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Sharing the Future - Young Papua New Guineans

by Bismark Ramu Group
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Sharing the Future - Young Papua New Guineans
Sharing the Future - Young Papua New Guineans
Sharing the Future - Young Papua New Guineans
Sharing the Future - Young Papua New Guineans
Sharing the Future - Young Papua New Guineans
Sharing the Future - Young Papua New Guineans
Sharing the Future - Young Papua New Guineans
Sharing the Future - Young Papua New Guineans
Sharing the Future - Young Papua New Guineans
Sharing the Future - Young Papua New Guineans
Sharing the Future - Young Papua New Guineans
Sharing the Future - Young Papua New Guineans
Sharing the Future - Young Papua New Guineans
Deteriorating section of the Lae-Madang Highway
Deteriorating section of the Lae-Madang Highway

The slurry pipeline belonging to Chinese Nickel Company; MCC Ramu NiCo, is causing much disorders to communities living along the Lae-Madang highway which the pipeline runs adjacent to.

As much as the leaks and recent bursting pipes, people are not happy with how the pipeline sits along the road, which runs right through their food gardens. The placement of the pipes from Kurumbukari mine site to Basamuk refinery has done nothing good for the people except destroy their food gardens.

Wasa Rita, a local from the area and a subsistence gardener claims the pipeline has affected their source of income. The pipeline has taken up much of the arable land that they use to plant food crops. Coupled with that is much of the landscape had to be changed to cater for the pipeline.

The pipeline was constructed without consideration of how it would affect the local communities living along the highway. Rita says they had no say in the whole process in building the pipeline.

In addition to that, landslip due to heavy downpour has caused one section of the pipeline along the highway to burst, spilling its contents onto food gardens and nearby rivers and creeks.

People have stopped drinking from the rivers since the incident and this has affected their lives in terms of clean drinking water. The chemical content from the leaking pipe has actually killed food crops in the gardens, causing fear and alarm amongst the villagers living along the highway.

Coupled with that is the treacherous condition of the highway, which is unfit for public use and could face closure.

Another local Watis Nara from Bibirie area along the highway said the adjacent placement of the pipeline to the road has directly contributed to the deterioration of the road. He stated the road was never in the condition it is now before the construction of the pipeline .

According to Nara, since the contruction of the pipeline, there have been numerous landslides along the highway, covering food gardens and destroying homes in most instances.

In all these, one can ask where does responsibility lay on the part of the Chinese company; Ramu Nico? Do they care one bit of the people they make millions from their land?

They simply do not care. All they care about is maximising profit despite the destruction done to the people, their environment and their livelihood.

 

 

 

Spillage from pipeline destroying the vegetation
Spillage from pipeline destroying the vegetation
Pipeline affected by natural landform changes
Pipeline affected by natural landform changes
Wasa Rita far left and her extended family
Wasa Rita far left and her extended family
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The Children's Cry
The Children's Cry

Dear Friends,

For nearly two decades now, the people of the Bel and Ari communities in Madang Province have suffered from land grabbing and social injustice at the hands of RD Tuna, a Filipino Tuna company.

When talks of the establishment of a tuna canning factory first came to Madang, Papua New Guinea in 1995, community facilitators from Bismarck Ramu Group were out in the potential impact communities raising awareness on the environmental and social impact this establishment will have on the lives of the communities.

These informed communities put up resistance, however, the Government of Papua New Guinea (GoPNG) gave the ok and RD Tuna Cannery set up shop in Madang in 1997. Nearly 2 decades later and the negative impact of this one tuna factory far out way the good.

Despite the glaring evidence of the destruction of tuna factories in Madang, the GoPNG is now pushing for the Pacific Marine Industrial Zone (PMIZ) which will host ten (10) tuna factories. Protests and petitions over the years to address the numerous issues of this Special Economic Zone continue to fall on deaf ears.

The principal custodian of Vidar land where PMIZ is located is the Seg Clan. Their history show that Vidar was stolen from them and sold off. Since the Madang Catholic Archdiocese sold the land to the GoPNG the two parties refuse to acknowledge the cultural rights of the Seg Clan and their responsibility to protect it.

The Seg Clan are determined to take back control over their land and their wellbeing, however, they do not have the capacity to rally support from individuals, groups and the GoPNG and have approached Bismarck Ramu Group to assist.

In the last three months of 2015, Bismarck Ramu Group assisted the Seg Clan by providing meeting space and transportation for individuals and groups to meet with the Seg Clan. Bismarck Ramu Group was able to do video and print documentation of how the PMIZ project is affecting the lives and livelihood of the Seg Clan and surrounding communities. These documnetation were shared with the national and provincial main stream media and on social media as well.

