Apply to Join

Land is Life - Land Justice for Papua New Guinea

by Bismark Ramu Group
Play Video
Land is Life - Land Justice for Papua New Guinea
Land is Life - Land Justice for Papua New Guinea
Land is Life - Land Justice for Papua New Guinea
Land is Life - Land Justice for Papua New Guinea
Land is Life - Land Justice for Papua New Guinea
Land is Life - Land Justice for Papua New Guinea
Land is Life - Land Justice for Papua New Guinea
Land is Life - Land Justice for Papua New Guinea
Land is Life - Land Justice for Papua New Guinea
Land is Life - Land Justice for Papua New Guinea
Land is Life - Land Justice for Papua New Guinea
Land is Life - Land Justice for Papua New Guinea
Land is Life - Land Justice for Papua New Guinea
Land is Life - Land Justice for Papua New Guinea
Land is Life - Land Justice for Papua New Guinea
Land is Life - Land Justice for Papua New Guinea
Land is Life - Land Justice for Papua New Guinea
Land is Life - Land Justice for Papua New Guinea
Land is Life - Land Justice for Papua New Guinea
Land is Life - Land Justice for Papua New Guinea
Land is Life - Land Justice for Papua New Guinea
Land is Life - Land Justice for Papua New Guinea
Land is Life - Land Justice for Papua New Guinea
Land is Life - Land Justice for Papua New Guinea
Land is Life - Land Justice for Papua New Guinea
Land is Life - Land Justice for Papua New Guinea
Land is Life - Land Justice for Papua New Guinea
Land is Life - Land Justice for Papua New Guinea
Land is Life - Land Justice for Papua New Guinea
Land is Life - Land Justice for Papua New Guinea
Land is Life - Land Justice for Papua New Guinea
Land is Life - Land Justice for Papua New Guinea
Land is Life - Land Justice for Papua New Guinea
The Sepiks Free the Rivers & Our Lives Core Group
The Sepiks Free the Rivers & Our Lives Core Group

The Sepik’s Free The River and Our Lives Core Group representing the people of East Sepik have released a press statement to object to the grant /extension of term of Lease of Mining Purposes 94 and 98. The particulars of LMP 94 are tailings, Nena valley waste rock dump, waste rock barge loading facility and LMP 98; Sepik River Port, Dredge Spoil emplacement and River port accommodation village. A total of nine elders representing the upper, middle and lower Sepik River basin communities convened together to put their thoughts and signatures on the objection notice (Form 14).

As a result of mining activity by Frieda Mine upstream severe damages on the natural eco system are evident downstream.

One of the outspoken local elders from middle Sepik said that there is substantive evidence that Frieda mine has already caused serious damages to the environment and has affected the river system. Sediment build up along the riverbanks has caused one of our lakes to burst. According to my local knowledge, lakes act as a natural wall in controlling tides generated by the river currents. “Our livelihood depends heavily alone on the river!” The Sepik River is our MOTHER it provides us with everything, food, water, materials for building houses and it gives us fish that helps us with a consistent source of income. We sell fish from the river to get money to pay school fees for our children; we buy building materials for our houses and boats and vehicles for transportation.

In cultural wise we have a very strong and close connection to the river because most of our names originated from the different species of animals and plants that make up the river environment. Also to enhance this cultural link for generations we have been grateful to reserve and protect sacred sites, which serves as a resemblance of our indigenous heritage.

Sustainability is nothing new to us. The beautiful lakes creates eco-tourism for us and the abundance supply of fish provides a consistent source of income, and a natural seasonal crop rotation dictated by the high and low tides which is more manageable than sophisticated agricultural methods. Frieda mine will not bring any tangible benefits to thousands of people living along the Sepik River and in the same way it will cause disorders in the socio-cultural context of our people and for that we are convinced that it will not be able to define sustainability for our people’s livelihood.

Therefore, this action of objection endorsed that there must be a TOTAL BAN on all mining activities within and in the surrounding areas of Frieda and Sepik rivers. The Sepik’s Free the Rivers and Our Lives Core group (SFTRAOL) on behalf of all the people living along the Sepik river has made it clear in this objection that this areas are a NO GO ZONE-ZERO TOLERANCE on all Mining Activities

An elder from the Sepik’s Free the Rivers and Our Lives Core Group (SFTRAOL) presented the objection notice (Form 14) to the Registrar of Tenements PNG’s Mineral Resources Authority.

Check out the latest updates for the campaign on our Facebook Pages; Bismarck Ramu Group and Sepik Wara- Ban Frieda Mine.

