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08 February 2014

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I was just sent this reference to the problems in Kenya. See http://www.avaaz.org/en/stop_the_forced_evictions_loc/?bujuugb&v=35535

The world has a huge demand for timber and the rich corporations will probably put more and more pressure on the government of PNG to be allowed to harvest the forests of PNG.

The people will just be evicted from their villages, as in Kenya at the moment, and their livelihood stolen.

They must learn to stand up for themselves now. The corruption of PNG leaders will lead to the selling off of the precious timber. It will be sold cheaply in the developed world so the rich can have timber.

I lived with the people of Pagei for two years and together with their children admired and treasured the rainforest that surrounded us. The forest was filled with unique flora and fauna such as the giant hornbill.

Together with sixty children I even walked through the rain forest to Vanimo which was a four day walk there and back. I was amazed at the ability of the children to gather edible leaves along the way,which they filled their bilums with. At our first overnight rest in one of the villages, they had gathered enough food to feed not only them selves but the whole village. This was without damaging any of the plants which willingly donated a few leaves.

These were happy times and although the children had virtually nothing except their surrounding rain forest, they always had a smile on their face and a very happy village life.

Now this has all gone and they have nothing but misery to live with. They have no future, no rainforest, and no income in spite of the billions of kina the Malaysians have earned from the timber which by custom belonged to them.

Yes eternal shame on everyone involved in the destruction of their beautiful environment.

Hi Jemima. I was having a Senior's Moment. Jemima and Jo - both start with J! Sori.
Anyway, you are all great and must keep up with exposing the corruption in PNG.

I hear the present Prime Minister still thinks that SABLs are OK. He has a lot to learn!

After living at Brandi, in the East Sepik, just along from Turubu,and walking in the huge rainforest every week-end, and at Keravat in the middle of a huge rainforest, with all the Forestry officers as my neighbours and Manggai, where I was in the middle of the selective logging industry, and could hear the logging trucks going up and down the Boluminski Highway every night, I can speak with authority!

You can have a good logging industry without wrecking the environment. SABLs are inhuman and must stop.

Hi Barbara

I agree with your heartfelt praise for the story in the Global Mail but all the credit goes to Jo Chandler who wrote the article and all the others for the Global Mail's excellent PNG project, not to me.

Thanks too to Trevor and PNG Attitude for Trevor's piece on what is happening in Sandaun.

I have been trying to do my bit with stories on ABC domestic programs and Radio Australia including timely comments last week by Chief SABL Inquiry Commissioner John Numapo.

The more coverage this gets the better!

Thank you Trevor, for this message from the heart. I've been commenting on the rape of the forests of the Sepik region on the Sepik Region Development Discussion Forum and have been amazed at the few people who have commented.

They worry about the little things, the rubbish around the town of Wewak, the problems with the buses, but few seem to worry about the way their province, both East and West Sepik, has been exploited by these Malaysian timber companies.

Maybe they just think the problem is hopeless. One man told me that there are three NGOs trying to help the people with the problem. In the film I could see that it is the educated women, like Dorothy Tekwie, who are fighting for the rights of the village people. Sadly she was not elected to parliament. They badly need a few Greenies in the PNG parliament.

On Thursday I discovered this excellent article bt Jemima Garrett http://www.theglobalmail.org/feature/stealing-the-great-rainforests-of-png/796/ which all should read. It mentions more about the rape of the Turubu area, just along from Brandi High School where I taught in the 1970s. Evidently Oxfam will release a report on the Turubu SABL in February, including local accounts of the impact on the community and the environment.

All PNG Attitude readers should read this report by Garrett as it contains a lot of information on the complexities of the rape of the forests of PNG.

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