Department of Primary Industries

The department of Primary Industries

Department of Primary Industries


Headed by the Acting Secretary Mr. Henry Barako under the ministerial leadership of Honourable CLARENCE DENCY, ABG Minister of Primary Industries. It's mandate is focused on:

  • Agriculture and Livestock
  • Forestry
  • Fisheries

News and updates





AROB Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan

The Autonomous Region of Bougainville established its Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan (Novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV) on 16 March 2020. The overall objective of this plan is to minimize the impact of the disease in order to protect and maintain AROB’s social function and economy. The plan adheres to the 10-point National Action Plan (and all other laws and measures). In summary, the plan aims to:

  1. Establish mechanisms to detect and respond to suspect or confirmed cases in a timely manner – and thus prevent entry of COVID-19 and/or limit its transmission
  2. Empower and build ownership of partners and local communities to take responsibility for and actively participate in protecting themselves and local Bougainvillean communities
  3. To strengthen the core capacities for response and surveillance.

For more information, call the Bougainville COVID-19 Hotline 74460830.

SOE Emergency Orders

  • Supplementary Order 9 (pdf)
  • Joint Agency Taskforce

    The Joint Agency Taskforce was established to support the Bougainville COVID-19 response efforts, with a key focus on ten areas:

    1. Health Sector
    2. Security Sector
    3. Disaster and Emergency Sector
    4. Economic Sector
    5. Social Sector
    6. Public Utilities Sector
    7. Churches
    8. ABG Elections Support Team
    9. Development Partners
    10. Post-Referendum Planning Team
    11. Women Support Team

    The Joint Agency Taskforce is supported by a Secretariat that operates out of the COVID-19 Operations Command Centre, Hutjena.

    For more information, you can contact the Secretariat on email at

    SOE Media Statements

    Awareness Material

    Travel Advice

    Severity Series Tok Pisin (WHO)

    Risk Education

    Risk Communication for Health Workers

    Know the Facts of Covid-19

    Toll free

    Bougainville COVID-19 Hotline number 74460830.   

    This is a free call service and we encourage the Bougainville public to use this free information service to ask questions, get more COVID-19 information and also report if you or your loved one is not feeling well.

    Bougainville Referendum Commission

    Bougainville Referendum Commission

    Bougainville Referendum Commission

    The Bougainville Referendum Commission (BRC) page provides you the current information and posters on the referendum. 

    Bougainville Bulletin Edition 12 April 2018

    Bougainville Bulletin Edition 12 April 2018

    Bougainville Bulletin Edition 12 April 2018

    The Bougainville Bulletin Edition 17 May 2021 is the first publication for this year. The paper is funded by the governments of Bougainville, Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.

    Bougainville Economic and Investment Summit

    Bougainville Economic and Investment Summit

    Charting pathways towards a greater economic investment opportunities for Bougainville

    Bougainville Economic and Investment Summit


    The Governments of Papua New Guinea and Bougainville will jointly host an Economic and Investment Summit on Bougainville from the 16 to 19 November, this year.

    The Summit is intended to assist the Autonomous Region of Bougainville (ARoB) to strengthen economic services and investment opportunities in areas such as tourism, fisheries, agriculture, forestry and other relevant non-mineral resource sectors.

    The Summit will provide a forum for key stakeholders to discuss the economic and investment activities and potential of the ARoB and chart a roadmap (building on the Bougainville Strategic Development Plan, 2018-2022) for inclusive and sustainable growth and development. The Summit is also designed as an avenue to sensitize potential investors on investment opportunities in the ARoB and to inform development partners on economic development needs. 

    For more information send us an email at 

    Referendum Awareness Materials

    Referendum Awareness Materials

    Information regarding Bougainville's upcoming referendum

    Referendum Awareness Materials

    Click the links below to see the latest referendum awareness materials from the Autonomous Bougainville Government 

    Detailed descriptions of the Referendum Options 

    The Referendum Fact sheet revised version in Tok Pidgin

    Joint Key Messages on Bougainville Peace Agreement and Referendum

    Referendum Toksave: Autonomy Building

    Referendum Toksave: Free and Fair Election

    Referendum Toksave: Weapons Disposal

    Yumi Olgeta Imas Wok Bung

    Ol Meri Imas Wok Bung Wantaim

    Gutpela Wok Gavman 

    The Referendum Fact Sheet in Tok Pidgin

    Click the links below to see the latest referendum awareness materials from the Bougainville Referendum Commission.

    BRC Combined Fact sheet April 2019.pdf

    BRC Referendum Fact Sheet.pdf

    Criteria for Registration NRB2.pdf

    Referendum Roll update.pdf

    Referendum Roll.pdf

    Resident Bougainvillean.pdf  



    Bougainville's vote on its future political status


    Referendum is one of the pillars of the Bougainville Peace Agreement (BPA). The BPA declares that in the Constitution of the Papua New Guinea National Government and the Autonomous Bougainville Government, the Autonomous Region of Bougainville (ARoB) is guaranteed a referendum on Bougainville’s political future to be held amongst Bougainvilleans 10-15 years after the establishment of the Autonomous Bougainville Government. ABG was established in 2005 and therefore, according to the Constitution, a referendum can be held between the years 2015 and 2020. Both governments have agreed that the final date for the conduct of the referendum is 12 October 2019. 

    To download a fact sheet about the referendum click here.


    A referendum is a vote by the people to decide on a singe political issue. It is a way to inform and make decisions about very important issues. In Bougainville, the BPA calls for a referendum on, “Bougainville’s future political status,” to be held in any case, no later than June 2020, which is 15 years after the first sitting of the House of Representatives.

    A referendum is like an election, but instead of voting for a person/candidate/party, people choose an ‘option.’ That option or options will be on a ballot paper. People will choose the option they want by marking that option on the paper.

    Holding a free and fair referendum is not easy. Referendums can cause conflict, especially where there are already ethnic, religious, or other kinds of differences between people. One danger is that the result can leave the ‘losing side’ feeling like the outcome causes them serious disadvantage. In the past 25 years, violent conflict has occurred after independence referendums- for example in Timor-Leste and South Sudan. Having clear arrangements for the referendum and spreading awareness and understanding of these arrangements among the voters will help to avoid conflict. 

    In preparing for the Bougainville Referendum it will be important to consider both the advantages and disadvantages that can flow from the referendum, learn from experience of other countries and do everything possible to minimize the chance of serious problems occurring during the referendum and afterwards.


    Like an election, the Bougainville Referendum will have:

    • A ballot paper with options to vote for (these options must be jointly agreed by both Governments after consultation but one option must be concerning 'separate independence for Bougainville');
    • A roll of persons eligible to vote (there are two groups of people allowed to vote in the referendum: people who can vote for National Elections in Bougainville and non-resident Bougainvilleans)

    Unlike an election however, 

    • The result of the referendum is not binding (even if the referendum result favours independence this does not mean Bougainville will immediately gain independence);
    • If the two Governments agree, the referendum result will be tabled to the National Parliament (but the Parliament is not required by the BPA or PNG Constitution to make a decision on the result).


    The two governments have agreed on establishing an independent administrative agency to conduct the referendum. The GoPNG, ABG, PNG Electoral Commission and the Bougainville Electoral Commission have entered into an agreement which provides for the implementation of joint responsibility through the establishment of an independent agency, the Bougainville Referendum Commission, which will carry out the referendum in Bougainville.

    The Bougainville Referendum Commission (BRC) was created on Janurary 24th, 2017 and the agreement signed in the presence of delegates from both governments.The formation of the BRC as an independent and impartial entity was agreed upon by the National Executive Council, the Bougainville Executive Council and the Attorney General. 


