An article from Do
or Die Issue
. In the paper edition, this article appears on page(s)
World Wide Fraud
Pandering to the Demands
These Batac people of
Palawan are being forced from their homes into settlements by WWF
All around the world, as
you read this, children of other cultures are being kidnapped and forced
into schools against their will and that of their tribes. People from
Indonesia to Zaire are being forcibly removed from their ancestral
homelands into shoddy shanty towns with poor sanitation and bad food.
These people want to stay in their homelands, living as they always
have; with no leaders and no civilisation; hunting and gathering.
|But the land they
live on contains rich minerals and trees. The greedy eyes of
westerners want it, so they take it. A familiar story? Corporate
aggression? Despotic governments? Missionaries? Martian invaders?
Yes, all these things (well, maybe not martians), but one other
thing that may surprise many people: the World wide Fund for
Nature, which is instrumental in these invasions the world over.
Behind the nice caring fluffy panda logo lies a nasty evil
empire that would make Ghengis Khan look like a local mafia hood.
The WWF (World Wide Fund for
nature) with its Panda bear logo is well known. It was created
some 25 years ago. Trophy hunters like Prince Bernhard from the
Netherlands, top managers in industry and the money business and
top politicians saw that one of their most beloved trophies, the
tiger, had been chased to the edge of extinction.
This dilemma for the trophy
hunters and the need for a good reputation as conservationists
brought one hundred of the biggest multinationals to the
decision to donate one million US Dollars each (of course under
attractive tax exemptions). WWF was born with this 100 million
Dollar stock. Prince Bernhard became the first WWF President,
now followed by trophy hunter Prince Phillip from England.
block a railway leading to a gold mine on their territory
Since the beginning of its
work the WWF has received much appreciation from all governments on
earth. It even acts in many nations as a de facto ministry for the
environment. For good reasons:
1. WWF is able to polish up
the governments' good environmental image.
2. WWF helps to protect very
small areas as nature reserves and therefore gives space for the
indiscriminate destruction of huge remaining areas, by industry and
small scale land grabbers. Their bluster about 'illegal' logging is
merely a smoke screen to cover up the 95% of logging that is legal.
3. WWF helps to develop
remote places with large areas of intact nature and get control over it.
4. As these remote areas are
generally tribal lands of non-assimilated peoples WWF assists
governments to get control over them and to assimilate them into the
5. WWF promotes a very
profitable tourism industry.
As a result of all this, the
losers are savage peoples and - it may look paradoxical at first glance
- wild nature in general due to the sacrifice of most of the land. As
usual, the winner is the wealthy world.
The oppression of savage
tribal peoples done by nature conservationists has never been a focus of
discussion. Results of nature conservation activities have always been
spin doctored to imply that the damages done to the savages were
properly redressed. Shanty towns and coca-cola are no replacement for a
three million year old culture. The point here is that compensation is
irrelevant anyway, since these people should not be forcibly removed in
the first place. The argument about compensation is a red herring to
divert attention from the genocide being conducted by NGOs who pretend
to support human rights.
In Zaire the Barhwa Pygmies
were driven out of their ancestral land in order to establish the
Kahuzi-Biega National Park. WWF has been deeply involved. The victims
formerly lived, in dignity, in their traditional ways but are now
exposed to alcoholism, prostitution, extreme poverty and exploitation by
the neighbouring Bantu people. Likewise Bambuti Pygmies were driven out
of the Maiko National Park as result of joint Government and WWF
Similarly in Cental Africa,
the Dzangha-Sangha Project which has been directed by WWF since 1988,
has resulted in the destruction of the livelihood and loss of dignity of
the Baka Pygmies in this area and in the loss of their ancestral
In Rwanda the Batwa Pygmies
were driven out of the Nyungwe Natural Forest in 1994 to make way for a
Nature Conservation Site. WWF was involved in the creation of this area
and as a result the Batwa of Rwanda have lost their ancestral land and
In Kenya the Tsavo East
National Park has been established and is managed with the help of WWF,
on the Sanye ancestral land. The Sanye have been severely prosecuted as
poachers on their own land. As a result the Sanye peoples have been
virtually destroyed as a society of hunters and gatherers.
