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Villagers help expose illegal logging in Indonesia
In films recently released in Jakarta and London, Indonesian villagers in Papua helped expose illegal logging and forest devastation by using digital and video cameras to record logging companies' activities in the region. The region is closed to journalists and visitors, so the films helped capture the daily life of native groups, while highlighting the impacts the logging has on their quality of life.
Villagers and communities rely on forests as a primary source of food and shelter, and when logging moves in and strips the forests, wildlife such as deer, pigs and birds are driven out, making it harder for these communities to find food. A group of Mooi women in one film state that deforestation makes it more difficult for them to get the necessary materials for weaving and other crafts, which are important for their livelihoods.
A film on the Arfak shows how local peoples lost their rights to the land when palm oil plantations moved in, with the promise that palm oil would help sustain them economically. The palm oil plantations fall into neglect, however, when they become unprofitable, leading the communities to regret their involvement in the industry, and lacking in the economic benefits they were promised.
Rivers are now heavily polluted, and locals are having to travel greater distances to find food and other necessities, demonstrating that the palm oil plantations have not only brought environmental degradation, but economic hardship to natives in forested regions. EIA hopes the films will prompt investigation into illegal logging and increase overall awareness on the issue.
Posted By Alexandra O'Brien at 9:38am on December 03, 2007
Posted By s on February 27, 2009 at 08:39
The benefits of conforming to socio-environmental laws are not easily or immediately seen. Meanwhile, the hallmark of good capitalistic investment is that the investment pays off quickly—to get profits fast! How can we stop capitalism from destroying the environment? That’s what we have to ask. I am amazed at an Indonesian political fashion company called shirTalks (www.shirtalks.com) that dares to ask these questions. They actually did a nice shirt design about it, particularly about illegal logging. Check out my blog at http://shirtalks.wordpress.com/2009/02/26/capitalism-kills-trees/ to see it.
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