    The rules for the Bougainville Referendum are in four legal documents:

    • Bougainville Peace Agreement
    • Papua New Guinea Constitution
    • Bougainville Constitution
    • Organic Law on Peace-Building in Bougainville - Autonomous Bougainville Government and Bougainville Referendum

    To access downloadable versions of these documents click here.

    Members of the National Parliament

    Members of the National Parliament

    Bougainville's voice in Papua New Guinea's House of Representatives

    Members of the National Parliament

    Hon. Peter Tsiamalili Jnr 

    • Member for: Bougainville (Regional Seat)  
    • National Vice Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Bougainville Affairs 

    Hon. William Nakin

    • Member for: North Bougainville Electorate

    Hon. Sam Akoitai

    • Member for: Central Bougainville Electorate

    Hon. Timothy Masiu 

    • Member for: South Bougainville Electorate
    • National Minister for ICT 
    Radio Ples Lain 89.1 FM

    Radio Ples Lain 89.1 FM

    Autonomous Voice Blong Bougainville

    Radio Ples Lain 89.1 FM

    Radio Ples Lain is a mobile, community radio station that was launched in 2014 by the ABG with support from the governments of Australia and New Zealand through the Government Implementation Fund (GIF). The main purpose of the radio station is to disseminate important government messages to the bulk of the population in remote areas that do not have easy access to news and information.


    Since its launch in 2014, RPL has broadcast coverage of major events in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville such as:

    • Live coverage on the reopening of Aropa Airport in Kieta
    • Live coverage of ABG Parliament Sittings
    • Live coverage of the ABG Election awareness and counting
    • Live coverage of the ABG Inauguration 2015
    • Community Awareness Broadcast of government messages to North, Central and South.


    • In 2016, RPL changed its broadcast frequency to 89.1 FM and was able to carry out awareness broadcasts to remote areas of South Bougainville starting from Buin to Siwai and Bana.
    • RPL began its 2016 awareness broadcast at Buin covering the Mini South Bougainville Youth Convention where over 200 youths from South attended. RPL then travelled to Lule COE broadcasting ABG programs.
    • RPL travelled into Siwai and Bana Districts after visiting Buin and broadcast ABG messages. People wecomed these messages as they felt they had previously missed out on vital government news and information. They stressed that RPL’s visit and broadcast in the community was important and the government should improve such facilities so that remote areas would have access to information and news.
    • RPL has recently been one of the first government entities invited to visit the Guava Community of Panguna District during the AROB Remembrance Day celebrations on the 17th of May 2016. This historic and significant event also coincided with a week-long meeting for the Panguna District Youth Association where 40 participants from four COEs namely Eivo, Torau, Ioro 1 and Ioro 2 attended. The meeting ended with a youth forum on developmental issues including good governance, education, referendum, mining, and social issues. A resolution was also passed for funding to be sought for youths to carry out awareness within their respective COEs.


    • RPL relays ABG programs that are produced by the Radio Communications Officer in the Bureau of Public Affairs, Media and Communication that is played on NBC Bougainville. These programs include updates from the President’s Office, Chief Secretary, Implementation of Autonomy, Referendum updates, Community Development, Justice, Technical Services, and more.
    • RPL also relays live talents and hosts panel discussions while out on awareness broadcasts.
    • RPL hosts a Talk Back show on Friday evenings. During these shows public officials receive and answer people's questions from all over Bougainville.
    • RPL is a government owned mobile radio station that provides coverage for free, it is not a permanent radio station and can provide coverage for any major events and happenings upon request from organisers.


    Keep updated with Radio Ples Lain's work by following them on: Facebook and listen on 89.1 FM.

    Weapons Disposal

    Weapons Disposal

    Bringing peace and safety to our region

    Weapons Disposal

    Weapons Disposal is the second pillar of the Bougainville Peace Agreement. The Agreement states that the agreed weapons disposal plan will proceed in stages, area by area, around Bougainville as soon as possible.


    The weapons disposal plan involved three stages:

    1. Storage of weapons in single locked containers
    2. Concentration of stored weapons in fewer and double locked containers, with one key held by the United Nations Observer Mission on Bougainville (UNOMB)
    3. Destruction of the stored weapons


    In July 2003, UNOMB certified that stage two of the plan was complete. In doing that the UNOMB acknowledged that not all weapons had been contained. In particular, Me’ekamui Defence Force had not been included because they weren’t signatories to the BPA. In May 2005, the UNOMB declared that implementation of the weapons disposal plan in the BPA had been completed. In 2013 the UN reported on weapons disposal to the Bougainville Referendum Committee (2013 UN Weapons Report) which was also endorsed by the JSB. The report also noted a general:

    "…lack of awareness in Bougainville of the link between weapons disposal and the conduct of a referendum on the future political status of Bougainville. A broader understanding of this linkage could lead to broader popular support for completing the weapons disposal process in order to clear a path to a referendum."



    (A presentation by the Vice President for the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, Hon. Patrick Nisira)

    "The Peace Agreement contained a plan for the BRA, BRF and Me'ekamui groups to disarm, but as we've seen, the Me'ekmui people did not join the process and retained their weapons. The agreed plan was implemented under UN supervision, resulting in destruction of about 2,000 weapons. BRA and BRF members were give strong incentives to dispose of weapons by provisions linking UN certification of adequate completion of particular stages in the disposal process to the coming into operation of the constitutional laws giving effect to the Peace Agreement, and the holding of the first ABG elections.

    But some weapons contained by BRA commanders were not destroyed, and were later put to use in localised armed conflict in Konnou, 2006 to 2011, in which scores of people were killed. In addition, some BRA and BRF members retained weapons, due to suspicion of PNG or of one another, or for the purpose of sale, or for use in criminal activities. Further, since implementation of the weapons plan ended, in 2005, additional weapons have come into possession of some Bougainvilleans. Though exact numbers are not known, they include: some weapons brought in from Solomon Islands; probably some hundreds of refurbished WWII weapons; and possibly some weapons supplied to former BRF members by contacts of theirs in the PNGDF. Not only have such weapons been used in localised conflict, they have also been employed in several instances of violent crime. Further, a significant commercial trade in Bougainville weapons has emerged, both an especially lucrative trade into the PNG Highlands, but also a less lucrative internal Bougainville trade.

    The ongoing availability of weapons undermines security, and is a constant threat to the strengthening of law and order. We also have growing fears that the presence of weapons could undermine the prospects of a free and fair se1fdetermination process, through the Bougainville Referendum. Paradoxically, the approach of the Referendum provides us with the opportunity to encourage disposal of weapons. Many who have retained weapons claim to have done so for fear that the National Government could not be trusted to allow the referendum to be held. Now that it is becoming clearer that this fear will not be realised, we are finding that Me'ekamui faction leaders and former BRA and BRF leaders are all engaging with the ABG about agreeing a new disposal process that will make Bougainville weapons free before the Referendum is held."



    (Statement made during the June 15th 2015 Inauguration Day)

    "On achieving complete weapons disposal, despite progress on reconciliation there’s been almost no progress since 2005. Weapons not destroyed during the UN supervised disposal process from 2002 to 2005 include those: held by Me’ekamui groups; captured at Kangu Beach in 1996; secretly retained by some BRA and BRF elements; or held by criminals. Since then, some additional weapons have been added, including some WWII and modern weapons Without much more complete weapons disposal our law and order situation will only get worse and we risk major problems over implementation of the referendum result.