BRG is very thankful for the continous support and the great impact you have had in our work as our wonderful heartfelt supporter and generous donor. Again thank you so much for your great support throughout the year!

Bismarck Ramu Group will be taking part in  Globalgiving's Giving Tuesday on November 29. This is an exiting opportunity for us to raise funds for our campaign!  If you want to support the people of SEPIK in their cause to preserve their indigenous heritage and reclaim ownership of the MIGHTY SEPIK RIVER? Donate to Land is Life Project Now"


Attachments: Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Sunset at Chambri Lakes (Sepik River)
Sunset at Chambri Lakes (Sepik River)

BAN Riverine Tailings Disposal Save the MIGHTY SEPIK!!

Ban Riverine Tailings Disposal in Papua New Guinea a report compiled by the PNG Constitutional & Law Reform Commission.

BRG’s work to inform villages along the Sepik river about the environmental impacts of the newly proposed Freida Mine has just settled in time when the Constitutional & Law Reform Commission presented its final draft report to BAN Riverine Tailings Disposal in PNG.

The Constitutional & Law Reform Commission’s Review of Environmental & Mining Laws relating to the Management and Disposal of Tailings 2013 issues paper No.6 and draft report 2014 became a handy tool for NGO’s like BRG. It is now a very useful to inform prospective impacted communities as well as impacted communities in mining areas about the dangers of tailings disposal. The review gives a guideline that provides the capacity to enquire and identify that all developments follow appropriate legislations. Because of this the outcome of this report as outline by the press statement by Dr. Eric Kwa director of the Constitutional & Law Reform Commission who has announced that the commission has completed a comprehensive report on tailings disposal with nineteen recommendations one of them is to BAN all riverine tailings in the country.

This recommendation comes from the Constitutional & Law Reform Commission (CLRC) who has completed a review of the environmental and mining laws relating to the disposal of tailings.

The review was commissioned in 2007 but work commenced in 2013 due to change of leadership in the CLRC and concerns raised by the mining industry and other government agencies who questioned the CLRC’s role in conducting the review.

The report provided a space for concerned authorities to work together to create a transparent document on waste management and disposal tailings. The commission has been able to work closely with the Chamber of Mines and Petroleum, civil society organizations and other government departments to assess developments carried out by particular industries follow appropriate legislations.

The review covers current mine disposal techniques used by different mining projects in the country. It was commissioned following concerns raised over the impact of tailings disposal by Tolukuma mine into the Angabanga River in the Central Province.

Of the four mine sites scheduled to be visited, the review team was only able to visit OK Tedi and Porgera mines. They were refused entry into Lihir, Hidden Valley and the Ramu mine sites.

The reporting team was able to talk to representatives in the mining industry through the Chamber of Mines and Petroleum and to visit landowner impacted sites and the respective provincial governments.

The draft report will be compiled with 19 recommendations with one urgent and pressing at hand is to BAN all riverine disposal. This will be presented to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General to tabled in the next parliament.

On this the Sepik River communities are now calling for local MPs to SAVE the MIGHTY SEPIK RIVER from disposals from the Frieda Mine. In all alone;

  • The Sepik is one of the largest river systems found in the world.
  • The region holds some of the most variety and beautiful ecosystems on earth.

The slopes of the Upper Sepik mountains contain more mammals species than anywhere on the planet."

Want to save the MIGHTY SEPIK RIVER and help the indigenous people to reaffirm its ownership over it? Donate to BRG’s Land is Life project now”.

School Children showing support to BAN Freida Mine
School Children showing support to BAN Freida Mine
Roasting fish in an open fire oven
Roasting fish in an open fire oven
Map showing the location of Freida Mine
Map showing the location of Freida Mine
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Bruno
Bruno

Rebuilding Our Home- Bougainville’s Green Revolution

Bougainville Island is a special region in PNG and the Pacific. Coming out of a tense ten-year civil war the region is still coming to terms with peace and reconciliation within the people of Bougainville and the rest of Papua New Guinea. BRG was able to send a team to visit Bougainville this year to conduct development trainings and to document and film the story of Bruno a local man from the Paruparu area of Central Bougainville. He highlights BRG’s vision and commitment to build self-reliance and sustainable development in communities.

Bruno is from Sipuru in the Paruparu area, which is, located right next to the Rio Tinto Copper Mine that was cause of a major conflict on Bougainville that resulted in the death of 20,000 Bougainvilleans.

Bruno is a forester by profession. He was living and working in the Solomon Islands but left and returned to his island home Bougainville shortly after the outbreak of what is known as the Bougainville Crisis.

