Showing posts with label conservation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label conservation. Show all posts

Monday, January 15, 2018

Conservation Is A Pretext For Genocide (part 8)

Conservation and Pygmy Slavery

Read: Pygmies in the Congo treated like pets, Slaves of the Congo, The Pygmies Plight

The last article was written by a foreign correspondent for the Smithsonian about a decade ago, but the information he provides in his first hand account is still relevant today. Since the French colonial era, pygmy clans in the Congo basin have been gradually forced out of their ancestral forests, which they are adapted to living in, and into villages inhabited mostly by Bantu tribes. As a result of being dispossessed of their land and forbidden to hunt or forge in the newly designated ‘protected areas’, pygmies live in extreme poverty. Their only option to survive is to perform hard labor for Bantu landlords for next to nothing in compensation, although a few enterprising clans have made a meager living growing cannabis, which is illegal in countries like the Central African Republic, Cameroon and the Republic of Congo. Even though slavery is illegal in all African countries (on paper), the Bantu landlords treat the pygmies like property and give them only enough subsistence to keep them alive. Instead of eating bushmeat and wild herbs as they had done when they occupied the forest , the main staple of their diet now consists of a starchy plant called cassava root. This diet provides very little protein and has resulted in increased malnutrition and the outbreak of disease among pygmy clans, which has taken a toll on their numbers. European ‘human rights’ observers have acknowledged all of these problems to some extent, but they have failed to acknowledge the role their own civil societies and governments have played in creating them. Illegal logging and civil war have certainly played a role in forcing pygmies out of the forest, but so has the creation of so called ‘protected areas’ and national parks, which has been done, in no small part, with enticement and financing from USAID, the EU, the World Bank, as well as multi-billion dollar conservation groups like WWF and WCS.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Conservation Is A Prextext For Genocide (part 7)

European Union Continues To Fund Persecution of Sengwer People

Source: Forest Peoples Programme, Call to respond to the threats to the Sengwer

Location: Nairobi, Kenya

This very topic was previously covered in Conservation Is A Pretext For Genocide (part 6)

Between December 25th and 29th, the Kenya Forest Service, which is partially funded by the EU, conducted another wave of evictions of the Sengwer communities in Cherangany Hills. 100 armed KFS guards were deployed to the Sengwer communities in Cherangany Hills and Embobut forest to force them to leave, arresting community members and burning their homes down. Despite being the indigenous inhabitants of Cherangany hills and Embobut forest, the Sengwer have faced decades of persecution by the Kenyan government simply for living there, even though the 2010 national constitution recognizes their right to occupy ancestral lands (Article 63.2.d.ii) and the supreme court of Kenya granted an injunction against the evictions in 2013. Oddly enough, the same region is the site of a joint conservation effort between the EU and Kenyan government: the Water Towers Protection and Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation. The KFS and their parent agency, the Ministry of Environment, have used the presence of a water tower in the region as an excuse to terrorize the Sengwer, claiming to be protecting the water tower for Kenya. The video below is from a similar eviction conducted a few years ago.

UN Convention 1021 defines genocide as: a) Killing members of the group;(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Elderly Couple Arrested For Buying Plants Without State Permission

Sources: The Kansas City Star

New York Times: U.S. Is Pressed to Comply With Wildlife Protection Treaty

It’s not the kind of plants you would expect either. Kermit and Sandy Schofield from Theodosia, MO could receive a 5 year prison sentence for purchasing ginseng root in Arkansas and transporting it back to Missouri without obtaining the government’s permission, and for doing so outside a 6 month window in which the government allows people to purchase the herb. The couple bought ginseng root in bulk to sell through their home business, Schofield Roots and Herbs, without having a certification to do so, which is in part the result of an international treaty, called the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. What most people don’t realize is that much of our laws, like this one, are dictated by international treaties and international bodies not subject to democratic scrutiny. The aforementioned treaty shaped U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service policy for animals like lynx and snow leopard as well as herbs like ginseng. However, unlike the first two examples, American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) is not listed in the Endangered Species Act. In fact, ginseng is abundant across the midwest and east coast states; the root is sold by botanical stores everywhere. It’s hard to imagine what interest the government would have in protecting this plant other than extorting people to support their bloated bureaucracy. In reality, private landowners have more of a vested interest in the preservation of this plant than any paper pusher in Washington, especially if it’s one of the means by which they make a living.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Conservation Is A Pretext For Genocide (part 6)

Kenyan Government Continues Persecution of Sengwer tribe With EU Backing

Source: Forest Peoples Programme

More than 22 times now, our community has been forcefully evicted from our ancestral land in Embobut forest, Cherangany Hills, by the Kenya Forest Service (KFS), a government agency that is supposed to be responsible for the protection of forests in the country.