In Namibia the Hai'om
Bushmen have been driven out of their ancestral land, the Etosha Pan,
which WWF is involved in securing as a conservation area!
In consultation with WWF the
Government of Botswana declared, at the Xane kotla meeting in February
1996, that the 3000 last remaining Bushmen, in broadly traditional
hunting and gathering lifestyles, have to leave their ancestral land and
their traditional lives. The reason being that their ancestral land is
now proposed as a new game reserve.
In South Africa the 40 last
remaining Bushmen have been chased out of their ancestral land which is
now largely used as the Kalahari Gemsbock National Park. WWF has been
and still is involved. Furthermore they continue to discount the land
claims of the evacuated Bushmen.
In India the Gujjar nomads
in Uttar Pradesh are victims of a Nature Conservation Project, where WWF
is directly involved. Also the last few aborigine peoples, belonging to
the Negrito race, have been victimised by National Park projects in the
Nilgiri mountains where WWF was and still is active.
In the Philippines the
Haribon Foundation acts with WWF as a partner and receives considerable
financial support from them. In 1988 the Haribon Foundation tried to
chase the Batak, aborigines of Palawan island, out of their forested
ancestral land all around Mount Puyos (Cleopatra's Needle) to make space
for an extension to the Mount Saint Paul's National Park. The Batak were
supposed to be resettled on a denuded area to help in tree plantations,
commonly termed as reforestation projects. FPCN (see below) was able to
put a stop to that plan, but the Haribon Foundation continued, using WWF
money, to 'develop' the Batak. The money was raised mainly in the "debt-for-nature
This resulted in a more or
less forced settlement of the formerly free moving Batak and with this
an almost complete loss of their culture and traditions. IUCN
(International Union for the Conservation of Nature - the umbrella
organisation of which WWF is a part) is presently carrying out a study
on the impact of the Batak on the remaining natural forest, regardless
of the fact that thousands of Filipinos intruded on the Batak's
ancestral land, making meaningful analysis unfeasible.
|In Malaysia the Mannee,
the very last aborigines still holding on to their traditional
lifestyle, have lost access to half of their ancestral ground in
the Banthat range due to a National Park project on Mannee
tribal land, for which WWF is largely responsible. The remaining
land is open to loggers, farmers and settlers.
WWF planned to evacuate the
Papuan people from the area of the Lorentz National Park in
Indonesian-occupied West Papua. WWF is in partnership with the
Indonesian Government and the destructive American intruders
holding the Freeport mine and is responsible for the killing of
at least seven OPM (Organisation for a Free Papua) freedom
fighters, who were killed during the rescue of WWF staff taken
as hostages last year. Still though, WWF does not recognize OPM
interests and land claims.
There are many more cases of
small peoples victimised by joint Governmental and WWF 'nature
conservation' activities and policy. As with most other conservation
programs, this is a front for corporate expansion and destruction. These
peoples have very few friends on Earth. Friends of Peoples Close to
Nature, a non-hierarchical network, exists to rectify this situation,
both by direct action and by political lobbying. If the process of
civilisation and globalisation is allowed to wipe out the last remaining
non-western cultures, we will be left with a human monoculture. If
biodiversity is important, then human diversity is too. We must make
alliances with and give support to these last bastions of hope for the
future of humanity.
Whilst we in the 'first'
world are trying to get our land back, these people still have it. They
live as they have always done. As they die, our dreams die with them.
Without them, the future of humanity is sealed in its present course,
all alternative futures will be gone and the aberration of ten thousand
years ago in Mesopotamia (see agriculture article in this issue) will
have parasitised the whole planet. We need people to get involved. Not
to be told what to do, or to buy t-shirts, but to actively join in the
resistance of wild peoples around the world by attacking the heart of
the problem right here in the 'rich' world. There can be no social
justice within a culture that commits genocide on its neighbours.
Some of these peoples now
number only a few hundred, in a couple of years they will be gone for
ever, and part of our own humanity will be gone with them - unless we
act decisively now. For more information and to find out what you can do
to help, send an SAE to FPCN England & International Office, 50
Hillside Crescent, Whittle-le-Woods, Chorley, Lancashire, PR6 7LT,
ENGLAND, Tel/Fax: +44-(0), 1257-230218
SOURCE: Do or Die DTP/web