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We'll either win this war to save our land, or we will be exterminated because we have nowhere to run to - Ken Sarowiwa.
Please remember Ken Saro-Wiwa and the eight other Nigerian activists executed by the Nigerian Military. Shell is still responsible for the repressive "business as usual" in Nigeria. The latest in a long line of repressive acts was the theft of documents and the destruction of the home of Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka by hooded men in uniforms.
* Send letters, faxes, phone calls demanding the US help gain
the release of the 19 other Nigerian activists on trial. Also
demand a US oil embargo.
President Bill Clinton, The White House, Washington, DC 20500, USA. Fax: +1 202 456 2461
* Demand the release of the 19 jailed activists and SHELL OUT OF NIGERIA NOW!
- General Sani Abacha, President of the Republic of Nigeria, State House, Abuja, Federal Capital Territory, Nigeria.
Fax: + 234-9-523-2138
- Mr. CAJ Herkstrer, Royal Dutch Shell, Carel van Builantlandtaan, 2596 HR The Hague, Netherlands.
It was for handing out the famous "What's Wrong With McDonald's"? leaflet that the two McLibel defendants were taken to court by the junk-food giant (see story this issue of WWRR). The following outline of things you can do about McDonald's wicked ways was adapted from that leaflet. According to the leaflet, those abuses include: economic exploitation of the Third World, rainforest destruction, cruelty to animals, exploitation of staff and the production and promotion of unhealthy food for children.
* Stop using McDonald's, Wimpy, etc. and tell your
friends exactly why. These companies' huge profits and therefore
power to exploit come from people just walking in off the street.
It does make a difference what individuals do. Why wait for
everyone else to wake up?
* Your Influence Counts: Research shows that a large proportion of people who use fast-food places do so simply because they are there not because they particularly like the food or even feel hungry. This suggests hamburgers are part of a giant con that people would avoid if they knew how. We tend to under-value our personal rsponsibility and influence, but all change in society starts from individuals thinking about the way they live and acting on their beliefs. Movements are 'just ordinary people' linking together, one by one....
* Make Contact, Share Ideas: There are many groups campaigning on the issues raised here struggles in the 'Third World,' the rights of indigenous peoples, rainforests, the killing of animals, etc. Wherever there is oppression there is resistance. The apathy of others is no reason to hang around waiting for someone to tell you what to 'do.' You need no special talents to join in your local pressure group, or start one.
* There's a Difference You'll Enjoy: No More Meat!: Kicking the burger habit is easy. Vegetarianism is no longer just a fad. Most supermarkets now stock vegetarian produce. When asked in a survey, most vegetarians said they had more varied meals after they dropped meat. Another survey showed that people on a meatless diet were less prone to coughs and colds, and had a greatly reduced risk of hernias, piles, obesity and heart disease. A vegan Britain would be self-sufficient on only 25% of the agricultural land presently available.
We, representatives of Indigenous and Environmental NGOs and
Indigenous Peoples Groups of the State of Rondonia, Brazil, would
like to denounce problems affecting the Uru-eu-wau-wau People and
request what follows: The Uru-eu-wau-wau territory in the
Brazilian Amazon was created by Presidential Decree No. 275, of
October 29, 1994. It has been invaded by loggers, farmers and
The situation has worsened with the approval of Presidential Decree No. 1775 of 1996, that benefits invaders of indigenous territories. The headwaters of the 9 major river systems in Rondonia are situated in the Uru-eu-wau-wau territory. The region is beautiful and mountainous, with significant archaeological sites, water falls and caves with ancient inscriptions. The region contains rainforest, savannah, natural fields and transition vegetation. The reserve is an escape site for several animals, including threatened species.
The region has been inhabited by groups that have only had contact with western civilization in the past 15 years. These groups are the Jupau and Amondawa, of the Tupi Guarani family and Kawghibi linguistic group, which still preserve their traditions. There are 3 uncontacted groups in the area. All this legacy is being threatened by the invaders. In the region called Burareiro, the National Institute for Colonization and Land Reform (INCRA) has illegally settled more than 60 small farmers, who are causing severe deforestation, killing of animals, and traffic of heavy trucks and agricultural machinery.
They are promoting logging activities, causing severe conflicts between invaders and indigenous peoples, with many casualties. These illegal activities are being supported by local and powerful politicians. Another serious problem is occurring in the Alto Jaru area, where 1,000 people have invaded the reserve. Also, in the Cautario area there is an invasion of miners, and loggers are invading the Terra Roxa, Serra da Onca and Linha 623 areas, all within the reserve. In the Pacaas Novos National Park, also considered as part of the Uru-eu-wau-wau territory, one farmer, Jeovau Nilo Ribeiro, is exploring the wood and cutting down trees, planting coffee, bananas and mangoes, and using pesticides. He refuses to leave the National Park, as does another farmer named Beneu.
We urge you to pay attention to what is happening in Rondonia and act on behalf of these people. Please write to the Brazilian authorities listed below, urging them to take the necessary measures to protect the Uru-eu-wau-wau territory. Only a few minutes of your time will be invaluable for the protection of the territory and of the Uru-eu-wau-wau, as well as the Jupau, Amondawa and uncontacted people.
