Campaign history in PNG

Standard Page - 11 October, 2011

1995 Greenpeace begins working in PNG with a campaign to protect the forests of Collingwood Bay in Oro Province.

2001 At the request of landowners in the Lake Murray area of Western Province, Greenpeace begins a campaign to stop Concord Pacific’s Kiunga to Aiambak road project from destroying pristine rainforest.

2002 Greenpeace releases the Partners in Crime report, which profiles the road project as one example of what is causing widespread damage in PNG´s forests.

Greenpeace’s ship, the Arctic Sunrise blocks a log shipment bound for China. This forces the PNG Prime Minister to announce an inquiry which leads to the Kiunga to Aiambak logging road being stopped.

2003 Greenpeace embarks on an expedition up the Fly River to investigate logging operations. The expedition documents illegal logging and worker abuse by Rimbunan Hijau in the Wawoi Guavi concessions of Gulf Province.

2004 Greenpeace begins a campaign against giant Malaysian logging company Rimbunan Hijau which operates over 60% of logging in PNG.

Greenpeace releases The Untouchables report about Rimbunan Hijau’s world of forest crime and political patronage.

Greenpeace launches a campaign urging the Australian Government to introduce laws to stop the importation of illegal timber.

2006 Greenpeace releases:

Chains of Destruction: the global trade in illegal timber and why Asia-Pacific governments must act now

Roadmap to Recovery: the world’s last intact forest landscapes

Sharing the Blame: global consumption and China’s role in ancient forest destruction

Rimbunan Hijau Group: thirty years of forest plunder

The Rainbow Warrior ship tours PNG.

Greenpeace sets up a Global Forest Rescue Station (GFRS) at Lake Murray in Western Province. The GFRS brings international attention to the destructive impacts of illegal logging by companies like Concord Pacific and Rimbunan Hijau and the plight of local landowners defending their forest homes. The GFRS also inspires landowners throughout New Guinea to begin community forestry.

Greenpeace launches a campaign in China to oppose the massive importation of tropical and often illegal timber, including such timber from PNG.

Greenpeace protests against the refurbishment of the UK Cabinet office using illegal PNG timber processed in China. Read the blog

2007 Greenpeace drops a massive banner at the International Tropical Timber Organisation’s conference in Port Moresby.

The Merbau’s last stand report is launched in China.

During the PNG national elections, Greenpeace places a community advertisement on TV stations across the country showing the effects of illegal logging on community life.

Greenpeace awards Rimbunan Hijau with a Golden Chainsaw award for its role in illegal and destructive logging in PNG.

2008 In Gulf Province, Greenpeace uses its largest ship, the Esperanza, to blockade a shipment of illegal logs bound for China. It also documents illegal logging in Manus Island and West Sepik Provinces. The documentation reveals that seven of Rimbunan Hijau’s logging concessions breach the logging code of practice, and exposes woeful conditions for workers, including debt slavery, no safety equipment, no infrastructure development and no tangible benefits for local communities.

As a result of these filed reports, the Governor of Gulf Province publicly calls on Rimbunan Hijau to leave his province and voices his interest in protecting the forests for future generations.

Launch of the Preserving Paradise report.

2010 Greenpeace activists travel to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Japan to present PNG Government officials with a Golden Chainsaw for destroying forests.

Greenpeace releases PNG: Not Ready for REDD. The report details why PNG should not receive international forest protection funding until corruption and indigenous rights are addressed.

2011 After a ten year court battle, the PNG National Court finally compensates the landowners of Western Province for the environmental damage and social disharmony caused by Concord Pacific. Read more

Greenpeace, along with a large group of social scientists, natural resource owners and PNG NGOs, launches the Cairns Declaration asking for an inquiry and moratorium on Special Agriculture and Business Leases (SABLs) and Forest Clearing Authorities.

The PNG Government is pressured to conduct a Commission of Inquiry into SABLs.

Greenpeace embarks on an expedition to Wawoi Gauvi to document illegal logging and worker abuses by Rimbunan Hijau.

Greenpeace travels to East New Britain Province to assist landowners in protesting a Rimbunan Hijau logging operation in an illegal SABL.

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