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Papuan Blood Flows Into UK Petrol Pumps

West Papua
BOYCOTT JET PETROL

North of Australia lies the huge island of Papua divided into Australian controlled Papua New Guinea and the Indonesian colony of West Papua. In the mountains and Jungles of West Papua live around I million tribal people.

Their cultures are hugely diverse and they perfectly fit into the land of which they see themselves a part. Unfortunately these peoples, their life style and their very land have been under ceaseless attack from western oil, logging and mining companies protected by the Indonesian Military (see focus vol.31/7 of the Ecologist Magazine).

However, the Papuans have not accepted being forced off their land by massive industrial developments; and setting themselves up as the OPM (Free Papua Movement) they fight against the Western armed Indonesian army. In this struggle over 200,000 Papuans have been killed - nearly one fifth of the entire population.

Papuan blood flows all the way to petrol pumps in Britain. Conoco - known in the UK as Jet Petrol - are pushing ahead with oil drilling in the Lorentz National Park, South of West Papua. Lorentz National Park is so valuable it is classified as a UNESCO Biosphere reserve; encompassing more than two million hectares of wilderness, including Snow capped Mount Jaya. All seven of West Papuans major environments are represented in the park, from Alpine regions, glaciers down through upper and lower mountain forests to grasslands and mangrove swaps. The reserve is home to more than 350 bird species (20 endemic) and at least 123 mammal species. It is also is home to Papuans from eight tribes.

Houston-based Conoco (www.conoco.com), formely a unit of chemical giant DuPont, explores for oil and gas in 20 countries and owns or has stakes in nine refineries in the US, Europe, and Asia. The company operates more than 7,000 gas stations in the US, Europe, and Thailand. Its power division also markets and trades electricity and gas and develops and builds power plants.

For the last year Conoco/Jet Petrol have been drilling in the park. Tribes occupied the drilling equipment until the Indonesian military started killing local people. Since then villages have been raised, river systems polluted and forest cleared. This is only the beginning. So far Conoco/Jet Petrol are carrying out exploratory work -the situation will become far worse when extraction starts. Papuans believe that action and boycotts in the west in support of their grassroots struggle could force Conoco out of Lorentz. Otherwise they fear Lorentz will go the way of other parts of West Papua; devastated by the deadly partnership of oil exploration and military conquest.

Make a difference:

Write to Conoco telling them you are boycotting them and why. Conoco Centre, Warwick Technology Park, Warwick, CV34 6DA or call them 01926 - 404000. Copy your letters to Archie W. Dunham, Chairman, President, CEO, & Director, Conoco, 600 N. Dairy Ashford, Houston, TX 77079, USA.

Please copy your letters to: OPM SG (BRIGHTON), 43 Gardner Street, Brighton, BN1 1UN; email: opmsg@eco-action.org For more information visit www.eco-action.org/opm/


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