Page - October 27, 2007
Amongst the destruction, there is a new hope in parts of the Paradise Forests. Greenpeace is working with communities to take back their land and to create a viable living from ecologically sustainable solutions.

Local land owner and forestry activist, Sep Galeva (centre) and Greenpeace Team, Lake Murray, Papua New Guinea.

In some areas, local landowners have invited Greenpeace to help forge these lasting solutions that will return the forest to its people.

For more than a decade, Greenpeace has been working with customary landowners and local non-government organisations to protect the Paradise Forests. This initiative has helped close down corrupt forestry activities and set up community-operated alternatives, such as eco-forestry, in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.

In 2003, Greenpeace and its partners helped customary landowners throw Concord Pacific (controlled by Datuk Yaw of Samling), a Malaysian company involved in illegal logging, off their land around Lake Murray, western Papua New Guinea.

They are now supporting the communities' efforts to move towards eco-forestry and to hold the company to account for the damage it caused. The company is facing charges in the Papua New Guinea court for trespassing during its illegal logging activities.

Greenpeace is starting a new project in Papua, a province of Indonesia, to set the stage for eco-enterprises and is stepping up its work with communities in Papua New Guinea.

Together, these new initiatives will help protect what is left of the largest intact, pristine region of the Paradise Forests, a prime target for the logging industry to exploit. Community land use planning, boundary marking and mapping are setting the stage for alternative 'eco' enterprises and protection from logging.

Climate defenders - Indonesia

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