Women protesters led a blockade against the Panguna copper mine to prevent the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoA) between the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) and the Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL) company. They also won a court injunction so the MoA cannot be signed until further notice. The MoA intends to allow BCL to reopen the mine before June 2019. The Panguna mine was abandoned in 1989 after a decade-long armed uprising and a movement for Bougainville independence from Papua New Guinea arose.
Papua New Guinea
In 2013, with 3.1 million cubic meters of tropical wood exported, primarily to China, Papua New Guinea (PNG) became in recent years the world’s largest exporter of tropical wood, surpassing Malaysia, which had held the top spot for the past decades.
The people of Collingwood Bay in Papua New Guinea have won back their land from Malaysian loggers and oil palm companies after a hard fought battle.
We are witnessing a global process of agribusiness expansion and land grabbing in the South. Through lease, concession, even purchase, corporations or foreign states take over large areas of farmland on a long-term basis to produce staple foods or agrofuels for export. It is estimated that roughly 1,000 investment groups have targeted more than 50 countries in Asia, Oceania, Africa and Latin America (1).
In late 2008, WRM and Friends of the Earth Papua New Guinea/CELCOR jointly organised a workshop with local women in Papua New Guinea. The workshop referred to oil palm plantations that are being mainly promoted to feed the European market with palm oil (used in products such as cosmetics, soap, vegetable oil and foodstuffs) as well as for the production of agrofuels.
Oil palm production is increasing in Papua New Guinea, a country where 97% of the land is communally owned and most of its 5 million population still lives in the rural area and rely on subsistence farming for their livelihoods. The palm oil produced is mostly exported to the EU with the UK, Italy and the Netherlands being the main markets. A hidden large-scale scheme
If after reading the above articles you (as a woman within an organization, as a member of a women’s movement, as an activist on human rights issues, as an environmentalist, as a journalist, as a member of a consumer’s association, as a campaigner on climate issues, trade issues, health issues, etc) are wondering what you can do to start making changes to the current situation, we have some ideas that we hope may be of use.
By the World Rainforest Movement and Forest and Biodiversity Program of Friends of the Earth International