THREE church buildings, three pastor’s houses, three primary school double classroom buildings, three elementary school buildings, three aid posts and a community health worker’s house on the isolated and under-developed New Hanover Island in Papua New Guinea (PNG) is this year’s Christmas gift by the Joinland Group.
These buildings are part of Joinland’s ongoing contributions to the economic and social development of Central New Hanover, which results from the company’s licensed and regulated agro-forestry project on the island.
In January 2012, Joinland and Tutuman joined hands to initiate the project to plant rubber trees under the Special Agriculture Business Leases (SABL) arrangement.
SABLs are granted by PNG’s Department of Lands and Physical Planning to facilitate the development of long-term commercial agricultural industries through the lease of customary land.
Under this arrangement, the customary landowners shall benefit from rental payments, job creation opportunities and improved facilities, among others.
Since Joinland began operations on New Hanover, it has also built several clinics and recruited two doctors and four nurses.
These healthcare professionals primarily provide care to the 200 employees working for Joinland and also provide healthcare and medicines to local residents who require it free of charge.
Chairman of Tutuman Development Pedi Anis said Joinland’s partner on the New Hanover project can stimulate growth and bring prosperity to the people of New Hanover.
“Without initial and continuing financial support from investors, no real change is ever going to be realised and achieved on customary land.”
While many of the economic benefits from the almost four million rubber, cocoa, coconut and native calophyllum trees will only be enjoyed by residents in the future, their investments in new schools, churches, homes and road building are already benefiting communities who were economically and socially-isolated, according to Joinland founder Datuk Seri Thomas Hah Tiing Siu.
“We are determined to maintain and even enhance our efforts in partnership with the PNG Government, New Hanover stakeholders and residents moving forward,” he enthused.
“We remain committed to sustainably developing the island and improving the lives of everyone on it, both now and in the future.”
Since the project began in 2012, Joinland has planted over 2.5 million rubber trees, 560,000 cocoa trees, 54,000 coconut trees and 800,000 native calophyllum trees.
Currently, Joinland is planting 15 essential native trees for every single tree cleared as part of its forestry activities.
Joinland has also constructed a total of 73 permanent houses for local villagers with another 45 houses under construction. – Dec 28, 2020