With that the attached links have captured an insight into illegal land grabbing approaches for development and the strong resentment shown by the traditional landowners towards PMIZ and its associated feature of Special Economic Zones.

Also these links provided an overview of the GoPNG intention to initiate development through PMIZ as cabinet minister Richard Maru puts it and what are the potive outcomes that will sustain the local people and their communities.

We hope these will give you some sense of the fight the people of Seg Clan are engaged in and how Bismarck Ramu Group has been assisting them.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

--

P O Box 305
Madang 511
Papua New Guinea
Ph: 423 3011
Fax: 423 3012
Sek Clan and Madang Maror at BRG house meeting
Sek Clan and Madang Maror at BRG house meeting
Clan protests in front of Madang Archdiocese
Clan protests in front of Madang Archdiocese

Links:

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Isaac sharing his views on Seabed Mining
Isaac sharing his views on 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 marine protein
Danu Bay where locals gather 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
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A captivated young audience listen to Martha.JPG
A captivated young audience listen to Martha.JPG

By Marina Waita

BRG - Communications

 

The Madang Festival is a two-day annual event that occurs on the first weekend of June.

 

In his opening speech Madang Governor Jim Kas emphasized that the Festival would be a display of the diverse Madang Cultures, but this was just another political speech, a disappointment.

 

The sound of the kundu (traditional drum) beats and melodious traditional singsings were drown out by the non stop babbling from the Master of Ceremony promoting the various major business sponsors. As if that was not enough, the western music booming from the speakers from nearby stalls, left everyone dazed with confusion of whose culture we were celebrating - the diverse Madang Culture or the Corporate version of the Madang festival.

 

Watching children walk through the Laiwaden Oval gate, which was the venue of the event, with the expression of pure joy on their faces was a bittersweet experience.

 

Because these children had no idea that the 2015 Madang Festival was turning out to be an avenue used by companies and corporations to promote their corporate cultures and not an event of cultural celebration. For what was visibly promoted at this much anticipated festival was the corporate cultures.

 

Despite the display of the confused culture, it was encouraging to see that the children were drawn to the information and educational stalls to learn about their history and their true identity that has been intentionally excluded in the Papua New Guinea education systems.

 

Bismarck Ramu Group (BRG), who had its first display in such a big event, gave these children a chance to learn about their cultural heritage and the development paths PNG was is taking.

 

Although the BRG stall was set up at one end of the Laiwaden Oval, many were attracted to it, mostly students and young adults.

 

During the engagement between the BRG staff members and its audiences important emphasis were placed on the most fundamental thing – Land is Life (Graun em Laip). How customary land is being stolen from the people by the government and corporations by using different mechanisms.   

 

Discussions also circulated around the Papua New Guinea’s Five (5) National Goals and Directive Principles.

 

Those who had never being given the chance to learn about the importance of their land, the development path, fundamental laws, values of their resources amongst others, really appreciated the information given to them.

 

The connection made was vital information for students as it shred light on many issues.

 

More poster, pamphlets and books were given out during the two - day event after discussion with those eager to learn.

 

For these children who walked blindly into a festival of corporate cultures instead of the rich Madang Cultural diversity, left with smiles after visiting the information and educational stalls.

 

BRG amongst other information stalls gave them reasons to appreciate their cultures and resources.

Visitors walk away from BRG stall with information and posters.JPG
Visitors walk away from BRG stall with information and posters.JPG
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Palau (back to camera) shares seabed mining information with Karkar Islanders.JPG
Palau (back to camera) shares seabed mining information with Karkar Islanders.JPG
Dear Sir or Madam,

Firstly, I would like to sincerely apologize for submitting this report a week passed the due date.

I do not want to take up more of your time by making excuses for this inconsiderate behavior. But out of respect for your kindness and helpfulness towards Bismark Ramu Group since it's participation on Global Giving, I would like to say this. I was struck with malaria last week and was bed-ridden for a couple of days so I couldn't finalize the report on time to send to you, especially the donors.

My sincere apologize once again.

Please find the report and related pictures attached for submission. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Best Regards,
Christina
Karkar Islanders' protest banner.JPG
Karkar Islanders' protest banner.JPG
A Karkar Islander educating the young about their potential future with Seabed Mining.JPG
A Karkar Islander educating the young about their potential future with Seabed Mining.JPG
Karkar children speak their mind on seabed mining with the help of their elders.JPG
Karkar children speak their mind on seabed mining with the help of their elders.JPG

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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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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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