West Papua becomes conservation province

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West Papua becomes conservation province

Postby babihutan » Wed Sep 09, 2020 12:20 am

https://planetark.org/newsroom/archive/2686

Some good news! The last place left on this planet where you can still fashionably wear a penis gourd and fit right in.
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Re: West Papua becomes conservation province

Postby Ozymandias » Wed Sep 23, 2020 1:50 pm

My concern with this type of announcement is that it is sometimes using conservation language to mask the protection of colonial control by the government making it. We've seen similar from France and the UK, and now Indonesia:

The Indonesian government currently has a bit of an issue with the Free Papua Movement, especially since they got called out for human rights abuses at the Pacific Islands Forum in 2019, and would have had a UN High Commissioner for Human Rights visit the province this year to investigate had it not been for covid-19. There's a good update on the situation here from March 2020: https://www.lowyinstitute.org/publications/west-papua-issues-wont-go-away-melanesia Making West Papua a conservation province is likely another way of denying West Papuans traditional land rights, distracts the international community from the human rights abuses occurring to secure Indonesian rule and certainly does not make their quest for independence any easier.

Similar situation between France and Madagascar with their dispute over sovereignty in the îles Éparses (Scattered Isles). The French illegally separated them from Madagascar upon independence in 1960, and were told quite clearly by the UN on 12 December 1979 and 11 December 1980 to give them back: https://undocs.org/en/A/RES/34/91 and https://undocs.org/en/A/RES/35/123. Instead, the French have decided to hold onto the islands, and President Macron even visited on 23 October 2019 to announce the extension of Nature Reserve status to all of the islands. You can read the whole story here: https://www.rfi.fr/fr/afrique/20191024-iles-eparses-visite-president-francais-fait-reagir-madagascar

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Likewise, thanks to Wikileaks we now have evidence that the UK used conservation status to frustrate efforts at decolonization in the Chagos Islands. Not only was their original eviction of the Chagos islanders in the 1960s and 1970s illegal, but they've been told on multiple occasions by the UN and the UK High Court that the Chagos Islanders should be resettled.

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Here's an extract of a 15 May 2009 cable between Colin Roberts, the British Director of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), and Richard Mills, a US political counsellor, discussing possible methods to prolong their territorial control over the Chagos Islands:

"HMG would like to establish a "marine park" or "reserve" providing comprehensive environmental protection to the reefs and waters of the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT), a senior Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) official informed Polcouns on May 12. The official insisted that the establishment of a marine park -- the world's largest -- would in no way impinge on USG use of the BIOT, including Diego Garcia, for military purposes. He agreed that the UK and U.S. should carefully negotiate the details of the marine reserve to assure that U.S. interests were safeguarded and the strategic value of BIOT was upheld. He said that the BIOT's former inhabitants would find it difficult, if not impossible, to pursue their claim for resettlement on the islands if the entire Chagos Archipelago were a marine reserve....Establishing a marine reserve might, indeed, as the FCO's Roberts stated, be the most effective long-term way to prevent any of the Chagos
Islands' former inhabitants or their descendants from resettling in the BIOT.
"

The full cable is here: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/09LONDON1156_a.html
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Re: West Papua becomes conservation province

Postby gnaruki » Thu Sep 24, 2020 12:21 am

Marine Park is right. Do you think those bits of land will be dry when Greenland and Antarctica shed more of their ice? Serious question, what is the topography and fresh water access like?
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Re: West Papua becomes conservation province

Postby ReptilianKittenEater » Thu Sep 24, 2020 3:05 am

The Raja Ampat Islands look cool though I'd want to avoid the pricey dive resorts
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Re: West Papua becomes conservation province

Postby ROB » Sat Sep 26, 2020 4:28 am

Ozymandias wrote:"HMG would like to establish a "marine park" or "reserve" providing comprehensive environmental protection to the reefs and waters of the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT), a senior Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) official informed Polcouns on May 12. The official insisted that the establishment of a marine park -- the world's largest -- would in no way impinge on USG use of the BIOT, including Diego Garcia, for military purposes. He agreed that the UK and U.S. should carefully negotiate the details of the marine reserve to assure that U.S. interests were safeguarded and the strategic value of BIOT was upheld. He said that the BIOT's former inhabitants would find it difficult, if not impossible, to pursue their claim for resettlement on the islands if the entire Chagos Archipelago were a marine reserve....Establishing a marine reserve might, indeed, as the FCO's Roberts stated, be the most effective long-term way to prevent any of the Chagos
Islands' former inhabitants or their descendants from resettling in the BIOT.
"


Sure colonialism bad.

But I wonder which power would step in to “help” the poor BIOTs rebuild themselves in the event that Britain/US leave.
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Re: West Papua becomes conservation province

Postby Ozymandias » Sat Sep 26, 2020 8:38 am

ROB wrote:
Ozymandias wrote:"HMG would like to establish a "marine park" or "reserve" providing comprehensive environmental protection to the reefs and waters of the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT), a senior Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) official informed Polcouns on May 12. The official insisted that the establishment of a marine park -- the world's largest -- would in no way impinge on USG use of the BIOT, including Diego Garcia, for military purposes. He agreed that the UK and U.S. should carefully negotiate the details of the marine reserve to assure that U.S. interests were safeguarded and the strategic value of BIOT was upheld. He said that the BIOT's former inhabitants would find it difficult, if not impossible, to pursue their claim for resettlement on the islands if the entire Chagos Archipelago were a marine reserve....Establishing a marine reserve might, indeed, as the FCO's Roberts stated, be the most effective long-term way to prevent any of the Chagos
Islands' former inhabitants or their descendants from resettling in the BIOT.
"


Sure colonialism bad.

But I wonder which power would step in to “help” the poor BIOTs rebuild themselves in the event that Britain/US leave.


I wrote an article about this about ten years ago. Sadly, Socialist Worker was the only news organisation willing to publish it: https://socialistworker.co.uk/art/15556/The+Chagos+Islanders+and+their+fight+to+return+home. Things have changed slightly since that article was published, in the sense that the International Court of Justice and UN have now weighed in on the issue (both on the side of the Chagossians). International Court of Justice gave an advisory opinion in February 2019 calling on the UK to relinquish its hold on the territory in order to complete the process of decolonisation, and give the island back to Mauritius. Then in May 2019 the UK lost a vote in the UN General Assembly (116-6 votes) on a motion setting a six-month deadline for Britain to withdraw from the Chagos island chain and for the islands to be reunified with neighbouring Mauritius. So to answer your question:

- The UK government would help cover the financial costs of resettlement, given that they owe the Chagossians compensation for their illegal eviction. This has already been priced up and is not that expensive.
- Chagos would be reunited with Mauritius, as it was part of Mauritius 1814-1965.
- Nobody is suggesting that the USA would need to close Naval Support Facility Diego Garcia. They can just start paying rent to the new sovereign (Mauritius) and employing Chagossians instead of the 2000+ Filipino contractors they have there now.
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