The Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)
29 March 2007
Help West Papua with forest fund.
Joe Collins of the Australia West Papua Association said if the Prime Minister is serious about forming a global fund to fight illegal logging and forest destruction in the region, he should start by refusing to support the Indonesian military in any form .
A recent report by two conservation groups: the Environmental Investigation Agency and Telapak, revealed that the TNI are involved in illegal logging in West Papua.
The report , “The Last Frontier - Illegal Logging in Papua"
reveals that the military in Papua are involved in every aspect of illegal logging. It reported that military personnel are frequently employed as security for logging operations and that the army is also used to intimidate local communities opposed to logging operations on their lands. They are favoured in logging concessions.
Yet the Australian Government has signed a treaty with Indonesia which commits us to ties with this same Indonesian military.
The best way to protect the forests of West Papua is to call on the Indonesian government to halt the military's illegal activities in such resource extraction.
Joe Collins said "until a genuine effort is made by the Indonesian Government to reform its military , the treaty between Australia and Indonesian should not be ratified".
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