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January 16, 2008

Woodlark Rainforests Spared for Now from Clearing for Oil Palm

Ecological Internet's international protest supporting local Papua New Guinea resistance blows the project out of the water

January 16, 2008
By Ecological Internet, Contact: Dr. Glen Barry , glenbarry@ecologicalinternet.org

(Woodlark, Papua New Guinea) -- Ecological Internet welcomes reports that Vitroplant, shady developer of a proposed oil palm project on Woodlark Island in Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea (PNG), has withdrawn. PNG's Minister for Agriculture and Livestock says no oil palm development will take place on Woodlark Island. Vitroplant's withdrawal was due to local and international pressure to conserve Woodlark Island's natural habitat.

The ill-conceived project was to have cleared 70% of the rainforests on biodiversity rich Woodlark Island, some 60,000 hectares, in order to establish a massive oil palm plantation. Following the direction of local peoples, Ecological Internet's Earth action network was able to generate nearly 50,000 protest emails from 3,000 people in 72 countries.

The protest embarrassed the PNG government and highlighted the hypocrisy of their support of carbon payments for avoided deforestation, even as Woodlark was approved for clearance, and a rogue rainforest timber export industry continues unhindered.

"We welcome reports that the Woodlark oil palm project is dead," states Ecological Internet's President Dr. Glen Barry. "Yet campaigning will continue until Woodlark is legally removed from consideration for agricultural deforestation, and the land is returned to its residents."

Ecological Internet's PNG rainforest campaign seeks legally binding assurances that palm oil and other biofuels will not be developed on currently forested lands, and the elimination of PNG's industrial log export industry. Only then will payments for rainforest protection be justified.

"The power of networks of informed Earth citizens to support local conservation action and an end to ancient rainforest logging has again been demonstrated. The forces of ecological destruction must be confronted and defeated," asserts Dr. Barry.

###ENDS###


Comments

Great result. Well done!

Phil Westwood
Friends of Bass Valley Bush Inc Landcare Group

Can you explain or describe what animals/reptiles are saved now that the Woodlark Rainforest is not having a deforestation for palm oil. It is wonderful that local and international pressure worked!

Thank you,

Diane M. Kastel

Hi Glen.
Thanks fore the good work.
Hans Elleby

Nice to hear(read),
good luck,
JDvM

Excellent Glen.

I love your work!

Glen,

Yes - as you have already heard through the reports that Vitroplant is cut off. If you are not coming into PNG, I will update you on any
latest news as things unfold. Meanwhile I am telling people how much you guys have contributed to battle Vitroplant out of place, and wish
to convey my people's appreciation to all of you who joined us in the frontline battle against Vitroplant. I've mentioned you name, Fred and
others who supported us and the peole want to thank all of you for your efforts in writing etc.

We have fought and stood out winners - the day I heard the reports through the media and read reports in our national news papers that
the PNG government has cancelled Vitroplant - I felt something lifted off me and just like walking eighteen inches above the ground.

Thank you very much, appreciate your support and will never forget you - Woodlark island is now safe.

Regards
John

Great news. I hope there'll be some kind of oversight to prevent some other blindly, greedy corporation from trying this sort of thing again at Woodlark.

Dear Dr. Barry -

Congratulations - this is very good news in brand-new 2008 ! Your organization's activities continue to matter from N.Y. to PNG and I love to continue to support them.
Best regards and wishes for a happy and successful New Year !

Gerhard L. Mueller-Debus
Frankfurt a.M. (Germany)

THANK YOU!!!!!
Jennifer

Thank YOU sir,
Jan Diek van Mansvelt

GOOD GOING, GLEN!!!

Once in a while a win!!

Have you read Ted Nordhaus & Michael Shellenberger. Breakthrough. From the Death of Environmentalism to the Politics of Possibility. Www.thebreakthrough.org, based on their 2004 article, “The Death of Environmentalism,” http://www.grist.org/news/maindish/2005/01/13/doe-reprint/

I've just finished reading it and found it sort of a ping-pong experience, agreeing, disagreeing, etc. And while they mention many of the current problems, so much more has happened since the book came out. I never thought of the environmental problems being separate from the poverty and social justice problems, but it is true that the environmental movement has largely not addressed the two together, and the authors are correct in saying that people can't face the latter until their survival needs are met. The Seattle WTO protest saw the beginnings of the all groups seeing their common cause, but it has not been built on sufficiently. Of course, it's also hard to see how the economic situations of the world's poor can be met considering the stranglehold the IMF, World Bank and the elites of these countries have on the situation. (Have you read Naomi Klein’s brilliant and horrifying The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism?)

Wanda

Our Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands Forest Protection Group in Japan, is so happy of the withdrawal of the oil palm project in woodlark Ireland. We strongly protest against logging and clearfelling on the island. As welll as the other part of PNG.

Good news for a change!

John Weatherman

Hello Dr Barry,
Keep up the good work sir. The environmental revolution has began!
Best Regards,
Dan Dalgleish

Nice one to end the week on! Great news!

Kind Regards
Julie

Congratulations on Woodlark Island, thank you very much. And my congrats to

the local people also.

Dear Glen and Tim,

I attended a Bioneers conference two years ago and a "gentleman" the CEO? of many companies, but he mentioned EcoCover in particular- literally taunted us, his audience, with the fact that his so called ecofriendly and aware and supporting company was responsible for rainforest devastation because - as he put it - the people down there took it upon themselves to decide that cutting down rainforest and growing oil palm would make them more money, as it is an important ingredient for ECOCover products.
(I can find his name if you need it or want to know more)

I wanted to spit at him. He so boldly told us that his company was responsible for rainforest rape- and why that was harmful to the world/environment/ everyone-in case we didn't already know that- and the he personally was claiming no responsibility and was staying in business and reaping the monetary benefits from this action.

Your story reminded me of this event. SOOO close to home. In fact so close that both my head and my heart feels revolted by it. To say one is accountable for ones actions is such a slippery slope.

Thank you for your actions!

all the best always,

Megan Mills

great,
well done!
Go on.
Yours,
JDvM

well done! You should be proud of this achievement.

YAY!

Congratulations on Woodlark Island! This is a good idea and seems to have worked efficiently. Is this same plan being used in other areas of rainforests that are being killed?