Articles by "forest and culture"
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Papua, the Indonesian part of the island of New Guinea, belongs to the lungs of this world as it contains 31,5 million acres of tropical rain forest.

 If the trees were to be cut, it would mean a threat to the livelihood and culture of many Papuan tribes. Deforestation means the destruction of their medicinal and food resources, expelling their ancestors and committing a heinous crime against nature. Deforestation will lead to suffering, disaster and chaos for the Papuans The forests form a part of their heritage.

 Yet, deforestation also offers opportunity. The cutting of forest to make way for Palm oil plantations, could provide an important source of income for Papua.   However, among the UN, the world Bank and the private sector, there are plans to use existing rainforests as a form of exchange for the REDD Program( Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest degradation in Developing countries. Through this mechanism underdeveloped countries are then paid to retain the trees in their forests. This mechanism would enable Papuans to fight against deforestation but no firm commitments were made at the UN Summit in December 2009 in order to counteract climate change in this way.

 1. The significance  of the forest
 2. Much of the tropical rainforest can be saved
 3. Ilegal logging on the political agenda
 4. Case study at Wasur
 5.  The Forests belong to the Papuans
 6.  Environmental benefit is lost by logging forests
 7. Climate change and Palm oil Plantations
 8. Purchase of sustainable palm oil on the increase in EU-Countries
 9. Links
10. Sources
1. The significance  of the forest                                       

 Papuans know the value of their forests from their own cultural tradition, which is passed on from one generation to the next. They did not need to be informed of this by either the Dutch or the Indonesian rulers. To them it is not a resource that needs cutting in order to earn millions of dollars. The forest has quite a different meaning  for Papuans. It is regarded as part of their community. A Papuan community consists of live individuals as well as the spirits of their forefathers and aspects of nature itself. Each community, the clan as well as the tribe within it, has its own designated piece of forest. From a cultural perspective, a Papuan is never separated  from the forest. Papuans are self-sufficient and look for food, such as sago, in the direct vicinity.  The deeper significance of the rain forest is explained by the following Papuan expression: ’Hutan adalah mama’( the forest is our mother.) The rainforest is a symbol of fertility and reproduction.

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Located 160km north of Australia, Papua New Guinea (PNG) is home to some of the world’s richest biodiversity.  In fact, although only about the size of California, it holds 5% of the entire world’s biodiversity and is renowned for its rainforest, the third largest in the world.  About 1/4 of the species in PNG are found nowhere else in the world.

Moreover, PNG is home to a large indigenous population and some 800 languages (10% of the world’s languages), which reflects the country’s incredible diversity.  Because most of the indigenous groups are small, communal, and heavily dependent on their ancestral land for survival, any disruption or loss of land can be devastating.

Unfortunately, for more than a decade now, indigenous-occupied lands, as well as the rainforests and biodiversity they carry, have been under threat by foreign logging companies.

While much of the attention on deforestation has been focused on larger countries, like Brazil, forests in Papua New Guinea have been quietly disappearing for years.  Deforestation has held steady since the 90s at a rate of 1.4% a year.  One study by UPNG Remote Sensing Centre shows most of the forest will be gone by 2021.