Greenpeace activists & local workers occupy log barge at Umuda Island.
The action began on 12 May when Greenpeace acitivists from the
MV Arctic Sunrise occupied a barge and crane to prevent the loading
of logs at Umuda Island in the western part of the country.
Today three Greenpeace activists remain on the crane, and four
on the barge. But local people are also playing a major part in the
action. Barge workers who were loading logs onto the vessel Hua
Yang have left.
The barge workers were ferried back to their villages by a small
Greenpeace boat today. They say they will not load any more logs
for the logging company, Concord Pacific. The barge workers have
also written to Concord Pacific to complain about unsafe working
conditions aboard company barges.
Also today, a representative of Concorde Pacific, Mr. Hoy, cut
down the banner that Greenpeace activists had erected on May 12 on
the cranes of the Hua Yang. The banner read "Ancient Forest
The Hua Yang's captain again told workers that the police would
arrive by helicopter and boat but no police have been to the scene
The timber in question is illegally and destructively extracted
from the Kiunga Aiambak logging project. Malaysian logging company
Concord Pacific has taken these logs from the local landowner
communities in Papua New Guinea with complete disregard for the
environment and the well being of citizens. The logs are then
exported mostly to China where they are processed into furniture
and plywood for American and European markets.
The logging by Concord Pacific is clearly illegal and is
destroying the world´s third largest tropical ancient forest. Most
of the logs are exported to China, Japan and Korea, where they are
used to make furniture, flooring and cheap plywood.
Bianca Havas, a Greenpeace campaigner on board the Artic Sunrise
said, "We are committed to staying on board these ships until the
government agrees to stop logging at the Kiunga Aiambak area."
Landowner communities frustrated by the inaction of Papua New
Guinea and international governments over the logging of their
forests have asked Greenpeace to help save their forest home.
"The Papua New Guinea government must shut down Concord
Pacific´s scandalous logging operation," Havas said.
"Concord Pacific customers like Lei Sing Hong and Kam Hing in
China and Nissho Iwai from Japan must stop buying ancient forest
destruction before more communities lose their livelihoods and one
of the last ancient forests is destroyed forever."
Today´s action follows anti-logging activity in Hong Kong last
week. Greenpeace China volunteers served a "injunction" on Lei Sing
Hong, asking it to stop importing logs from Concord Pacific.