Radio Australia's business and economics reporter Jemima Garrett has won an award for best radio documentary at the 2013 United Nations Association of Australia Media Awards.

Ms Garrett, along with Chris Bullock and Linda McGinness were commended for their story on a major Papua New Guinea land scandal.

The documentary, which was broadcast on ABC's Background Briefing program, investigates environmental degradation and indigenous land rights in PNG.

It examines how more than 11 per cent of PNG's land mass has been lost to controversial land leases.

Much of PNG's land is part of globally significant rainforest.

It looks in particular at how one small Australian-led company was instrumental in alienating more than 2 million hectares of land from tens of thousands of traditional owners without their consent.

In a country where land holds a near-sacred cultural status, more than 80 per cent of Papua New Guineans depend on their land for their subsistence lifestyle.

The alienation of land on this scale is a story with once-in-a-generation significance.

Landowners across PNG are still waiting to see if the the government will revoke suspect leases.

The UNAA Media Awards began as a national program in 1978 to promote awareness about humanitarian and social justice issues by recognising those in the Australian media who raise public awareness and influence policy change.

The major award categories are best print, radio, photojournalism, online and television.

 

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