the names of people from her childhood days who had worked with Jean-Michel on the islands, all those years ago. He remembered all the people and it was easy to see what a great mind he has.

Monsieur Cousteau is an architect by profession but has now become what you could call a roving ambassador for the vast ocean and its creatures. He travels the world raising awareness on the importance of protecting the marine environment. On his recent trip to Papua New Guinea he was amazed at how beautiful PNG still is with its "extremely varied diversity of life" still intact.

"I could spend a lifetime here trying to understand the cultures and their connections to the environment," he said. "The environment is our life support system; whether we like it or not. Even our happiness depends on it!"

Our meeting was after his two-week diving visit to Kimbe in West New Britain. The trip to Kimbe was especially dedicated to finding Orca whales (sometimes known as killer whales). With a group that included Orca biologists, scientists, researchers and film makers Monsieur Cousteau lived on Febrina live-aboard boat.

In his diary of Kimbe he wrote: "The coral reefs remain healthy as I remember when I first visited PNG in 1973. There are not many places in the tropics that one can still say that today."

Another entry read; "Today June 17th, has been our best day yet even though we have not seen any Orca yet but we have had sightings of 4 different whale and dolphin species including Spinner Dolphins, Risso's dolphins, False Killer Whales and Bottlenose Dolphins.

"We also did three dives on two different dive sites. As you all know, PNG is known for its high biodiversity of the coral reef. I have seen many new species of fish and invertebrates on every dive, making each dive really enjoyable.

"We are leaving PNG empty handed of Orca footage, but have captured their close cousins on film We also filmed the underwater world of the tropical Orcas."

At the end of week 2, Monsieur Cousteau wrote; "No Orcas...but we have given it an honest try. We covered just about the entire area of Kimbe Bay in the Bismark Sea, over 2700 sq miles in search of Orca. We did enjoy the rich biodiversity of cetaceans that Kimbe Bay is well known for with its sightings of 5 different species of whales and dolphins."

"In our hours and hours of search for Orca, we did our fair share of diving; logging more dives in two weeks than we did in the entire 8 months in Amazon and three months on expedition in the Arctic. We logged 35 dives at 16 different dive sites, totalling more that 40 hours underwater. We all have our most memorable moments."


This entry sums up the enormous potential PNG has to be the leading tourist destination in the Pacific: "PNG reefs are among the richest and most productive of any reefs in the world. Abundance and productivity is dramatically demonstrated by the large schools of jacks, barracuda, rainbow runners and unicorn fish that we have witnessed on just about every dive. Diversity and richness is demonstrated by the variety of crinoids, soft coral, sea fans and reef building hard corals, carpeting the bottom with almost 100% coral cover. There are many different architectural strategies that enable these living buildings to have rooftop gardens and  they make shelter and food for the entire community."

The Cousteau group spent long days in Kimbe; starting at 5.30am and going to bed by 10pm.

What is it about Orcas or whales that have intrigued Monsieur Cousteau sunce Wuvulu islands 35 years ago? It's simple he explained. They are mammals; very similar to humans and very organised.

"They are not unlike us. They are very wistful and we are very wistful," he said.

The difference, he said, was that humans were using whales' home as a "big garbage can"; hence he has taken the plight of the whales and other ocean creatures to heart - to influence government decisions and leaders so that the marine environment is protected for future generations to enjoy.

"I want the young ones to enjoy the same chance I had 35 years ago when I first came to PNG and saw what I saw, and experienced what I have."

He was very impressed with the work of the Mahonia na dari ("guardians of the sea") Research Centre at Walindi, Kimbe which was involving young people in outreach programs to carry out communications and awareness campaigns to promote environment protection.

What he would like to see also is the deterrence of dynamite and cynide on reefs, and better fishing practices, especially for commercial purposes to be adopted.

His mission to protect the environment for future generations is explained perfectly when he says:

"It has been a spiritual experience for me, personal and emotional. It's not only about saving whales but saving ourselves; knowing and being aware of our life-support systems. Everything on this planet is connected. We have an opportunity as the dominant species to do something about it."


By Maureen Gerawa

Poverty is a growing issue in Papua New Guinea and the Government and its partners have been urged to do all they can to tackle it.

This was also a commitment made by 189 countries, including PNG to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDG). A small group gathered on Friday in Port Moresby, mostly staff of the United Nations agencies and representatives from Government agencies like the Ombudsman Commission took time out to participate in the "STAND UP AND TAKE ACTION" - a global campaign in support for the fight against poverty and the achievement of the MDG.

The groups are calling on world leaders to deliver on their MDG commitments as the deadline to deliver is 2015.

There are eight (8) MDG goals:

1) Eradicate poverty
2) Achieve universal primary education
3) Promote gender equality
4) Reduce child mortality 
5) Improve maternal health
6) Combat HIV / AIDS
7) Ensure environmental sustainability
8) Create a global partnership for development


Leading super fund Nambawan Super Ltd last week slammed the PNG Land Board's decision on three portions of prime State land in the National Capital as an "illegal process."

