As I watched the "Uprooted" a documentary about the communities affected by the Ramu Nickel Mine in the Madang Province of Papua New Guinea, Michael Kasuk's statement about the connection of the environment and people caught my attention. This is a community leader from Ramu very articulate in making the connection the government and many educated Papua New Guineans cannot.
"We are concerned about our environment - our bush, land and river is connected to our life" says Mr. Kasuk. Unfortunately, the Government of PNG does not see these important connections when deliberating on major development projects like mining, logging and industrial agriculture. It's main focus is on economic development without much consideration on the social and ecological aspects.
The communities within major project development areas have little to show in terms of social improvements and ecological sustainability. The rate of environmental destruction is as if we are leaving tomorrow for another planet. There is no sense of responsibility.
There is a lot of experiences both in PNG and around the world for the Government to learn from and make wise decisions. However, the trend now is easy access for foreign multinational companies to exploit our resources without any social and ecological responsibility or accountability.
This blog is attributed to the forest legend of the Melpa speaking people of the Western Highlands Province of Papua New Guinea. Depana Nikints is committed to issues surrounding the environment (forests, seas, land etc)and pressing issues affecting indigenous people and communities in PNG, and Asia-Pacific region.