|The Last Frontier - Illegal Logging in Papua|
|Written by Jason Peters|
|Saturday, 02 April 2011 12:48|
Title: The Last Frontier - Illegal Logging in Papua and Chinaʼs Massive Timber Theft
The Last Frontier - Illegal Logging in Papua and Chinaʼs Massive Timber Theft, made by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) with its Indonesia partner Telapak, was the culmination of years of dangerous, sometimes life-threatening work to expose the plight of Indonesiaʼs forests to key decision-makers.
Based on a series of undercover investigations in Papua, Jakarta, Singapore, Hong Kong and mainland China, it details the illegal trade in valuable merbau logs, following the trail from the forests of Papua to the booming Yangtze Delta region of eastern China.
EIA and Telapak met with local Papuans, the Kanesaimos tribe, whose ancestral
forestland was being exploited by big business and the military. The main tree species extracted was merbau, a luxurious dark hardwood used for flooring, and the information obtained from this initial visit lead to a wide-ranging investigation into the corrupt businessmen behind the trade.
Posing as timber buyers and using hidden cameras, investigators uncovered the methods used to bribe, forge and mislabel documents and saw at first hand the factories and ports which fuelled a trade depriving Papuans of any chance of a sustainable livelihood.
Language: English" Running time: 4.54 minutes
In February 2005, the film and its accompanying report The Last Frontier were released in Jakarta to a clamour of press coverage whose effect was immediate and far-reaching.
In response to the allegations, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
summoning high-ranking officials to investigate the involvement of prominent members of the police, forestry and the military in illegal logging and his Government subsequently sent 1,500 enforcement personnel to Papua, almost totally halting the flow of merbau logs from the country, a US$1 billion trade.
The operation led to the arrest of 160 suspects, the seizure of US$0.5 billion worth of equipment and logs and caused the price of merbau logs to soar on the international market.
Following the massive enforcement operation, the Government set up an ad hoc team to look at local land tenure rights throughout Indonesia. The film and report has also forced diplomatic notes to be passed between China and Indonesia.
Edited by: Paul Redman
EIA - London, 62/63 Upper Street, London N1 0NY, UK
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