The Sengwer have been forced from their homeland since the time of British colonialism. Now they are persecuted under a different kind of colonialism: one that uses corrupt African governments, who receive financial and PR support from European NGOs, to steal land and other resources from indigenous populations under the pretext of conservation and 'sustainable development'. In this case, the Kenyan government, through the Kenyan Forest Service, has continued the genocidal campaign against the Sengwer: burning their houses, killing their livestock, and destroying their culture. The Sengwer that have been forced from Embobut forest live in squalor, often on the side of roads with no means to provide for themselves, leading to a rise in diseases and higher mortality rates. The World Bank partly supported the government land grab of Embobut forest by funding the Natural Resource and Management Project from 2007 until 2013. Now the EU is spearheading a water tower project on the same land that the Sengwer community was forced out of in 2013.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Conservation Is A Pretext For Genocide (part 5)

Batwa Pygmy Man Murdered By U.S. Funded Ecoguards

Source: Survival-international

On August 26th, Mobutu Nakulire Munganga (however you pronounce that) and his son were gathering medicinal plants in Kahuzi-Biega National Park, when a so called 'anti-poaching' squad shot at them injuring the man and killing his son. Mobutu Nakulire Munganga is a member of the Batwa tribe, one of the various indigenous forest peoples spread throughout West Africa. They follow a traditional hunter-gatherer lifestyle, and like so many people of their type, face persecution from the governments within that region. The Batwa lived in what is now Kahuzi-Biega National Park for thousands of years, maintaining the wildlife and 'biodiversity' through subsistence hunting, before they were removed from the area at gunpoint. The murder of this man's son and the continued persecution of his people in general, has been carried out, in no small part, with the support of U.S. Conservation NGOs like Wildlife Conservation Society and the U.S. Government itself through USAID's CARPE program. While WCS and USAID aren't shooting and violently removing the Batwa from their ancestral lands themselves, they have made themselves accomplices to genocide through financial and logistical support for these eco-gaurds. USAID provides training, gives them monitoring software called SMART, and funds the construction of guard posts throughout the park. WCS and WWF also provide logistical support, funding for arms, and training to the 'eco-guards.' USAID and WCS are partners in their 'conservation' efforts through a little known program called the Central Africa Regional Program for the Environment, which was created during the Clinton admin. You can read more about it here

Forced removal dramatically decreases their quality of life. Without the forests, the Batwa and similar groups are forced to live on the margins of society as paupers. They face discrimination in both the public and private sectors of the dominant society making their chances of finding a new livelihood dismal. Malnourishment and disease have become more prevalent among the Botwa since they were prohibited from entering the forests, which has resulted in a spike in their mortality rate. Respecting their land rights would be an easy step towards remedying the problem.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Baka Woman's Testimony of Being Tortured By Eco Death Squad

Source: Forest Peoples Programme

Once, me, my husband Andre Bako, and my step brother Leon Béké left and went into the forest, just behind the village. There is a forest path from here. We arrived to where Leon has a hut, where he had a small field. A Bantu called Koba went into the forest and found us. He came out and told the ecoguards that we were there – that he didn’t know if we were hunting, but that we were there. The ecoguards came and found us and hit us. They made us sit on the floor, with our legs out and our feet flexed. They hit our bare feet with the flat edge of a machete. Then they hit us on our bottoms. They made us lie on our stomachs and stamped on our back. They hit us. My husband nearly lost his eye. It still hurts him today.They didn’t even ask if we were hunting or just walking. They just wanted us gone.

The forest they are forbiden to enter under pain of death, but which they depended on for their livelihood has been designated as Ngoyla-Mintom Reserve. This 'protect area' is a joint project between the World Bank and WWF. The WWF funds the eco death squads, mostly with USAID money, and the World Bank has invested $3.5M in the project. WWF is notorious for supporting human rights abuses against indigenous peoples around Africa while simultaneously allowing logging concessions on lands they claim to be preserving. And of course the World Bank is notorious for providing international corporate welfare regardless of the cost to human life.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Conservation Is A Pretext For Genocide (part 4)

The U.S Government Supports Genocide Against Indigenous Peoples Through Conservation

The Worldwide Fund for Nature refuses to bring a halt to the genocidal campaign their goons are carrying out against the Baka Pygmies in the Congo Basin. The so called eco guards that WWF funds have beaten, rapped, tortured, and sometimes murdered Baka Pygmies for subsistence hunting and forging in their own homeland, the same homeland that WWF, in collusion with the Cameroon government, appropriated and designated as a protected area. Survival International, Cultural Survival, Conservation Watch, Rain Forest Foundation UK and other indigenous rights organizations have gathered ample witness testimony to the atrocities committed by the conservation death squads that WWF funds. USAID supports WWF's activities in the Congo Basin through an initative called Central Africa Regional Program for the Environment or CARPE for short. USAID does not do any of the ground work themselves ,but rather provides grants to WWF and similar conservation NGOs to implement their policies. The program has been implemented in 8 West African countries on the specious pretext of developing 'low carbon economies' and preserving forest biodiversity.

