VICTORY: Amerindians Force Samling to Stop Some Illegal Logging in Guyana

Yet another stunning victory for EcoInternet's (EI) Earth Action Network and partners, as Amerindian Villages in Guyana where Barama/Samling has been logging illegally have thrown Samling out of those communities. Or depending upon how you spin it, Samling withdrew after being told in no uncertain terms that the residents and Council did not want the logging company there. If only every community with ancient forests undergoing logging on their lands (legal or illegal) that they do not desire were to be given the choice of just saying no. Most of the tropical timber industry would be shut down tomorrow, WWF and Greenpeace would be without a forest conservation program, and prospects for global forest and ecological sustainability would increase dramatically. The report below is from Bruno Manser Fonds, a Swiss rainforest group, and a Guyanese newspaper.
It has been quite a month for EcoInternet and our local and global partners in protecting from industrial development all the World's remaining ancient forests as a matter of indigenous justice, terrestrial species and ecosystem sustainability, and maintaining an operable climate. EI spearheaded three different alerts in the past six weeks regarding Samling's logging activities in Guyana; as well as international banking, and conservation organization's such as WWF and FSC's, complicity in this ancient forest slaughter.

We anticipate great things ahead as EI has completely updated our hardware and software technology, and have data systems in place to track and intervene in rainforest and climate decision making where we deem it will make a difference. Please do not let this come to an end because EI cannot raise $16,000 to meet our mid-year goal. Please donate and save the future of rainforests, the climate, the Earth; and your and your children's future. This is how it works – you make a small donation if you can afford too (or a large one if you are wealthy), and take part in the action network and portals to educate yourself; and we guarantee opportunities for you to materially and substantively contribute the Earth's survival. Pretty good for a yearly budget of K75 in 2006. Please donate now!
The Amerindian village of Akawini in Guyana has forced the Malaysian logging giant Samling to stop all operations on its titled lands, where Barama Co. Ltd. a wholly owned Samling subsidiary, had been logging illegally. This is reported today by the two leading Guyanese newspapers Kaieteur News and Staebroek News.
The campaign success for the Guyanese Amerindians comes four weeks after the Akawini village captain David Wilson spoke out about Samling's illegal practices in a press conference in Zurich that was organized by the Bruno Manser Fonds and the Society for Threatened Peoples. Representatives of an international NGO coalition had asked Credit Suisse to refund the 10 million-dollar profit it hade made from Samling's public listing in early March.
Samling Global Ltd. had been publicly listed at the Hong Kong Stock with support from Credit Suisse, HSBC and Maquarie Securities Ltd. Due to intensive international campaign pressure, HSBC has since decided to review its environmental due diligence. Credit Suisse continues to fiercely defend its commercial relationship with Samling.
Samling controls more forests in Guyana than it does in the Malaysian state of Sarawak, where it has its headquarters.
For more information, please contact us:
Tel. +41 61 261 94 74,,
SOURCE: Kaieteur news, Guyana
BYLINE: Tusika Martin
Amidst hostility, Barama Company Limited yesterday pulled out its operations from Akawini, an Amerindian Village in the Pomeroon, in Region Two.
Yesterday, Chairman of Barama, Girwar Lalaram, visited the community to meet with residents in the wake of protests by the residents over Barama's operation there.
Upon his arrival at the Akawini Primary School, several residents lifted placards protesting the company's presence in the community.
As if set for battle, the furniture in the school were separated into sections allowing villagers to sit on one side and the officials from Barama on the opposite side.
With that margin being set, village Captain, David Wilson, who seemed irritated, began the meeting asking Barama officials to clearly state their case.
Mr Lalaram took the decision to withdraw from the community after he was told in no uncertain terms that the residents and Council did not want the logging company there.
Mr Lalaram stated that the company has dealt with Amerindian
communities in the past. He noted that those relationships have been beneficial to the lives and standards of the people of those communities.
"In no way, Barama operating in the Akawini and St. Monica, will ever attempt to cheat you, to deny you of whatever we are supposed to
deliver to the people and Council of Akawini and St. Monica. I stand very firm on that," Lalaram said.
He noted that from what he had learnt, Interior Wood Product
Incorporated (IWPI), with whom Barama has a sub-contract, was supposed to fulfill some social activities in the area.
These activities included housing, education and helping the community to build recreation and other facilities.
Lalaram reiterated yesterday that his company will fulfill all the promises that IWPI failed to execute.
"I would like the Captain and the people of Akawini to tell me what was promised and I will ensure that those are delivered fully within the shortest possible time to the communities," Lalaram stated.
On the issue of employment, he noted that he was told that 54 persons are employed from the village of Akawini.
He however stated that those persons are in camps in other areas around Guyana and not at the operation in Akawini.
"I do not know that exact number of people now working in Akawini with Barama. I am willing to make the investment in the people of the two villages that are trainable

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7 Responses

  1. stephen copley says:

    Keep up the good work. I hope you are sending messages and updates direectly to the political leaders n the UK (leaders of the Conservative and Labour parties) to ensure they are aware of the issues and your work.

  2. Robin says:

    Dear Mr.Barry,
    Great news indeed.
    All the best!

  3. Julie says:

    Well you get what you wish for! So I'll say it again, more Victories
    And yes I wish too that this type of victory was worldwide, and that
    illegal logging was banned everywhere.
    Also wish that that the Japanese won't kill 50 Humpback whales as they
    are planning to do – despicable behaviour from them, how about culling a
    few Japanese whalers???
    “The universe is change, our life is
    what our thoughts make it”

  4. Rbebecca Savage says:

    Stop environmental degradation.

  5. Tibor Kiss says:

    "The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best is now." Chinese proverb.

  6. I Hussain says:

    Victory to the people
    People power is more important than corporate profits-that's what they are interested in.
    As a Guyanese who worked in the interior of Guyana and now living in the UK, I have first hand experience of the destruction of the rain forest.
    Let the people decide like our Amerindians have decided.
    Expose them for their hipocracy.
    Well done and keep up the good work

  7. Marc Sommer says:

    One gained one lost.
    In the former Dutch Colony of Suriname, adjacent to Guyana, there will be a strutural ongoing removal of it's s woods for money.China is vely intelested in lemoving the wood and tlanspolting it to China.

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