Posts Categorized: Bel kol

Reconciliation before exploration say Panguna mine associations

 

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The nine associations representing landowners of the former Panguna mine have made a request to Bougainville President, Chief John Momis, that any lift of the moratorium on mining exploration be delayed until after a Bel Kol ceremony is held with Bougainville Copper Limited.

“[Bel Kol] has been requested by the landowners,” President Momis stated.

“They want to see this customary first step towards reconciliation about mining-related issues that caused conflict completed before there is any formal step towards resumption of large-scale mining in Bougainville.

“They are asking all Bougainvilleans and outside mining interests to respect their wishes in this regard.”

The President has stated that a decision on the moratorium may not be made until October and is dependent on the successful implementation regulatory arrangement for small scale mining.

The Autonomous Bougainville Government Mining Act limits the number of simultaneous large-scale mines to two.

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BCL joins Bel Kol Events Committee

bagana-billy-mitchellBCL Website

Bougainville Copper Limited is pleased to have accepted an invitation to join Bougainville’s Bel Kol Events Committee.

The Committee is responsible for the organisation of the Bel Kol ceremony. This event will be an adaptation of the traditional practice in which parties hold a ceremony to begin a process of negotiations to restore relationships.

BCL had requested to be included as part of the Committee and was subsequently invited to participate in preparations for the ceremony.

The Committee had recently closed out a phase of internal negotiations between stakeholders in central Bougainville.

With local alignment strengthened, the Committee moved focus to concentrate on preparations for the event itself and this was another factor in the timing of the invitation for BCL’s participation.

In December 2014, BCL joined a broad representation of Kieta and Panguna stakeholders and the Autonomous Bougainville Government as members of the committee.

Despite uncertainty surrounding legal tenure over its mining leases on Bougainville, BCL remains committed to the process of Bel Kol and to the deliberations of the Joint Panguna Negotiation Coordination Committee.

With more regular visits to central Bougainville, BCL will now progress fact finding with urgency to ensure the company has fulfilled its requirements for participation in the Bel Kol ceremony by mid-2015.

BCL wants to ensure there are broadly shared expectations and support for the Bel Kol ceremony.  This will be achieved through discussions and interviews with a range of local stakeholders, as guided by the Events Committee.

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JPNCC encourages ongoing discussions with landowners

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Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL) has told representatives of Panguna mine-affected landowners that it welcomes direct dialogue between parties as well as collective discussion.

The issue was raised at the Joint Panguna Negotiation Coordination Committee (JPNCC) meeting in Buka last Friday.

Some landowner representatives said they would like to have regular, informal contact with BCL to raise issues not covered by the JPNCC terms of reference.

The JPNCC is responsible for a range of activities including environmental, social and economic studies, as well as the customary bel kol reconciliation process.

The landowners sought the blessing of the JPNCC to proceed with informal talks about their own particular issues.

Other JPNCC members agreed that discussions between parties outside JPNCC meetings are an importance part of the process.

Shadrach Himata, PNG National Government representative on the committee, told the meeting that, though the JPNCC is where formal discussions take place, there is no problem with members holding informal talks and he encouraged these activities.

The next meeting of the JPNCC will be held in Port Moresby on Friday 3 October.

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Panguna planning continues with appointment of consultants

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The Joint Panguna Negotiation Coordination Committee (JPNCC) met in Buka last Friday to discuss the selection of consultants to conduct environmental, social and economic studies in the Panguna area.

The JPNCC comprises representatives from the Autonomous Bougainville Government, the Papua New Guinea National Government, Panguna-affected landowners and Bougainville Copper Limited.

It is part of a process that ensures all key stakeholders have the same access to information about a possible resumption of mining on Bougainville.

Its responsibilities include the supervision of environmental, social and economic studies as well as the customary bel kol reconciliation process.

As with all decisions made by the JPNCC, the selection of consultants for the baseline studies will be made unanimously.

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ABG to deliver more information

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The Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) has promised an increased flow of information to the Bougainville people, as consideration is given to a possible resumption of mining at Panguna.

This forms part of a strategy to ensure the people are at the centre of decisions about the future of the Panguna mine.

The ABG forms part of the Joint Panguna Negotiation Coordination Committee (JPNCC), along with landowner representatives, the Government of Papua New Guinea and Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL).

The JPNCC was established to bring together the major stakeholders to take steps towards an eventual decision on the resumption of mining at Panguna.

The co-chair of the JPNCC, Mr Raymond Masono, stated that an open and transparent environment is the only way to move forward.

“The exclusion of Bougainvilleans from decisions about development of the Panguna copper mine was a key cause of the Bougainville conflict,” Mr Masono said.

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Bel Kol – A tradition with contemporary applications

By Leonard Fong Roka

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Charles Kororo – Paramount chief of Piavora.

In the Nasioi society of Bougainville, just like many traditional societies on the Solomon archipelago, conflict was an inevitable aspect of the people’s way of life.

Conflict was intrinsic to the interaction of people and from time to time this led to the disruption of peace within society with war, destruction and death.

Before colonisation the Nasioi society was governed by clan leadership and power. The laws that existed over the land were held supreme and observed by all and thus our society was generally peaceful with minimal reckless violence.

In moments of conflict the Nasioi civilization had customary procedures to heal the wounds and divisions in our midst.

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JPNCC push for local training and employment

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The first meeting of the Joint Panguna Negotiation Coordination Committee (JPNCC) for 2014 was held in Port Moresby on Wednesday 22 January.

The meeting involved discussions on a number of matters relating the potential return of Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL) to the autonomous region.

The JPNCC consists of representatives of mine affected landowners, the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG), the Government of Papua New Guinea and BCL.

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PM completes Bougainville round-trip

Huge crowds turned out to see the PM throughout Bougainville. Credit: Radio New Dawn
Huge crowds turned out to see the PM throughout Bougainville. Credit: Radio New Dawn

Peter O’Neill, the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, has returned to Port Moresby after his three day tour of Bougainville.

The tour began in Buka on Monday 27 January 2014 with a traditional welcoming party at the airport to honour the arrival of O’Neill.

In Buka the Prime Minister and President of the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG), Chief Dr John Momis, completed the bel kol reconciliation that began a week prior in Port Moresby.

In this second act of the reconciliation the two leaders once again donned traditional shell money and the symbolic destruction of weapons.

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Prime Minister and President to reconcile in POM

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A reconciliation ceremony will be held in Port Moresby today between the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea (PNG), Peter O’Neill, and the President of the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG), Dr John Momis.

The  ceremony will also be attended by the Bougainvillean members of the national parliament Jimmy Miringtoro and Steven Kamma Pirika.

This forms part of a joint-government effort to strengthen ties between Bougainville and the rest of Papua New Guinea, which will culminate in a visit by the Prime Minister to the Autonomous Region next Monday 27 January.

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