    There are four main issues here. First, disagreement between the governments on weapons could push the date back towards mid-2020. Second, weapons availability could result in referendum observers determining the referendum is not “free and fair”, as required by the Peace Agreement. Third, the National Parliament has the final decision on the outcome of the referendum, and could use weapons issues to decide against independence. Fourth, international community support may be required to encourage implementation of the referendum outcome. We must make sure weapons disposal issues do not undermine international community support. So clearly weapons disposal must be a major priority for the 3rd ABG. So I propose holding a summit of former combatant leaders, including Me’ekamui groups, as well as other sectors of the community, to consider the ways ahead."



    Bougainville's House of Respresentatives



    The Constitution of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville (Bougainville Constitution) recognises the House of Representatives (Parliament) as the legislative arm of the Government. The House of Representatives is made up of the President, the Speaker and 39 Elected Members. Parliament House is located in Kubu, Buka. 


    The primary function of the House is to make laws for the good of its people, keep the Executive Government accountable through questions to the President and Ministers and scrutinise the laws and the roles of committees.

    There is no formal provision in the Constitution for an opposition but this does not mean that the Constitution cannot be changed to accommodate the formalisation of an opposition at a later time.


    • President elected by all voters in Bougainville
    • Thirty-three (33) Members representing single member constituencies
    • Three (3) women members to represent interests of women, one representative for each region (North, Central, South)
    • Three (3) former combatants to represent interests of former combatants, one for each region (North, Central, South)
    • The Speaker, who is an elected member of the House of Representatives appointed by a vote of the members of the House
    • The Vice-President, who is appointed by the President from among the members of the House from one region other than the region from which the President comes from
    • The Bougainville Members of the National Parliament (able to take part in debate but cannot vote and not counted towards a quorum)

    The House of Representatives functions under the House of Representatives Management & Administrative Structure 2010-2015.

    Download a diagram of the structure of the House


    • The Standing Orders (rules governing procedures)
    • The Bougainville Constitution
    • The Office of the Clerk Act 2009
    • The precedents and conventions of the House
    • The traditions of the Westminster System

    The Bougainville House of Representatives maintains a close working relationship with the National Parliament and other parliaments who are members of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA). It became a member of the CPA on the 6th of September 2006, thus providing the opportunity to develop and work closely with other parliaments who are members of CPA.


    • Three Regional Committees
    • Public Accounts Committee established by the PAC Act
    • Other Committees the House decides when needed

    During the First House, these committees were called the Parliamentary Sectoral and Advisory Committees. The President, Vice President and Ministers on Policy and Legislative Proposals have the power to search papers, summon persons and conduct enquiries on matters either referred to them by the Executive Government and the House.


    Northern Bougainville

    • Haku Constituency - Hon. Xavier Kareku
    • Halia Constituency - Hon. Patrick Nisira
    • Hagogohe Constituency - Hon. Robert Hamal Sawa
    • Peit Constituency  - Hon. Bernard Bovos
    • Tonsu Constituency - Hon. Ezekiel Massat
    • Tsitalato Constituency - Hon. John Bosco Ragu
    • Selau Constituency - Hon. Paul Otto Cheung
    • Suir Constituency - Hon. Polycarp Suito
    • Mahari Constituency - Hon. John Tabinaman
    • Teua Constituency - Hon. Charles Kakapetai
    • Taonita Teop Constituency - Hon. Thompson Joseph Gitovea
    • Taonita Tinputz Constituency - Hon. Morris Opeti
    • Nissan Constituency - Hon. Charry Napto Kiso
    • Atolls Constituency - Hon. Raymond Jonathan Masono
    • Regional Former Combatants - Hon. Callen T Matuna
    • Regional Women’s - Hon. Amanda Masono

     Central Bougainville

    • Kokoda Constituency - Hon. Rodney Osioco
    • Kongara Constituency - Hon. Pr Peter Teddu
    • South Nasioi Constituency - Hon. Justin Borgia
    • North Nasioi Constituency - Hon. Mathias R Salas
    • Ioro Constituency - Hon. Theonila R Matbob
    • Eivo/Torau Constituency - Hon. Lawrence Sirapui
    • Terra Constituency - Hon. Robin Wilson
    • Rau Constituency - Hon. Jason Barangnako
    • Regional Former Combatants - Hon. Linus J Dakei
    • Regional Women’s - Hon. Yolande Geraldine Paul

     South Bougainville

    • Torokina Constituency - Hon. Fabian Saleu Epota
    • Bolave Constituency - Hon. Dennis Alexman Lokonai
    • Lato Constituency - Hon. Melvin Iziras Wilolopa
    • Baba Constituency - Hon. Emmmanuel Carlos Kaetavara
    • Motuna/Huyono/Tokunutui Constituency - Hon. Zacharias Nungnung
    • Kopii Constituency - Hon. Joseph Kim Swamoro
    • Ramu Constituency - Hon. Thomas Pa’ataku
    • Makis Constituency - Hon. Junior Tumare
    • Baubake Constituency - Hon. Jacob Tooke
    • Lule Constituency - Hon. Joseph Mona
    • Konnou Constituency - Hon. Willie Louis Miriki Masiu
    • Regional Former Combatants - Hon. Thomas Tarii
    • Regional Women’s - Hon. Therese Naru Kaetavara



    • Volume 3, Issue 01. Click link to read the newsletter. 


    Quick Facts

    Quick Facts

    Important information about the region

    Quick Facts


    The Autonomous Region of Bougainville (formerly known as the Northern Solomons Province) is comprised of two main islands, Bougainville Island and Buka Island, and many small islands and atolls. In total, the region’s terrestrial area covers approximately 9,384km2. The region is organised into three sub-districts; North, Central and South. The landscape is a mix of coastal and mountainous areas with the highest feature, Mount Balbi, reaching 2,715m above sea level.


    The population of Bougainville was recorded as 249,358 in the 2011 census but is estimated to now be around 300,000. Its people, Bougainvilleans, are mostly Melanesian but there are also descendants of Micronesian and Polynesian origin (mostly from the outer atolls). The majority of the population live outside the three main urban centres in villages.


    There are at least 19 distinct indigenous languages in Bougainville. Tok Pisin (Papua New Guinean Pidgin English) is the lingua franca across the districts and English is also widely spoken.


    Most of the region is humid and hot with an annual mean temperature of 27 degrees Celsius. Rainfall decreases further north in the Region from 4500mm in the South of Bougainville Island to 2500mm in the North of Buka Island.


    A referal hospital is located in Buka Town and Arawa has a large health centre. Small health centres are located across the region. Bougainville is prone to tropical and mosquito-borne diseases.


    The region experiences earthquakes and is vulnerable to tsunamis on its coastal areas. Bougainville Island also has a number of active volcanoes. The region does not experience tropical cyclones but in the event of strong rainfall river crossings and bridges are prone to flooding.  


    There are three main town centres in the Region; Buka Town, Arawa and Buin.

    Buka Town - Located on the Buka Island shore of the Buka Passage (the channel separating Bougainville and Buka Islands), Buka Town is the current capital of the Region and hosts the Autonomous Government’s headquarters. Transport to Bougainville Island from Buka Town is available at several boat stops in the centre of town. Taxi and PMV (Public Motor Vehicle) services are also available for getting around Buka Town. Buka Town also has an airport which is regularly serviced via Port Moresby and Rabaul.

    Arawa - Formally the capital of the province, Arawa is located in Central Bougainville. Prior to the crisis Arawa was a busy town during the active years of the nearby Panguna Copper Mine. Taxis and PMVs also operate in Arawa. Nearby on the coast south from the township is Kieta/Aropa Airport and Kieta Port.

