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Land is Life - Land Justice for Papua New Guinea

by Bismark Ramu Group
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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
Wealth in Jiwaka
Wealth in Jiwaka

Our patrol team has returned to our base in Madang for our debriefing, where we share information with our colleagues and discuss what to do next. I am always deeply moved by the lives of our people living in the remote villages. Our visit might be the first time people from outside have come to talk with them about their problems, and they appreciate the time we spend with them.

On this patrol, we travelled the great Ramu River, walked the mud into very thick jungles of Tingam-Madang to Pimbum in Jiwaka and crossed fast flowing rivers to meet the people of Pimbum-Junk Aral-Jiwaka. We ate, slept and listened to their stories. These are people who should be running the world. They've built their own road BY HAND, a school, aid post and an AIRSTRIP!

You complain about work....these are people REALLY working to make heaven happen....and they care about every tree and river as much as they care for their own families and then...there's heaven right there...where everything is in abundance...Pimbum-Jiwaka.

Thanks for your continuing support! Rachel.

In other news...

WELCOME CHRISTINA!

BRG continues to work on its fundraising strategies. We welcome Christina Tony to our staff in our new Fundraiser position! Look out for new projects and opportunites to be part of the BRG network!

EARLY ALERT - JULY BONUS DAY

Make your donation go 30% further! Watch for GLOBALGIVING BONUS DAY coming on Wednesday July 16th from 9.00am Eastern Daylight Time (Washington DC) - Wednesday July 16th 11.00pm Australian Eastern Time. GlobalGiving will match all donations by 30% up to $1000 in matching funds. Funds are limited, so donate on time. Stay Tuned!

What could be better?
What could be better?
Travelling to the gardens
Travelling to the gardens
Simple joy in daily life
Simple joy in daily life
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The toxic cloud spreads in the morning winds
The toxic cloud spreads in the morning winds

This is a special report in response to a bad situation. Following so close on the "Patrol Postcard", we have hesitated to contact you again. However, these are exceptional circumstances.

On February 17, toxic gas was released following an explosion at the Ramu Nickel refinery at Basamuk Bay. Notes from the field on Facebook state:

"At approximately 2 am on 17 February people from the Basamuk area of the Rai Coast were awakened to an explosion from from the Basamuk Refinery. This was followed by a hugh cloud of heavy thick gas seeping out of the Acid Tank.

By dawn the thick white smoke had advanced southwards via strong winds toward Mindre and Dein villages. What remained in its path was widespread damage to gardens and local vegetation. Photos show browning and orange like colors sustained by the local vegetation. Villagers are angry and worried about their health as they talk of breathing in the smoke."

Speaking with friends at BRG, I learned that two children from the affected area have died at Madang hospital. To whom did the people of these communities turn in their need and grief? The Bismark Ramu Group. There is an established relationship of trust and support between the communities of Basamuk Bay and BRG that these communities know thay can draw on when things start getting tough. Without your support, they have nowhere else to go. No regulatory framework, no enforcement of anything, no reporting in the PNG media, and no means of redress.

Many of you know that BRG lost substantial funding this year when a major European contributor pulled out for domestic reasons. You can help fill that gap with your support. We are not asking for your donation again. We appreciate the donations already made by everyone who helped us in the GlobalGiving Open Challenge. Now, we would like you to help us make the next step - to reach out to people who are not part of BRG's immediate network for their support. To help us grow a network of supporters by perosnally approaching people you know, asking them to support us with their donation.

You can help. Please do.

Dying banana trees - part of the staple diet.
Dying banana trees - part of the staple diet.
Another staple food, taro, is quickly dying off.
Another staple food, taro, is quickly dying off.
Food gardens affected by the toxic cloud.
Food gardens affected by the toxic cloud.
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Looking across the land from Jimi-Molu
Looking across the land from Jimi-Molu

Our contact with the Jimi-Molu people is helping them come to terms with the threats and opportunites presented by our modern, globalized world. Through our work, they see more of what is already good about their lives, and see more clearly the pitfalls of industrial scale resource development.

After our journey, I wrote this reflection: "And so we laughed..cried and Danced..how is it that we have all the trees but no classrooms and good houses?..how is it that we have oil and gas but the fuel price is way over?..how is it that we have everything and still suffer? Etc..etc..the welcomes and goodbyes of real people in real places like the Jimi-Molu people are from the heart with a strong sense of emotion that you and I can only imagine..How do the politicians manage to just smile and walk through all the outstanding and goodbyes..How is it that we call ourselves humans 'the cleverest species'..when we can't even sense and help our fellow men/women?

I sat looking at this view back where I've walked with this Jimi-Molu people..a personal best for me climbing all those mountains in that view to where I am..but my heart breaks as I think of these people I will leave behind when I give my back to leave..a people who should be running this world instead.."

Thank you to all of you who gave a donation to support BRG's work in the field.

 

Remember: A monthly recurring donation keeps our donation site active! This gives the site more exposure in GlobalGiving’s corporate promotions, adding value to your donation. It’s a good choice to give a little regularly if you can. Thanks!!

You can give feedback by posting on our Wall http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/land-is-life-bismark-ramu-group/wall/

Links:

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National Debate on Land Theft and Illegal Logging

Things are certainly moving in regards to the land theft in PNG. And thanks to the support of all of you the Bismarck Ramu Group (BRG) has been able to contribute effectively to addressing the issue.

Overall the government of PNG is beginning to feel the pressure from all sectors of society including the churches, civil society, the grassroots and a social media blitz that is calling the government to account for its actions. After a media blitz and press releases from civil society groups the Prime Minister went on the airwaves to declare on FM100 Talkback that the government will start cancelling Special Agricultural Business Leases (SABLs) that were acquired illegally and restart the process with strict guidelines to protect the landowners!

The Prime Minister has set up a Ministerial Committee to look into the findings of the SABL Commission of Inquiry. HOWEVER the Ministerial Committee is made up of the same three departments and ministers found to be responsible for the corruption! This has caused nation-wide outrage, which BRG plans to harness for change.

How Your Generosity has Helped

During the period since the Global Giving competition BRG has been able to conduct four (4) patrols to SABL affected communities, released two press statements addressing the issues and set up several interviews between landowners and local media. We have also been able to get the issue addressed in overseas media including several interviews by Radio Australia, including one with John Chitoa, BRG Coordinating Team Leader and Radio New Zealand. Also, you can listen to one of our advertisements that was broadcast on PNG FM 100 radio.

For More Information

For those of you who want to know more details of the unfolding events can go to our sister organisation’s website ActNow PNG. We also direct you to an outstanding article by Jo Chandler from the Global Mail and "Like" our Donor's Facebook Page.

Thanks again to everyone who supported us during the Global Open Challenge. Your donations have made this work possible, saving people’s livelihoods and the last great rainforests on the planet. And we have not stopped yet. Please keep sharing our GlobalGiving donation site with your friends and colleagues. IT IS STILL OPEN FOR DONATIONS!

Position Vacant

Following the success of the Global Open Challenge, we want to make corporate, philanthropic and individual fundraising a bigger priority – interested? YOU COULD BE THE PERSON WE ARE LOOKING FOR! For inquiries contact richard_barcham@bigpond.com.

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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

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This project is no longer accepting donations.
 

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