Please request the following :
- immediate removal of invaders (loggers, farmers, occupants and miners) from the Uru-eu-wau-wau Indian Territory;
- enforcement of Brazilian Environmental and Human Rights Laws (Federal Constitution, Forest Code, Indian Statute, Economic-Social-Environmental Zoning Law);
- continuous control of the borders and territory of the Uru-eu-wau-wau Indian Reserve and contiguous Pacaas Novos National Park;
- civil and criminal accountability for the violation of Brazilian laws.
1. His Excellency, Mr. Fernando Henrique Cardoso President of Brazil Palacio do Planalto Brasilia , DF, Brasil, 70150-900
2. Governor of the State of Rondonia Mr. Valdir Raupp de Mattos Palacio Presidente Getulio Vargas, s/n Praca Getulio Vargas Porto Velho, Rondonia, Brasil 78900-000
3. President of FUNAI (Federal Indian Bureau) Mr. Marcio Santilli Edificio Lex - SRTUS Bloco A - Zona Central Brasilia, DF, Brasil 70340-904
4. President of IBAMA (Environmental Protection Agency) Mr. Raul Jungmann Quadra 05, Bloco H, Lote 5, Asa Sul, 1o. andar Brasilia, DF, Brasil 70.070-000 5. Minister for the Environment Mr. Gustavo Krause Esplanada dos Ministerios Bloco B 5.o. andar Brasilia, DF, Brasil 70.068-900 6. Minister for Judicial Affairs Mr. Nelson Jobim Esplanada dos Ministerios Brasilia , DF, Brasil 70.068-900
Organisations supporting this request: * CUNPIR - Coordenacao da Uniao das Nacoes dos Povos Indigenas de Rondonia, Norte do Mato Grosso e Sul do Amazonas * Associacao Pamare do Povo Indigena Cinta Larga * Organizacao Metareila do Povo Indigena Surui * Kaninde - Associacao de Defesa Etno- Ambiental * COMIN - Conselho de Missao entre os Indios * CIMI - Conselho Indigenista Missionario * Forum de ONGs e Movimentos Sociais que atuam em Rondonia * APIPAM - Associacao do Povo Indigena Parintintin do Amazonas * OPICS - Associacao do Povo Indigena Karitiana
Please send copies of your petitions to: Comissao Indigena do Forum de ONGs e Movimentos Sociais que atuam em Rondonia (Indigenous Peoples Commission of the Rondonia NGO Forum) Rua Carlos Gomes, 1001, Porto Velho, Rondonia, Brasil Phone/Fax: 55.69.2231116 Emai: forumrouax.apc.org
You are killing plants and trees
Let them live in peace.
-Jason Heilig, Age 10
It's time to send a haiku to Mitsubishi Corporation (MC), the greatest destroyers of forest on Earth. The RAN-sponsored Mitsubishi boycott is gaining momentum, so it is now more important than ever to keep intense pressure on the company.
In late 1995, MC representatives came to RAN's offices in San Francisco hoping to negotiate an end to the boycott. From the RAN office they could see the 23-story Bank of California tower, which RAN activists climbed recently to unfurl a giant banner proclaiming: "Stop Mitsubishi's Rape of Mother Earth: Boycott Mitsubishi's Bank of California!"
Mitsubishi Motor Sales of America and Mitsubishi Electric, the initial targets of the boycott, have been meeting with RAN for a year, and are helping to bring MC to the table.
Last year's Haiku Project generated over 15,000 entries. Now in its third year, the project is having an effect on MC. Motors and Electric funded a panel to explore alternatives for wood-based consumer products. Also, they were founding members of the Future 500 Club, a league of businesses committed to reducing consumption of wood and other natural resources through conservation, increased efficiency, and the use of alternatives. MC also sold its shares in Daiya Malaysia, one of the company's most controversial logging operations. It also agreed to an independent commission to review the impact of its salt mine in Baja, California, which would have destroyed one of the three lagoons that gray whales use as a calving ground.
MC fully or partially owns, or trades with, logging operations throughout the world. Its activities lay waste to vast areas of forest, displacing indigenous peoples and destroying the habitat of plant and animal species.
Says Randy Hayes, RAN's executive director: The company must know beyond any doubt that being an environmental pariah is not only bad for the forests and forest communities, it's also bad for business.
Send a poem to the President of MC, to let him know you are thinking about him. Thousands of sincere, hopeful haiku will show that people everywhere are concerned with the plight of the Earth and Mitsubishi's role in harming it. Haiku is a poetry form consisting of three lines of 5, 7, and 5 syllables each, traditionally commenting on the beauty of nature.
This is an ideal classroom project. Students can learn about the rainforest, Japanese culture, and poetry, and express their knowledge creatively with a haiku art project. Take this action alert with you to school! The Haiku Project coincides with the Vernal Equinox on March 20.
To ensure your entry reaches Japan by that date, post it no later than March 1.