    Buin - Located in Bougainville’s Southern District, Buin is accessible from Arawa via two roads (one following the Eastern coast or one passing by the Panguna Mine). Buin’s proximity to the southern coast of Bougainville also means it is an informal point of contact with the neighbouring Solomon Islands.


    • New Year's Day - 1st January
    • Good Friday - 25th March
    • Easter Saturday - 26th March
    • Easter Sunday - 27th March
    • Easter Monday - 28th March
    • Queen's Birthday - 13th June
    • ABG Inauguration Day - 15th June 
    • National Rememberance Day 23rd July
    • National Covenant Day - 26th August
    • PNG Independence Day - 16th September
    • Christmas Day - 25th December
    • Boxing Day - 26th December


    The Autonomous Region of Bougainville uses equivalent to GMT+11, this is referred to as Bougainville Standard Time (one hour ahead of the time used in the other regions of Papua New Guinea, GMT+10).


    The unit of currency in Bougainville is the Papua New Guinea Kina (PGK) which is divided into 100 toea. The Bank of South Pacific (BSP) is the only commercial bank in Bougainville and has branches in Buka and Arawa. Normal banking hours are Monday to Thursday, 9:00am to 3:00pm and Friday 9:00am to 4:00pm.


    The Region uses the same international dialling code as PNG (+675). Digicel has the most extensive mobile telephone and internet coverage at about 80% of Bougainville including Buka, Tinputz, Wakunai, Arawa, Panguna, Bana, Siwai and Buin. Radio Ples Lain 89.1 FM is a mobile community radio programme operated by the ABG’s Bureau of Public Affairs Media and Communications. NBC Bougainville (Buka - 94.5 FM, Arawa 95.5 FM) is one of the 19 PNG National Broadcasting Commission radio stations. New Dawn 95.3 FM is a private commercial radio station located in Buka Town. Cable/satellite television is available.


    Bougainville is a region of Papua New Guinea so the national immigration and visa conditions apply just as in all other parts of Papua New Guinea. Tourist visas are available upon arrival in Port Moresby to citizens of Australia, New Zealand, USA, United Kingdom and many European countries, provided onward air-tickets are carried by the visitor. Duration of stay in Papua New Guinea is a maximum of 60 days. If in doubt, contact the nearest Papua New Guinea High Commission/Consulate, or the Australian High Commission/Embassy. For further information, visit PNG Immigration Services or the PNG Tourism Website.


    PNG Post in Buka is open from 9.00am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday and from 9.00am to 12pm on Saturdays. An express service (EMS) is available, with delivery to Australia usually within 48 hours. Postal Deliveries are made to Post Office boxes that can be rented out by companies and individuals. TNT and DHL couriers have agents in Buka Town.


    Think important fact areas are missing? - Send us a message.

    Bougainville Peace Agreement

    Bougainville Peace Agreement

    The foundation of our peaceful future

    Bougainville Peace Agreement

    The Bougainville Peace Agreement is a joint creation of the Government of Papua New Guinea and Bougainville leaders, signed on 30 August, 2001, in Arawa. It was heralded as a world class peace document. The Agreement provides a road map for all parties, based on three pillars: Autonomy, Weapons Disposal and a Referendum on Bougainville’s political status.


    The Bougainville Peace Agreement (BPA) is the outcome of more than 20 agreements signed by Bougainville leaders and the National Government leaders on August 30, 2001 to find lasting peace and a political settlement for the people of Bougainville. The BPA calls for Bougainville to have its own constitution and further, calls for a Bougainville constitution that recognizes the sovereignty of PNG and the PNG Constitution.

    The different aspects contained in the BPA can be categorised under three main pillars:

    • The Autonomy arrangement for Bougainville;
    • The weapons disposal plan adopted by the Peace Process Consultative Committee following consultation with the ex-combatants; and
    • The agreement to a constitutionally guaranteed referendum on Bougainville’s political future to be held amongst Bougainvilleans 10-15 years after the establishment of the Autonomous Bougainville Government. when conditions are right. Independence must be an option and the outcome is subject to the final decision-making authority of the National Parliament.


    Read more about the three pillars (AutonomyWeapons Disposal & Referendum) and access the key documents associated with the BPA.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Common questions about the Bougainville Peace Agreement

    Frequently Asked Questions


    The Bougainville Peace Agreement (BPA) is a joint agreement between the National Government of Papua New Guinea (PNG) and the leaders representing the people of Bougainville. It was signed in Arawa, in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville on August  30, 2001 and brought an end to the conflict between PNG and Bougainville and between the different factions within Bougainville. The BPA is a commitment from the governments of Bougainville and PNG to work together and secure lasting peace for Bougainville through peaceful means. It is a ‘roadmap’ for Bougainville covering peace-building, security, governance and development.


    The National Government was represented in the Agreement by Hon. Sir Mekere Morauta (Prime Minister),  Hon. Moi Avei, Minister For Bougainville Affairs, Hon M Ogio (MP for North Bougainville), Hon. S. Akoitai, (MP for Central Bougainville) and Hon M. Laimo (MP for South Bougainville).

    The leaders representing Bougainville were Hon John Momis MP (Governor, Bougainville), Joseph Kabui (President, Bougainville), R.J Banam (Chairman, Leitana Council of Elders), Mr. G Sinato (Deputy Governor, Bougainville Interim Provincial Government), Mr. T Anis (Vice-President, Bougainville People’s Congress), Mr. J. Tanis (Vice-President, Bougainville People’s Congress), Ishmael Toroama (Chief of Defence, Bougainville Revolutionary Army), Hilary Masiria (Chairman Bougainville Resistance Force) and Mrs. Ruby Mirinka (Representative of Bougainville Women). 

    The signing was witnessed by representatives from New Zealand, Australia, Fiji, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, The United Nations Observer Mission on Bougainville and the Peace Monitoring Group.


    The three pillars of autonomy, weapons disposal and referendum are the building blocks of the BPA.

    1) Autonomy – Marks a change from Provincial Government status to one of greater decision-making, law-making and governance powers for Bougainville. Unlike other provincial governments in PNG, Bougainville has its own Constitution, can make laws, hold elections, and choose its own governance arrangements. This is supported by a funding obligation from the National Government. A period of autonomy helps to resolve any divisions or disagreements before the referendum is held as well as contribute to an outcome of continued peace.

    2) Weapons disposal – Outlinesa process of demilitarization for Bougainville that includes reintegration, reconciliation and a three stage weapons disposal plan. The three stages are:

    Storage in single locked containers
    Storage in double locked containers, with one key held by the UN
    Weapons disposal

     3) Referendum - The BPA guarantees a referendum, to be held between June 2015 and June 2020, which must include a choice for Bougainvillean independence. The BPA has rules that govern the referendum and requires that good governance and weapons disposal are acheived before the target date.


    The referendum must take place before June 2020, however the BPA does not have an end date. The BPA and the Constitutional Laws guarantee that the autonomous arrangements will continue whether or not a decision regarding Bougainville’s future political status is made.


    A referendum is a vote by the people to decide on a single political issue. It is a way to make decisions about very important issues. In Bougainville, the BPA calls for a referendum on “Bougainville’s future political status” held no later than June 2020, which is 15 years after the first sitting of the Bougainville House of Representatives.

    A referendum is like an election but, instead of voting for a person/candidate/party, people choose an ‘option’. That option or options will be on a ballot paper. People will choose the option they want by marking that option on the paper.


    Holding a free and fair referendum is not easy. Referendums can cause conflict, especially where there are already ethnic, religious, or other differences between people. One danger is that the ‘losing side’ can be left feeling like the outcome causes them serious disadvantage. In the past 25 years, violent conflict has occurred after independence referendums – for example in East Timor and South Sudan.