After returning home he developed an Integrated Agricultural method for gardening practices to grow different varieties of food crops in a specific area. This method of gardening is necessary to retain the supply of nutrients in consistent cycle thus enhancing a constant food supply. Also Bruno has been a hero in reclaiming his people’s future in replanting trees to reclaim a whole area of land damaged by wastes from the mine for more than 20 years. As part of his ongoing work in reforestation he was able to plant more than half a million trees since1989.

He established a school called The Paruparu Development Centre (PDC). The main aim of having his own school is to train people and the younger generation to continue to plant trees and encouraging Integrated Agricultural methods of gardening. His student intake varies from 35 to 50 students. His school operates on seasonal basis depending on the produce from his gardens to provide food for students when they attend trainings.

Some of the courses he teaches include; Soil Science, Ecosystems, Economy Security, and Food Security Diversification just to name a few.

His work has played an important role to encourage self-reliance thus making Paruparu a special place for food source and security during the civil war and it was the main command centre point for communication for the commanders of the Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA).

At present the Paruparu Development Centre has faced closure due to limited funds to improve its facilities. These facilities include two classrooms, two dormitories one each for males and females and a student mess. However, this has not stopped Bruno to spend time in his plant nurseries or check on his students in the field still planting trees and encouraging people to use the Integrated Agricultural method of gardening.

Bruno is a catalyst of change to reclaim his people’s livelihood and an advocate for self-reliance and sustainable development. BRG is working with Bruno in identifying rural landowners from mainland PNG who are under the threat of climate change – and sending them to Bruno’s “school” for 3 month courses in agriculture practices, that will prepare them to deal with the effects of climate change on their land and resources.

Stay tuned BRG will be posting updates and photos on the program as we move ahead with Bruno in this initiative.

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
West Papuan Delegates at the RO conference in 2014
West Papuan Delegates at the RO conference in 2014

Annual Planning- Acknowledging Our Challenges & Celebrating our Success

Annual Planning is an important agenda in Bismarck Ramu Group’s annual calendar. This vital schedule helps all staffs, and community facilitators alike to discuss and develop approaches in leadership that are necessary to organize and facilitate people’s development.

This years planning was something different as it included the revisit of the organization’s history from its beginnings in 1996 as Bismarck Ramu Integrated Conservation and Development Project (BRICAD) a program funded under the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). Through various failed attempts as a conservation project it gave way for further reforms for BRICAD and it was granted a new status breaking away from UNDP and working independently as an NGO with the name Bismarck Ramu Group in the year 2000. These changes have influenced BRG to adopt different strategies to diversify its role to suit and facilitate self-reliance thus helping the people to rethink the current model of development in PNG.

The reflections gained from the history of BRG work in the last 20 years has assisted in the reformation of BRG’s work output in the three main programs of community facilitation, Education and Research, Information & Communication)

More importantly all our discussions have brought about a present realization that is a main concern for all of us is to do more to protect our lives from more extortions. That is we are working hard to save our land and sea to counteract inclusive development of both land and the sea. One of these is the increased exploration sites and licenses being granted by Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) to undergo explorations in PNG waters. Please follow the attached link to view map showing possible tenements sites in PNG at http://www.mra.gov.pg/License/EL2016.aspx

Interesting enough the highlight of the two-week planning Bismarck Ramu Group was part of a traditional ceremony with the Madang Maror-a group of elders from the six districts of Madang province.

The traditional ceremony symbolizes an agreement to partnership between BRG and Madang Maror to work together and initiate the Madang Food Festival which will occur mid this year. This will not only be a mere display of accepting responsibilities but captures the essence of BRG’s work- to promote local development entailed with indigenous knowledge and culture and yet preserving land resources and retaining some of the cultural knowledge of food preservation.

This is a new approach that gives a greater awareness to protect our land and resources and secure social stability for our children and the future generation. Therefore for everyone here at Bismarck Ramu group we would like to commend our efforts and commitments whilst having the pleasure to share with you some of the positive outcomes of our work.

 

Highlights of Bismarck Ramu Group

  • Hosted the Rethinking Oceania (RO) Conference in 2014 at Jais Aben Resort, Madang PNG.

A gathering comprised of all the elites in Oceania including academics; students and NGO’s alike coming together to rethink the current trend of development that is intruding our societies in the Pacific. Issues discussed include Decolonization, Climate Change and Free West Papua.

  • Wan Solwara Campaign

BRG was one of the members that formed the Wan Solwara Campaign that came about after the Rethinking Oceania Conference. It was adapted as a Journalism Programme for the University of the South Pacific in Fiji. In PNG one of its programs is educating Melanesia to strengthen to push for independence for West Papua.

