'Mud men' perform traditional dances to welcome the arrival of the Greenpeace flagship the Rainbow Warrior in Port Moresby's harbour. Greenpeace launches a major initiative to help protect Asia Pacific's last remaining ancient rainforests - the 'Paradise Forests - by unveiling its Global Forest Rescue Station in a remote part of Papua New Guinea.
At the invitation of the local communities, we have established
Global Forest Rescue Station (GFRS) on the western edge of Lake
Murray,deep in the Paradise Forests. From the GFRS, our activists
from aroundthe world will help members of the Kuni, Begwa and Pari
tribes mark outthe boundaries of their lands to protect it from
Locate the Global
Forest Rescue Station (GFRS) using Google Earth - click here to download Google
Althoughin Papua New Guinean law, 97 percent of the land is
recognised as beingowned by the customary landowners who live
there, many tribalboundaries have never been officially recorded.
Until this is done theland is effectively up for grabs.
With large-scale industriallogging, the local communities see
very little of the huge profitsgenerated by the logging and the
forest cannot sustain the level ofdestruction. For each tree felled
for timber at least seventeen othersare destroyed, not to mention
the impact on the diverse wildlife thatthe forest support.
"Ourforest is like
a supermarket and our survival depends on the forest.The forest
gives us our homes, our food and our medicine."
- Sep Galeva, Kuni clan leader
Butthere is a solution. Boundary marking, also known as
demarcation, isthe first step in allowing the local communities to
use the forest inecologically sustainable ways that doesn't destroy
the forest. The GFRSwill be used as a base camp to help the local
communities mark outaround 300,000 hectares of their lands in the
Lake Murray region.
TheStation isn't just about mapping out land boundaries. Part of
the workdone there will be to promote small-scale community
enterprises thathelp maintain the forest and bring greater benefits
to the communitiesthat live there such as eco-forestry.
Instead of wholesaledestruction of the forest with large
machines to extract the timber,portable equipment is used to
minimise the impact. Trees are milledwhere they fall and are
carried along bush trails and floated out alongrivers, and then
strict guidelines and monitoring allow the forest toregenerate
The profits from this method of forestry forlocal communities
are also much more than those that trickle down fromthe logging
companies, between four to 10 times greater, all of whichis shared
among the local communities.
So with community-basedsolutions the Global Rescue Forest
Station will help protect the uniquebiodiversity of Papua New
Guinea. With only one percent of the forestsunder any kind of
protection, there is still a long way to go.
about the Paradise Forests and the Global Forest Rescue Station
With your support, we can continue to protect the Paradise Forests.