    Having clear arrangements for the referendum and ensuring people understand these arrangements will help to avoid conflict. Clear guidelines help in planning for and managing the referendum. The two governments will work together to ensure arrangements work as intended, problems are anticipated and contingencies are provided for. 

    In preparing for the Bougainville referendum, it will be important to consider both the advantages and disadvantages that can flow from the referendum and learn from the experiences of other countries. Everything possible must be done to minimise the chance of serious problems arising both during the referendum and in the transition phase that follows.


    The rules for the Bougainville referendum are in four legal documents:

    • Bougainville Peace Agreement
    • Organic Law on Peace-Building in Bougainville – Autonomous Bougainville Government and Bougainville Referendum 2002
    • Constitution of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville
    • Independent State of Papua New Guinea Constitution

     You can download the Peace Agreement in full from the ABG webpage or access a fact sheet that summarises its main points.


    The National Government of Papua New Guinea and the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) have agreed that the Actual date for the referendum is October 12, 2019. The agreement was made in a Joint Supervisory Body (JSB) meeting held in March 2019. 


    The Joint Supervisory Body is a joint PNG-Bougainville institution to oversee the BPA. It is a place for the two governments to come together and resolve any disagreements. The JSB is co-chaired by the Prime Minister of PNG, and the President of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville. The JSB is responsible for making decisions such as the question or questions to be put to Bougainvilleans, as well as who is eligible to vote in the referendum. 

    For more information about the referendum we have a number of resources in English and Tok Pisin on our website at



    The organisation of our government functions


    The government is divided into fourteen departments, each under the leadership of a Member of Parliament. Click on the name of the department to find out more about their specific mandate, latest news and activities.















    Office of the Bougainville Electoral Commissioner

    Office of the Bougainville Electoral Commissioner

    Ensuring free and fair elections

    Office of the Bougainville Electoral Commissioner


    The 2015 Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) General Elections were organised and implemented by the Office of the Bougainville Electoral Commissioner (OBEC). In previous ABG General Elections (2005 and 2010), the Papua New Guinea Electoral Commission (PNGEC) had lead responsibility. The 2015 ABG General Elections were therefore an historical achievement for the people of Bougainville with the OBEC taking the leading role in conducting the elections.


    The position of Bougainville Electoral Commissioner is established under the Constitution of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville. The OBEC is the office that has been established to support this function. Its primary role is to implement the Bougainville Elections Act 2007, including planning and conducting elections in Bougainville and to ensure transparency prevails in all elections held in Bougainville.


    The Bougainville Executive Council (BEC) made the decision to establish an electoral commission for the Autonomous Region of Bougainville in 2010. This decision was unable to be fully implemented and in 2014 the BEC reached a further decision to establish the OBEC.

    Following the BEC’s 2014 directive, the Acting-Bougainville Electoral Commissioner, Mr. George Manu was appointed. One of the first tasks undertaken by the Acting-Electoral Commissioner was to establish an organisational structure for the OBEC. Funding for positions within the OBEC was allocated by the ABG in its 2015 Budget. The OBEC began to increase its staff footprint from around January 2015.


    While OBEC took the lead role in the 2015 ABG General Election, the PNGEC provided assistance in line with a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) reached between the fomer PNG Electoral Commissioner, Mr. Andrew Trawen and the Bougainville Electoral Commissioner, Mr. George Manu. This MOU called for PNGEC to provide advisory support in the conduct of general and by-elections in Bougainville.


    • The Bougainville Electoral Commissioner invited advisory and financial support through its international partners, including New Zealand, Australia and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
    • UNDP has assisted OBEC to develop a media accreditation system, a dispute resolution system, and is facilitating and supporting electoral observation.
    • The Government of New Zealand has provided advisory personnel and has assisted with the printing of special voting services documentation
    • The Government of Australia has also provided advisory support personnel and has funded the printing of ballot papers
    How ABG Works

    How ABG Works

    Understanding our autonomous government

    How ABG Works


    The Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) was developed from the peace negotiations (Bougainville Peace Agreement) that concluded the Bougainville Crisis era. The purpose of ABG is to function as the official governing entity within the Autonomous Region of Bougainville and also to represent and advocate for the interests of Bougainvilleans in the national context of Papua New Guinea and in international affairs.


    ABG derives its authority from:

    ABG's governance is separated into three divisions of power - the Legislative, the Executive, the Judiciary.

    • Legislative - The Legislative operates in the form of Bougainville's House of Representatives (Parliament). This House is seated in the parliamentary buildings in Kubu, Buka.
    • Executive - The Executive exists in the form of an elected President of the ABG and the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, Ministers (selected from Members of Parliament) and the Bougainville Executive Council.
    • Judiciary - The Judiciary operates in the form of the Courts of Justice that operate within Bougainville. The region also retains the Papua New Guinea Supreme Court as the highest level of its Judiciary system.

    View a diagram of ABG's authority and structure here.


    ABG governs an autonomous region of Papua New Guinea and is the only region with this political status. This an important distinction as being "autonomous within" rather than "independent from" Papua New Guinea. Bougainville is not an independent sovereign state and therefore ABG cannot conduct certain activities (for example, ABG cannot make laws that contradict the national system of law or establish diplomatic posts in foreign countries).



    Our unique status in Papua New Guinea


    Autonomy is the first pillar of the Bougainville Peace Agreement. The agreement acknowledges the Autonomous Region of Bougainville (ARoB) as the only province of Papua New Guinea that has an autonomous government since 2005. It aims to give expression and development to Bougainvillean identity and empowering Bougainvilleans to solve their own problems.


    Autonomy itself is a government term used to describe the type or nature of a government administration. The agreement acknowledges the government of ARoB has a different role and function to that of a provincial government, being a government that has the power to make greater decisions about its affairs, law making and governance.

    Unlike the provinces of the rest of PNG, Bougainville has its own governing constitution and can establish its own institutions of government, hold elections for its government, make its own laws, establish its own courts, public service and police service.

    Autonomy in ARoB is supported by a funding arrangement from the National Government. When the BPA when signed in 2001 it was agreed that the government of ARoB would have a period of autonomy intended to help resolve the divisions and disagreement within the region before a referendum was held, or contribute to a referendum outcome in favor of continued unity.



    Bougainville's journey to the present



    Bougainville Island is estimated to have been inhabited by humans for at least 30,000 years. Modern studies of the region’s mix of Papuan and Austronesian languages suggest that both the first prehistoric settlers and later Lapita peoples (of roughly 3000 years ago) migrated eastward to Bougainville from New Ireland and New Britain. Together with the recent Polynesian and Micronesian settlers of the outer atolls, the Autonomous Region of Bougainville’s indigenous histories are rich and colourful.


    The island was named after the French navigator Louis Antoine de Bougainville who sailed along Bougainville Island’s east coast in 1768. In 1885, the region came under German administration under the German New Guinea Company. With the outbreak of the First World War, Australia occupied all of German New Guinea in 1914. At the conclusion of the war German New Guinea was declared a League of Nations mandate, to be administered by Australia.  


    In 1942 the Empire of Japan invaded Bougainville and constructed multiple airfields and other strategic assets to use the islands as military bases. In 1943 Allied forces launched a counter-invasion to take back control of the region. Bougainville became an important air-base for the Allies in attacks on other Japanese-occupied islands, such as New Britain. Japanese garrisoned in Bougainville continued to resist until the surrender of Japan in September 1945.


