JPNCC Encourages Ongoing Discussions With Landowners

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.