UN Convention 1021 defines genocide as: a) Killing members of the group;(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group. By prohibiting the Baka from hunting and forging for food, through the threat and initiation of violence, the WWF and their eco guards have not only starved the Baka, but have also prevented them from passing down their culture to their children which altogether constitutes (a)killing members of the group (b) causing serious bodily harm and (c) deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction.

Even the WWF has acknowledged the atrocities committed by their eco guards. In fact, the WWF commissioned a report on human rights abuses committed during night raids in April of 2015, but since then they have done nothing to address it. Their own guidelines state that they don't support the establishment of protected areas without consulting the indigenous people and that the indigenous people must be included in the forest management process, but this is clearly just lip service.

Within the same protected areas where the Baka are prohibited from hunting, forging, building shelter and carrying out their traditional rituals, WWF allows its corporate partners, like French logging company Rougier Group, to carry out logging operations, which undoubtedly places a much greater strain on the forest than the daily activities of a traditional society. For instance, the logging roads that Rougier group has to build to move trucks in and out not only destroys the habitats of several species, it also provides poachers with easier access to the forests. The further one digs into WWF's partners and donors, the more apparent it becomes that their conservation efforts are a ruse; they are nothing more than a green front for extractive industries, and the logging industry in particular. Prominent corporations that partner with WWF through their Global Forest & Trade Network include Domtar, the largest paper manufacturer in Canada, Coca Cola, which obviously uses a lot of coca leaves and water in its production, Ta Ann Holdings Berhad, a logging company that clear cuts rainforests in Boreno, as well as Bollore Group, Pasquet Group, and Rougier Groups, three French logging companies that operate on Baka and Bayaka land in the Congo Basin. All three companies have been fined for illegal logging practices by Cameroon's Independent Forest Monitor multiple times, and these three were not the only offenders in Cameroon. Other partners like German logging company Danzer Group (IFO) and Belgium company Decolvenaere have also been caught violating logging regulations in the Congo Basin. Aside from the extractive industry, WWF also partners with major corporations like WalMart, Johnson & Johnson, and Royal Caribbean Cruises, but their penchant is for logging companies; 75 out of the 157 companies that participate in their Global Forest & Trade Network are logging companies or manufacturers of paper and wood products sourced from the Congo Basin. It is clear as day that the indigenous forest people like the Baka and Bayaka Pygmies are forcibly removed not to maintain the biodiversity of the forests, they have been doing that for millennia, but to make way for the European loggers.

If the WWF were truly interested in conservation, they would work with the indigenous pygmy tribes to demarcate the national parks as their territory. The Baka were in the forest management business long before Europeans arrived with their good intentions. Furthermore, the Baka have a vested interest in preserving the Congo Basin, unlike the European and American Conservationists, since they actually live there and depend on the forests to survive. Deforestation would be their undoing, the European and American conservationists would not have that same problem. At most they would have to find some other industry to lobby for.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Bushmen Genocide in Botswana: U.S. Involvement Uncovered

See Previous post for context

USAID supports 'conservation' efforts in Botswana through a little known program called the Tropical Forest Conservation Fund. The TFCF was established through the Tropical Forest Conservation Act, which Bill Clinton signed into law in 1998. The Bush Admin established the TFCF in Botswana in 2006, a year after a third wave of Bushmen were forcibly removed from Kalahari Park. The TFCA creates a debt-for-nature agreement with participating countries whereby, for instance, Botswana can have their debt to the United States reduced while USAID simultaneously provides funds for the main conservation organization in Botswana: FCB. The federal government initially contributed $7 million to the TFCF in Botswana, and its board includes U.S. representatives that oversee 'conservation' activity.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Conservation is a Pretext For Genocide (part 3): Bushmen Genocide in Botswana

The Bushmen are a group of traditional societies that have inhabited Southern Africa for millennia on end. In Botswana, Central Kalahari Park was established to protect what was left of their homeland after the country gained independence from the UK. However, re-colonization efforts on the part of the Botswana government, diamond mining companies, Conservation NGOs and the World Bank have jeopardized their homeland, culture, and their very existence. The government began forcing the Bushmen out of Kalahari Park and stationed armed guards around it in 1997, under the pretense of conservation. The government destroyed their property and personal belongings, dismantled their schools and trading posts and sealed their boreholes, which they used to obtain water. They were prohibited from hunting and obtaining water causing many of them to die from dehydration and starvation. Those who hunted or gathered food were tortured, beaten, arrested and sometimes killed by the guards. The remainder were put into resettlement camps where they live out a dismal existence plagued by poverty, alcohol addiction, and mental illness.