    Following the War, Australia took over administration of all the British and German New Guinea territories until Papua New Guinean independence in 1975. In the 1960s, Bougainville was explored for copper and gold mining opportunities which resulted in the opening of the Panguna Mine in 1969, managed by Bougainville Copper Limited (a subsidiary of Rio Tinto). Activists proclaimed the independence of Bougainville (Republic of North Solomons) shortly before Papua New Guinea in 1975 but failed to achieve recognition.


    Tensions over the mine rose again in the late 1980s and in 1988, the Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA) was formed. Acts of sabotage on the mine and workers’ concerns for safety led to the closure of the mine in 1989 and escalation into civil conflict between the BRA and the Papua New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF). PNGDF established a blockade of Bougainville in 1990 and conflict between factions of separatists, loyalists and the PNGDF continued throughout the following decade. The war claimed an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 lives. In 1996, Prime Minister Sir Julius Chan requested the help of Sandline International, a private military company, to put down the rebellion. The “Sandline Affair” was a controversial incident that eventually led to a maintained ceasefire and reintroduced negotiations for peace. The Bougainville Peace Agreement (BPA) was signed in Arawa on 30th August, 2001.


    Since the BPA was signed, peace has been maintained and autonomy of governance has been granted to Bougainville as a region within Papua New Guinea. The first Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) was inaugurated in 2005 under President Joseph Kabui. Current President, John Momis, is serving his second five-year term in office after winning the 2015 General Election. Eligible Bougainvilleans will participate in a referendum on the region’s political status by 2020 as stipulated in the terms of the BPA.  

    Bougainville Constitution

    Bougainville Constitution

    The Region's founding document

    Bougainville Constitution

    The Consititution of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville was completed in 2004.


    The document is organised into the following sections:

    1. Bougainville
    2. Schedules repeating certain provisions of National Constitutional Laws
    3. Bougainville Objectives and Directive
    4. Structure of Government
    5. The Bougainville Legislative
    6. The Bougainville Executive
    7. Bougainville Senior Appointments Committee and Appointments Generally
    8. Constituencies and Elections
    9. Administration of Justice
    10. Bougainville Government Services
    11. Finances and Financial Management and Control
    12. The Bougainville Ombudsman 
    13. Leadership Code
    14. Human Rights
    15. Issues arising from the Bougainville Conflict
    16. Bougainville Constitutional Offfice-holders and Bougainville Constitutional Institutions
    17. Bougainville Referendum
    18. Consultation and Participation
    19. Emergency Procedures and Powers 
    20. Intergovernmental Relations and Review
    21. This Constitution
    22. Alteration of this Constitution and of Part XIV (Bougainville Government and Bougainville Referendum) of the National Constitution, etc.
    23. Review of this Constitution, etc.
    24. Miscellaneous
    25. First Bougainville general election and first meeting of the House of Representatives
    26. Other Interim Arrangements
    Department of the President and the Bougainville Executive Council

    Department of the President and the Bougainville Executive Council

    Department of the President and the Bougainville Executive Council

    The Department of President and the Bougainville Executive Council is headed by the Chief Secretary SHADRACH HIMATA. 

    The Department has several offices under its structure including: 

    1. Office of the Chief Secretary 
    2. Office of the Deputy Secretary (Strategic Planning & Policy) 
    3. Office of the Deputy Secretary (Operations) 
    4. Directorate of Media and Communications 
    Department of Personnel Management and Administrative Services

    Department of Personnel Management and Administrative Services

    Department of Personnel Management and Administrative Services


    Headed by acting Secretary JEFFERSON BUANAM under the ministerial leadership of Honorable EMMANUEL CARLOS KAETAVARA, Member for Baba Constituency, ABG Minister for Public Service. Its mandate is focused on

    • Human Resource management
    • Performance management
    • Office allocation and housing policy
    • Government housing
    • Records management and archiving
    • Labor and employment
    • Information Technology
    • Governance, management and procurement
    • General office supplies and equipment
    Department of Treasury and Finance

    Department of Treasury and Finance

    Department of Treasury and Finance


    Headed by acting Secretary Graham Kakarouts under the ministerial leadership of Honorable MATHIAS SALAS and Member for North Nasioi, ABG Minister for Finance.  Its mandate is focused on:

    • Budget and expenditure control
    • Treasury 
    • Revenue including the Office of the Collector of Taxes
    • National Government grants and revenues
    • Accounting and financial services
    • Payroll operations
    • Secretariat to the Bougainville Tenders Board

    A Milestone Event 2017 under the Department of Treasury and Finance

    The Autonomous Bougainville Government hosted the first ever Revenue and Tax Summit in September this year. The principle focus of this historic summit was to explore ways to improve the financial outlook of the region.The summit follows recommendations from the first Joint Review of Bougainville’s Autonomy Arrangements by the Government of PNG and the ABG. This summit further strengthens the ABG’s efforts in moving towards achieving fiscal self-reliance as specified in the Bougainville Peace Agreement. 

    Links for Presentations from the Bougainville Revenune and Tax Summit

    1. Achieving self reliance in Bougainville: Professor Satish Chand

    2. Transitioning to fiscal self reliance in the AROB: Professor Satish Chand

    3. Fiscal self reliance under the BPA: Anthony Regan

    4. ABG fiscal position and the way forward: Brenda Tohiana

    5. Donor partner financing and cooperation: Daphney Toke, Office of Chief Secretary and Justin Shone, United Nations Development Program

    6. Collection and disbursement of national taxes (IRC): Dr Alois Daton, PNG IRC Tax Commissioner 

    7. Compliance with national taxes (IRC): Dr Alois Daton, PNG IRC Tax Commissioner 

    8.Compliance with sales taxes in Bougainville: Gabriel Pantel, ABG Chief Collector of Taxes

    9. Customs duties, fees and charges- A Bougainville's perspective: Roy Paul, Chief Commissioner PNG Custom Services

    10.Draw down of revenue and tax powers and functions: James Tanis, Secretary Dept of Peace Agreement Implementation

    11. Economic development – revenue and tax implications: Catherine Welbia, ABG Dept of Economic Development and James Lloyd PGF Economic Development Adviser

    12. Revenue and tax opportunities and options: Mark Olsen, PGF Revenue and Tax Adviser

    13. Mining in Bougainville: Gideon Tongo, Dir. Regulatory Ops Div, ABG Dept of Mineral and Energy Resources

    14. Artisinal and small scale mining in Bougainville (ASM)-raising government revenue: Anthony Regan Australian National University

    15.Fisheries – inshore and offshore: Mahara Auhi, Director Fisheries, ABG Dept of Primary Industries and Richard Mounsey, PGF Fisheries Adviser

    15. Agricultural commodities: Thomas Betitis, Secretary, ABG Dept of Primary Industries

    16. PNG Cocoa Board;Moses Burin, Regional Manager, Bougainville

    16. State land: Raphael Nagual, Secretary, Dept of Lands

    17. Bougainville business associations – experience and suggestions: Robert Critchley, Buka Business Association

    18. Development of the New Panguna Project - Potential Revenue Streams:  Bougainville Copper Limited

    Department of Education

    Department of Education

    Department of Education


    Headed by Acting Secretary MARY REMI under the ministerial leadership of Honorable THEONILA ROKA MATBOB and Member for Ioro Constituency, ABG Minister for Education. Its mandate is focused on:

    • Primary education
    • Secondary education
    • Tertiary education
    • Technical and vocational education and training (TVET)
    • Education policy and curriculum development
    Department of Health

    Department of Health

    Department of Health


    Headed by Secretary CLEMENT TOTAVUN under the ministerial leadership of Honorable CHARRY NAPTO, Member for Nissan Constituency, ABG Minister for Health. Its mandate is focused on:

    • Public Health
    • Health policy, planning and procurement
    • Community health services
    • Clinical health services