Send it to: Mr. Minoru Makihara, Mitsubishi Corporation 6-3, Marunouchi 2-chome Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100, Japan 2
The Tamaraw is a unique pygmy water-buffalo found only on the island of Mindoro, Philippines. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red Data Book has listed the Tamaraw as one of the top ten most endangered species in the world. Six months ago there were about 64 Tamaraws left, but today there are less than 20.
In a few months all remaining Tamaraw will be totally gone unless urgent measures are undertaken.
Some residents of Mindoro, due to food shortages resulting from severe cyclones, have entered the island's wildlife sanctuary and killed Tamaraw. A recent fundraising visit to Australia by Totoy Gabutero, chairman of the Kalikasan Mindoro Foundation, had to be cut short due to ill-health among the Foundation's volunteers, and so the visit raised only $250.
A hundred of the Kalikasan Mindoro Foundation's Community volunteers patrol the wilderness of Mindoro to protect the wildlife from local and sports hunters. They also work for the preservation of the island's rainforest biodiversity and the preservation of the tribal Mabgyan's indigenous culture. They need support such as food, clothing, medicines and financial support...as well as moral support. At least $3,000 is needed to keep the volunteers in food and shelter for the next six months.
Contact: Leonardo Gabutero, Kalikasan Mindoro Foundation for the Conservation of Wildlife and Natural Resources, San Jose, Occidental, Mindoro, The Philippines.
The livelihoods of thousands of indigenous people of Yamdena in eastern Maluku are once again under serious threat as large scale commercial logging resumes on the island. State forestry company PT Inhutani I has teamed up with the private company PT Mohtra Agung, owned by Indonesia's most powerful timber magnate Bob Hasan, to log 164,000 hectares or about two thirds of the island's tropical rainforests. Logging in the southern part of the concession started in July.
The destruction of Yamdena became a national issue in 1992 when protests against logging led to bloodshed on at least two occasions. Security forces brought in to quell demonstrations beat up and shot angry protesters. In 1993, local people, with national and international support, brought about a temporary halt to the logging by the original concessionaire, PT Alam Nusa Segar. Pointing to research conducted by the Soil and Climate Research Centre in Bogor, the protesters then argued that the logging would destroy the island's tropical forest ecosystem, cause serious erosion, disrupting water supplies and threaten the coral reefs ringing the island which sustain local fisheries.
The same arguments apply today. Yamdena's indigenous population of 83,000, have nothing to gain from the logging, but face the destruction of their traditional livelihoods and the erosion of their culture. Local people, supported by the Jakarta-based organisation ICTI ( the Association of Tanimbar Intellectuals of Indonesia ) and an NGO called Bina Linkungan Hidup, are trying hard to stop the logging through the courts. Their attempt to secure an injunction against the companies and force an early halt to the logging has failed. A further suit filed against the Forestry Minister and PT Inhutani I which calls for a total ban on commercial logging will be heard in December.
Yamdena's indigenous people hold traditional collective land rights which cover the whole island, leaving no unclaimed or "empty" areas. But the logging companies and government alike have consistently chosen to ignore these rights. The only attention paid to the issue was by PT Mohtra Agung which staged a ceremony to give the appearance that indigenous clans had agreed to surrender their lands to the company. Throughout Indonesia, logging companies are obliged to set aside funds to improve the welfare of local communities, but there is no evidence of this happening on Yamdena. Neither are jobs on logging concessions given to islanders. Meanwhile, if anyone protests against the companies, they are labelled "GPK" or subversive trouble-makers, by the authorities.
Yamdena lies on the so-called "Wallace line" which divides the two major fauna and flora types of South East Asia and Australasia. Endangered tree species unique to the island include Manilcara.sp, locally known as "torim". Yamdena is also home to a number of unique fauna species including cockatoos and a type of wild buffalo. Commercial logging is placing these species under risk of total extinction. It is highly ironic therefore, that the Indonesian government has decided to sanction the destruction while presenting itself internationally as a champion of biodiversity. The recent meeting of parties to the Biodiversity Convention were left in no doubt as to Indonesia's commitment to fulfilling its obligations under the Convention. Actions speak louder than words, however, and the case of Yamdena illustrates how Indonesia's commitment to maintaining biodiversity falters when it comes up against the interests of the loggers and their friends in the government.
Please join the international efforts to stop the destruction of Yamdena! Write letters protesting against the resumption of logging and calling for the land rights of local people to be recognised. Point out the discrepancy between Indonesia's laudable international commitment to maintaining biodiversity and the situation on the ground in Yamdena.
* Djamaludin Suryohadikusumo, Minister for Forestry, Forestry Building, Manggala Wanabhakti, Jl Gatot Subroto, Senayanm, Jakarta Pusat, Indonesia
* Sarwono, State Minister for Population and Environment, Jl Medan Merdeka Barat 15, Jakarta Pusat, Indonesia
Indonesia Forestry Society (MPI), Manggala Wanabhakti, Jl Gatot Subroto, Senayan, Jakarta Pusat, Indonesia
World Bank-led donors group:
Consultative Group on Indonesia, Lippo Life Building, Jl H.R. Rasuna Said, Kav B-10, Kuningan, Jakarta 12940, Indonesia
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