Wednesday, April 12, 2006

south pacific

Despite the staggering scale of it, almost all logging in Papua New Guinea is against the law. But when the logging companies can buy governmental favour, that's no barrier.

They've already acquired 70 percent of Papua New Guinea’s available forest resources, and the government is planning to hand out concessions for most of the rest, even though it's illegal.

This is where the bigger environmental groups come in. Small autonomous direct activists certainly do great work in support of Pacific tribes, not just in solidarity action but in personally delivering medical supplies. But there is a degree of muscle needed to sustain a campaign that only the big groups have.

Despite their disgraceful attitude on the Icelandic dams issue, in Papua New Guinea Greenpeace are right in there, helping communities kick logging companies off the land and following it up to get the bastards prosecuted.

Being all cyberagey, there's an onboard blog from the Rainbow Warrior crew, helmed by my fab friend Sophie, and it's newly added to the blogroll in my sidebar.

Greenpeace is just starting to extend its work to the other half of Papua - West Papua, controlled by Indonesia.

Many people there don't want any industrialisation. Their attitude towards money economies has a lot to teach us. Wiwa Wewo of the West Papuan Lani tribe came to Europe to find out what is this thing called 'the West' that wants to kick him off his land.

He wrote a pamphlet for us and for his tribespeople to explain what he found. Called Just Leave Us Alone!, you can get a pdf of it here, and you really should.

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