    News and updates 

    Department of Police, Corrective Services and Justice

    Department of Police, Corrective Services and Justice

    Department of Police, Corrective Services and Justice


    Headed by Secretary KEARNNEARTH NANEI under the ministerial leadership of Honorable THOMAS TARI, Member for South Bougainville Former Combatants, ABG Minister for Police. Its mandate is focused on:

    Police Service
    Correctional Services
    Police, corrections and rehabilitation policy
    Monitoring and coordinating the activities of the law and justice sector agencies
    Office of the Principal Legal Advisor​


    Training Recruitment Programme begins

    The Bougainville Police Service with the support of Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary is currently recruiting fresh Grade 12 applicants for its Basic Constabulary course up in Hutjena Training Centre this year, 2021. Applications will be available at Regional Police Headquarters, Human Resource Desk at Kubu, Regional Training Centre Hutjena for South and Central at your Regional Police Station and Buin Police Station. The recruitment will run for three weeks commencing from Tuesday the 10th August 2021 to 31st August 2021. All Applications must be received by the closing time no later than 5.06 pm on Tuesday the 31st of August 2021. Address all applications to: Chief of Bougainville Police Service, P.O Box 120, Buka, Autonomous Region of Bougainville. Attention: Recruitment and Selection. For more information, inquire at BPS Police Headquarters, Kubu or on mobile phone: 73446873/ 71570109 Email: and See full details here.

    Ministerial statements




    Roadshow reports

    Draft Roadshow Report by ABG Planner Department

    2018 Central Road Show Report

    2018 Road Show Report for South Community Governments

    2017 Road Show Report-High and Secondary Schools

    Department of Technical Services

    Department of Technical Services

    Department of Technical Services


    Headed by Acting Secretary HILARY HANGATSIA under the ministerial leadership of Honorable Dr. JOSEPH KIM SWUAMARU, Member for Kopi Constituency, ABG Minister for Technical Services. Its mandate is focused on:

    • Technical Services
    • Program Management Unit
    • Geo-hazards
    • Transport infrastructure and services (roads, airports and wharves)
    • Telecommunications, radio and postal facilities and services
    Department of Bougainville Independence Mission Implementation

    Department of Bougainville Independence Mission Implementation

    Department of Bougainville Independence Mission Implementation



    Headed by Acting Secretary, Stephanie Elizah under the ministerial leadership of Honorable EZEKIEL MASSAT, Member for Tonsu Constituency, ABG Minister for Bougainville Independence Mission Implementation. The department was formed to coordinate and deliver Bougainville preparations for independence.

    Its mandate is focused on:

    • Bougainville referendum
    • Research and policy on referendum
    • Former Combatants Affairs
    • Veteran Participation on Reconciliation, Weapons Disposal and Referendum
    • Veteran skills and educational development
    • Negotiations with the government of PNG, Joint Supervisory Body (JSB)
    • Developing and disseminating information to all stakeholders
    • Coordinating international groups assisting in the referendum in pre-referendum and post-referendum.
    Department of Mineral and Energy Resources

    Department of Mineral and Energy Resources

    Department of Mineral and Energy Resources


    Headed by acting Secretary PETER KOLOTEIN under the ministerial leadership of Honorable RODNEY OSIOCO, Member for Kokoda Constituency, ABG Vice President and Minister for Mineral and Energy Resources, Its mandate is focused on:

    • Mining policy
    • Mining Safety Exploration (all minerals)
    • Licensing and regulation of developers
    • Energy policy

    News and updates


    The ABG Minister for Mineral and Energy Resources, Hon. Rodney Osioco, has announced that the Bougainville Government will no longer be partially lifting the existing mining reservation or moratorium in selected areas of Bougainville for the purposes of mineral exploration endeavors in new or “greenfield” sites until certain issues are addressed.

    This is consistent with a key Bougainville mining policy objective that talks about developing the mineral endowment on a phased basis that favors long-term ecological, economic and social viability instead of maximizing short-term investment.

    According to the Bougainville Mining Policy, Minister Osioco says it is necessary to control the rate of development in the mining sector to ensure beneficial evolution of our social structures and cultural values and to preserve a resource base for future generations.

    Given Bougainville’s unfortunate mining-related history, and the recent fatal incidents at two current exploration sites, the government is cautious in its approach to mineral exploration.

     “Let us not forget the Bougainville Conflict too soon; we saw unrest which stemmed from unattended mine-related socio-economic and environmental grievances which eventually converged with political factors and escalated into the Bougainville Crisis”, Osioco said.

    “Already I am seeing a concerning trend, I will not see a repetition of unattended escalated landowner mining-related grievances under my watch”, he said.

    Another issue of concern for the government is the lack of regulatory human resource capacity for the sector.

    Minister Osioco says that mineral sector development needs to be broken up into practical, distinct, and manageable phases that will allow for phased building of regulatory capacity over time.

    The ABG intends to maintain its support for existing exploration projects and allow for regulatory capacity building before it will permit additional greenfield project developments.

    “Let us fix existing problems, develop existing projects, put our house in order, before we start creating more issues,” Osioco says. 

    The government has also noted the need for amendments to existing sector legislation after five years of practice. This includes the addition of effective grievance mechanisms which will enable the ABG to take on board and respond to and resolve issues raised by local communities.

    “There is a need to review procedures for granting of mineral exploration licenses and other mineral licenses, particularly given that Bougainville has complex interests of land ownership, land use and land tenure in general” Osioco said.

    “We are also looking at scrapping the first-come-first-served colonial mineral rights award principle where we are forced to settle for whatever investor or company first applies for an exploration licence or first comes to Bougainville and deals with landowners and public servants and leaders. First-come-first-served awarding of mineral rights encourages corruption”, Osioco said.

    The alternatives include giving State Entities priority in tenement applications and, if necessary, utilizing transparent processes where investors would be invited to bid for the right to operate in Bougainville under clearly spelt out terms and conditions.

    The alternative for a transparent public auctioning process can attract cash strapped investors and major miners and eliminate those junior speculators that often exploit the first-come-first-served process with dubious methods.

    The ABG is steadfast in its position that any partial lifting of the moratorium for the purposes of new exploration applications for new sites will only be considered after the required amendments are made and the human resources regulatory capacity situation improves.

    Department of Community Government

    Department of Community Government

    "The aim of community government is a second level of government that is truly Bougainville, one that helps people advocate, coordinate and carry out government activities in their own community."

    Department of Community Government


    Headed by acting Secretary PUARA KAMARIKI, under the ministerial leadership of Honorable THOMAS PATAAKU, Member for Ramu Constituency, ABG Minister for Community Government. Its mandate is focused on:

    • Community Government (support and coordination)
    • District Coordination and administration
    • Traditional Authority and custom
    • Disaster and Emergency management and coordination

    Disaster Coordination Office

    The Bougainville Disaster Coordination Office was launched at Kubu, Buka Island in September 2014. The National Minister for National Planning and Monitoring, Charles Abel officially opened the Bougainville Disaster Coordination Office. The Minister and his delegation were in Buka for a week long visit of High Impact Projects on Buka Island and mainland Bougainville. Abel was accompanied by Acting National Planning Secretary Juliana Kubak and other government delegates. The building is funded by the Special Intervention Fund ( SIF ) to ABG by the National Government. The office is responsible for managing natural and human-caused disasters in Bougainville.  

    Since the office was established the  Bougainville government, the Provincial Government of Tinputz district and development partners finalized the first District Disaster Risk Management (DRM) Plan for the district.

