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Rudd Should Raise W. Papua Issue With Indonesians

AWPA Calls on Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to raise the issue of West Papua with the Indonesian President.

Joe Collins of the Australia West Papua Association said "we congratulate Prime Minister Rudd on ratifying the Kyoto Protocol. However, if he is serious about the environment and climate change he should raise the issue of the Indonesian military's involvement in illegal logging and forest destruction in West Papua with the Indonesian President".

A 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.

The rate of the deforestation in Indonesia is one of the fastest in the world which has also made the country one of the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases.

West Papua still has some of the largest tracts of tropical rainforest left in South East Asia and the Pacific. However, the Indonesian government is looking more to the forests of West Papua to replace their own exploited forests of Sumatra and Kalimantan.

The great demand for palm oil to produce biofuel and palm oil products has also caused the Indonesian Government to look to clearing the forests of West Papua for palm oil plantations. Tropical forests replaced by palm oil plantations means increased global warming.

AWPA calls on Prime Minister Rudd to raise the connection between the Indonesian military's involvement in forest destruction, human rights abuses and global warming with the Indonesian president.


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