  • Evangelical Lutheran Church of PNG

The Church under the leadership of its Bishop had signed a petition addressing the PNG government about its people stance to say NO! to Exploration Seabed Mining in PNG. Taking a related approach this evoke a further extension of similar encounter with the Pacific Conference of Churches (PCC) in Fiji to voice its stance on behalf of the 6.1 million Christians in the Oceania region to say NO! to Deep Sea Mining.  

  • University of Goroka

The University of Goroka has shown an interest in terms of the teaching methods/technique delivered by BRG’s education team. A presentation was scheduled for April of this year for a trainer from BRG to give a demonstration on the collective and participatory method of teaching that BRG is currently utilizing it in its Education program.

Also the academic staffs from specific departments had shown an interest to incorporate the content of BRG's main tool the PNG History Development Timeline into the curriculum of the university.

Thankyou for your time and consideration to support the cause of our work in addressing human rights and building bettter communities.

Saying NO! to Exploration Seabed Mining
Saying NO! to Exploration Seabed Mining
Participants attending the RO conference in Madang
Participants attending the RO conference in Madang

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Isaac share his view on Experimental Seabed Mining
Isaac share his view on Experimental Seabed Mining

The pressure is on for the people of West Coast New Ireland in Papua New Guinea to accept that Nautilus Minerals will rip apart their fishing ground including their livelihood to experiment with seabed mining.

Nautilus Minerals was given the go ahead by New Ireland Province Governor Sir Julius Chan in August (PNG Loop) even though he was skeptical about the environmental impacts of this Experimental Seabed Mining or Solwara 1 Project.

An eighteen-year-old from Danu Village in West Coast Namatanai, Isaac Towera, has called on the governor to stop the Experimental Seabed Mining. “As the future generation of Danu, I know that this project will cause problems for us later on. It will destroy our sea and the fish, which we in the village rely on for a good life. So on behalf of the youth, we do not want this project because it will destroy our lives.”

Governor Chan stated that the province had no choice but to accept this deal because the National Government has already granted Nautilus Minerals the mining lease. He went on to state that “It is time for the people to finally eat some of the wealth that comes from their land.”

Isaac, however, pointed out that they are currently eating directly from the land and sea and it is Nautilus Minerals and their experimental seabed mining that will destroy that right and freedom. “We are getting good things from the sea such as fish and creatures from the reef but this project will destroy our sea and our reef will die which will destroy this good life.”

Isaac had the opportunity to share this with Palau and Christina from Bismarck Ramu Group (BRG) when they went to visit his community last month.

As pressure from international investors and the national government grew, it was deafening to hear the silence from the people of New Ireland.

The team’s visit to New Ireland Province proved that even though the majority of the people of West Coast Namatanai and the Province were against Experimental Seabed Mining they lacked the appropriate information and knowledge to effectively rise up against it.

Upon the team’s return from New Ireland, an email was received which contained the following:

SUBJECT: URGENT REQUEST FOR EXPERIMENTAL SEABED MINE TRAINING/ WORKSHOP – NOVEMBER 2015

As per the above, we are kindly requesting your team to come to New Ireland for an urgent training with locals around the West Coast Area.

The people here are totally opposing the idea of ESM, however, with inadequate knowledge on how to carry out campaigns or protest against the government they will now forced to accept something they totally dislike.

An initial visit by members of your organization (Christine & Paul) proves that New Ireland Province strongly rejects ESM.

With the current issue of fear and suppression, we feel that the way forward is to train and educate the locals on the basic rights to give them confidence in the campaign against ESM.

We therefore request an urgent training around November so that by next year we will rise up against the government and the Developer Nautilus Minerals.

Please threat our request as a matter of urgency.”

BRG is now working with the people of West Coast New Ireland to organize trainings for next month.

Danu Bay where locals gather their marine protein
Danu Bay where locals gather their marine protein
Girl use sea to clean sweet potatoe for lunch
Girl use sea to clean sweet potatoe for lunch
Danu community Say No to Experimental Seabed Mine
Danu community Say No to Experimental Seabed Mine
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
 

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

Bismark Ramu Group

Location: Madang - Papua New Guinea
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Bismark Ramu Group
Julianne Sapi
Project Leader:
Julianne Sapi
Madang, Madang Papua New Guinea

Retired Project!

This project is no longer accepting donations.
 

Still want to help?

Find another project in Papua New Guinea or in Justice and Human Rights that needs your help.
Find a Project

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence

Snorkeler
Our
Impact

Woman Holding a Gift Card
Give
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle
GlobalGiving
Guarantee

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.