    This model Tinputz District DRM Plan has been jointly drafted by the district level agencies and development partners with technical assistance from Disaster Risk Management Office of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville and UNDP.

    The plan was developed through a comprehensive and participatory process, involving all district agencies, non-governmental organizations, the private sector and faith-based organizations, as well as community consultations.

    Community Government

    What is Community Government?

    Community Government is Bougainville’s new second level of government. The Bougainville Community Government Act (CG Act) replaces the Council of Elders Act 1996. The new Act gives Community Governments more powers to support community decision-making and to perform the functions of community development (social and economic).


    • Respects local customary authority: Community Government empowers the voice of traditional leaders to promote peace, security, law and order. It can provide support for traditional authority and village court, land mediators and Community Auxiliary Police in the ward area.
    • Equal voice: one woman, one man: Each Ward elects one woman and one man to represent them at the Community Government.
    • Empowers development interests of communities: Responsible for designing and planning community development and government service delivery.
    • Encourage participation of people and local groups: Works closely with social groups/local organisations and liaises with district managers.
    • Better coordination between ABG and community government: Services and facilities identified and monitored by community to meet their current and future needs.

    Bougainville’s Second Level of Government

     Bougainville is divided into Community Government areas. A Ward is the further break down of a Community Government area. A Community Government can have between 3 and 15 Wards. People in each Ward elect one woman and one man to serve as their Ward Representatives. The Community Government term is five years, following the ABG election.


    • Maintain community data: births, deaths, total population etc
    • Identify and prioritise present and future needs of people
    • Contribute to district planning, and implement or assist projects resulting from planning
    • Work with ABG to coordinate and monitor government services/staff in its area
    • Encourage initiatives for improving quality of life of its people
    • Represent interests of its people to the wider community
    • Carry out or provide assistance for projects funded from other sources
    • Establish community mining license reserves and relating community licenses and tenements
    • Special Functions under the Bougainville Constitution
    • Urban Community Government also responsible for rubbish collection


    No hierarchical relationship: Community Government works cooperatively with district officers, the ward steering committee, traditional chiefs and leaders of the wards.



    People in each Ward elect one woman and one man to serve as their Ward Representatives. The role of Ward Representatives are:

    • Participate in the deliberation and civic activities of the Community Government
    • Assess Community Government resource allocation, expenditures and activities, and the effectiveness of its service delivery.
    • Represent the interests of the people of the Ward
    • Participate in the Ward Steering Committee


    A Ward Steering Committee is not a formal level of government but brings the Ward   Representatives together with other people chosen by the community in whatever means appropriate. The role of the Committee is to provide administrative and operational support to traditional chiefs, other traditional leaders and village courts. Committees also identify development needs, for example: impact of natural disasters, requirement for conflict resolution, issues relating to health, land and environment of the Ward.


    Sources of funds for Community Government is money appropriated by the House of Representatives or National Parliament, taxes and rates, imposition of administrative fees, commercial activities, and borrowing or investing, among others.


    Elections are held every five years within twelve months of the ABG election. Elections are conducted by the Bougainville Electoral Commission.

    Department of Community Development

    Department of Community Development

    Department of Community Development


    Headed by Secretary MANA KAKAROUTS under the ministerial leadership of Honorable THOMPSON GITOVEA,Member for Taonita-Teop Constituency, ABG Minister for Community Development. Its mandate is focused on:

    • Community development
    • Women
    • Churches
    • Non-government organizations
    • Youth
    • Sport and recreation
    • Culture and Arts
    Department of Commerce, Trade and Industry

    Department of Commerce, Trade and Industry

    Department of Commerce, Trade and Industry


    Headed by acting Secretary STANFORD KOMENA under the ministerial leadership of Honorable PATRICK NISIRA and Member for Halia Constituency, ABG Minister for Commerce, Trade and Industry. Its mandate is focused on:

    • Commerce and Trade
    • Economic Development
    • Telecommunications policy
    • Small business enterprises
    • Micro-finance
    • Tourism
    • Shipping services 



    Bougainville is open for business! The Bougainville Inward Investment (Amendment) Act 2018 establishes an Inward Investment Board, and a framework for screening, approving and monitoring investment by external investors into Bougainville. It is an integral component of Bougainville’s broader economic and social development strategy, and has been designed to contribute to the following:

    • Responsible inward investment into Bougainville

    • An accountable government sector; and

    • A vibrant and productive private sector.


    Information and forms:

    1. Information fact sheet: Investing in Bougainville and the Bougainville Inward Investment Board. Click here to download.
    2. Poster: Investing in Bougainville - the application and decision-making process 
    3. Application form A (non-compulsory) - register your intention to apply for an inward investment licence. Click here to download. 
    4. Application form B (compulsory) - apply for an inward investment license. 
    5. Bougainville Inward Investment Guidelines 2018 
    Department of Lands, Physical Planning, Environment and Conservation

    Department of Lands, Physical Planning, Environment and Conservation

    Department of Lands, Physical Planning, Environment and Conservation


    Headed by acting Secretary JAMES KUNNOPI under the ministerial leadership of Honorable ROBERT HAMAL SAWA, Member for Hagogohe Constituency, ABG Minister for Lands. Its mandate is focused on:

    • Customary land
    • State land
    • Incorporated Land Groups
    • Physical planning
    • Bougainville Building Board
    • Water and sanitation
    • Conservation 

    News and updates 


    11 June 2021: Bougainville attains Land powers from National Government

    Service delivery in the land sector in Bougainville has now been made easier following the full draw down of all powers and functions for Land Administration from the National Government to the Autonomous Bougainville Government.

    Today, the  ABG President Ishmael Toroama and National Minister for Lands John Rosso, signed the drawdown instrument that allows the transfer of full land administration powers to Bougainville. 

    President Toroama hailed the drawdown of powers as momentous event in the history of Bougainville. In his address, President Toroama expressed his gratitude to Prime Minister James Marape and the National Minister John Rosso as well as the National and ABG Department of Lands for their efforts to draw these powers and functions to the ABG. 

    “I am pleased to acknowledge and bear witness to the successful working relationship between both governments to ensure Bougainville’s independent management of its own land affairs the Bougainville way,” Toroama said.

    ABG Lands Minister Robert Hamal Sawa in his remarks stated that land is the foundation of any form of development in Bougainville, and the drawdown of land powers now allows Bougainville to now manage its own lands affairs.

    He appealed to all Bougainvilleans to work closely with his Department when dealing with any land issues going forward.

    He said that state land in Bougainville is scarce so people must work together with the government to make available customary land to enable the government to develop and add value to it.

    Minister Sawa further announced that his Department is also in the process of developing the Bougainville Lands Act.

    “My department is working on the Lands Act - the act is a home-grown Lands Act that is being developed to address issues that are unique to Bougainville,” he said.

    National Minister for Lands John Rosso in his remarks described the event as a milestone achievement for both governments.

    He said that the Marape-Basil government is adamant that the national government must devolve as much powers as possible in line with the timelines and agreements between both governments.

    The signing today included the devolution of powers and functions of land administration powers, and uplifting of moratorium on the land rentals in the region so ABG can start to collect rentals on the state leases throughout the region.

    “This will greatly assist and enhance the ABG in its revenue collection methods. ABG will now have its first ever regional land board to be established. This is on top of the Physical Planning board which has already been established,” he said.  

    “With these powers now that we give to you, it makes you solely responsible and accountable for your own land.”

    The event today also saw the swearing in of the Land Board Members. The newly established Land Board for Bougainville will be chaired by Robert Critchley, with other members including Agnes Titus, Henry Stalei, Ralph Christan, Albert Nukuitu, Fr Patrick Baria and Clement Sipara.