Managing Director Leon Buskens also refuted claims by the Land Board Chairman Friend Kini that Nambawan Super had not sent its representatives to make its presentations.

The POST-COURIER reported last Thursday that the Land Board had awarded three portions of land, worth about K30 million, to a subsidiary of Malaysian giant Rhimbunan Hijau (RH).

Nambawan Super Ltd was the most prominent applicant but Mr Kini said its tender applications for the land at Badili Hill and Koke heights were not considered because the super fund had failed to send it representatives to make presentations.

Mr Buskens has refuted claims by the Chairman of the Land Board that it did not send its representatives to the Land Board to make its presentations as "factually incorrect."

Mr Buskens said; "The fact is that we withdrew from the tender process due to what became apparent as an illegal tender process."


By Simon Eroro

Strict measures have been adopted to control the conduct of tour companies operating along the Kokoda Track.

The Kokoda Track Authority (KTA) in consultation with all stake-holders by 2010 will implement a policy whereby any tour companies or individuals operating a tourism related business along the Kokoda Track must be licensed to operate.

KTA official, Mr Enage said the details of the scheme will be developed through further detailed consultation with the main stakeholders and Government.

This decision by KTA comes after this paper (POST-COURIER) last month investigated foreign tour companies operations evading Papua New Guinea tax laws, resulting in the country losing over K100 million annually.

Mr Enage said with the introduction of licensing, the country would see compliance with PNG laws.


Joyce Madu was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was living in Australia six years years ago & has has had successful treatment.She spoke to staff here at Nambawan Super during lunch-hour last Friday and stressed the need for constant self-examination of breasts by women. Her story is one of early detection, support from family and the nurses in Australia. Two months ago she established the PNG Breast Cancer Foundation to provide a support group to women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. Below is her story.

"This year, 2009 is my sixth year after diagnosis of breast cancer. My life living with breast cancer was very difficult, challenging and fearful as it was a journey of the unknown.

Living a happy life and given what every woman would want, I never thought one day I would be a victim of the deadly disease called breast cancer. I would only say that it was truly a miracle that my husband asked me to take our 3 sons to Australia for education.

While in Australia my diagnosis of cancer was done and I had an opportunity to be treated. My treatment included having masectomy and chemotheraphy radiation.

With the dedicated support from my family and good Doctors I have been given a successful treatment. Also constant support from a cancer support group had helped me to be very positive and strong, hence I have made my way back to normal life - a wonderful life I almost lost.

Breast cancer has changed my life completely and today I look at things from the other side of the coin. I am thankful for all the encouragement and confidence many people gave me to come this far to be with other women. I am touched, motivated and have the conviction to take a step further by helping other women by counselling them to live positively.

Helping and educating women on how to know and look out for breast cancer at an early age can have a better chance of successful treatment. The voluntary work that I have been doing over the last 5 years has brought many women together but still I find there are more women to reach out to.

October is International Breast Cancer Awareness month. I salute mothers and sisters of this great nation - Papua New Guinea - in whatever spheres of life you are in.

Be Breast Aware by doing self-examination. Remember - early detection is the key to successful treatment."

 For more information contact :

Port Moresby Cancer Relief Society 
P.O. Box 5954
Boroko, NCD
Papua New Guinea

Ph -  +675 311 3286 
Facsimile - +675 323 2087
email - admin@pomcrs.org



This article was published in Paradise - Air Niugini's  In-flight Magazine & in Fiji's Air Pacific In-flight Magazine

There is nothing more Papua New Guinean than a bilum. When I am overseas and I see someone carrying a bilum, something uncharacteristic happens. I stop in my tracks and check the person up and down. It is the association with all things Papua New Guinean that stirs the familiar wistful feeling at the sight of a bilum on a stranger.

The ethnic origin of the word bilum is unclear even though it is thought to be a Melanesian word. It is defined in ‘The Jacaranda Dictionary and Grammar of Melanesian Pidgin’ by Fr Frank Mihalic s.v.d as a carry-all by women throughout Papua New Guinea. In some areas, the net or woven string, is used as clothing thus the expression Meri i pasim bilum. Bilum is also defined as the womb, the placenta, or the pouch of a marsupial such as a wallaby.


This article was a Cover Story for the Fiji Business magazine.

I first met Mahesh Patel over 20 years ago. He was working at a pharmacy on the ground floor of what is now Malangan House in Boroko (location of the current Boroko Post Office). It was Port Moresby’s rainy season and I was looking for something to get rid of mould in the wardrobe at a flat I lived in on 3mile hill. He sold me jelly crystals assuring me that the wardrobe would be free of mould in no time. I had the bag of jelly crystals for as long as I lived in the flat; as well as the mould!

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