The government of Botswana is not the sole culprit. Incidentally, diamond deposits were discovered in Kalahari Park prior to the eviction of the Bushmen. The government leased the land to 'eco-tourist' and conservation company Wilderness Safaris, which built a luxury tourist lodge on the land, as well as a handful of diamond mining companies. The mining companies operating in the Bushmen's ancestral land are mostly based out of the UK with one Canadian and one Australian company. Gem Diamonds, based out of London, is perhaps the largest stakeholder in Kalahari Park diamonds. They own the Ghaghoo mine, which has an estimated worth of $5B and diamond deposits valued in excess of $3B. Other mining and exploration companies include Kalahari Diamonds Limited, also based out of London, BHP Billiton, from Australia, and Motapa Diamonds, from Canada. The World Bank, for their own part, provided Kalahari Diamonds Ltd with a $2 million loan to conduct exploration in the area. The World Bank subsidizes other Diamond mining companies like Tosdilo Resources Ltd and in general finances diamond mining as well as other extractive industries throughout Africa, regardless of the cost to human life.

With the insistence of Conservation International, an NGO based out of the US, the president of Botswana, Ian Khama, enacted a nationwide hunting ban in 2014. The hunting ban prohibits the Bushmen from hunting on their own homeland, but allows an exception for trophy hunters that run game ranches, so long as they pay the proper fees. Oddly enough, Ian Khama is a member of the board of directors for Conservation International. Conservation International has partnerships with USAID, the State Department, the Department of Energy, NASA, and NOAA. They receive federal funding through the Development Assistance and Global Environment Facility. The government of Botswana recieves foreign aid from USAID, so in a certain sense the US federal government is complicit in the genocide of the Bushmen.

The resettlement camps have made the Bushmen into a welfare dependent underclass. There is no doubt that the Bushmen are better off as subsistence hunters and gatherers than they are subsisting off of government handouts. Although the hunter gatherer lifestyle is brutal and taxing, it is more dignified than the life of a welfare recipient. The former keeps the senses sharp and the mind attentive while the latter leads to drug and alcohol abuse that dulls the senses and deteriorates the mind. In the former, they have the liberty and self-determination to practice their customs and traditions, while they are always under the heel of the government in the latter. Sure their ways are primitive, but they are still much better than what the government has to offer.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Conservation Is a Pretext For Genocide (part 2)

Source: Survival International

The Wildlife Conservation Society is forcing Bayak Pygmies out of their historical hunting grounds to establish a national park. WCS is using the cover of anti-poaching laws and environmental awareness to force a traditional society out of their homeland at gun point. In the Congo Republic,they are using the same tactics WWF used in Cameroon and other West African countries. WCS is paying armed guards to terrorize and torture the Bayak for subsistence hunting under the false pretense of preventing poaching. At the same time, they have partnered with and allowed logging companies to cut down the forests killing far greater numbers of animals than what Bayak do to simply feed themselves.

UN Convention 1021 defines genocide as (a) Killing members of the group;
 (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
 (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
 (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
 and (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group. Wildlife Conservation Society is complicit in (b) funding guards to maim and shoot the Bayak and (c) have made it more difficult for them to find food. The tribal peoples are not ivory hunters looking to make massive profits from tusks; they are simply exercising their natural right to preserve their own lives in accordance with the law of equal liberty. We in the civilized world put much greater constraints on the environment and kill far greater numbers of animals than any traditional society; we simply have the convience of remaining ignorant of our impact. For instance, If you use any products that contain palm oil, and the vast majority of people do, you are complicit in the destruction of rain forest habitats from South America to southeast Asia.

Monday, July 10, 2017

What No One Brings Up In The Pipeline Debates

Or at least no one in the mainstream. There the contention seems to be between the environment and jobs. What most people pass over is property rights, which are gradually being suppressed by multi-national corporations and governments at every level. In Pennsylvania, a new pipeline battle between landowners and SUNOCO, a subsidiary of Energy Transfer Partners, has arisen. The contention is over the Mariner East II Pipeline: a 350 mile natural gas pipeline running west to east from the Marcellus shale formation in West Virginia and Pennsylvania to the Marcus Hook refinery near the Delaware border. Landowners victimized by the company have voiced their grievances before the commonwealth court to no avail. The company's 'right' to rob private citizen's of their property in furtherance of their own profit, for a use that the landowners themselves will have no chance to benefit from, has been upheld as a legitimate use of eminent domain.

Ralph and Doris Blume are farmers in Newville, Pennsylvania who will lose some of their land to SUNOCO for the pipeline easement. Aside from removing trees, the company also plans to destroy their hay shed, which sits on the pipeline's projected path. The fact that one business may be allowed to rob another business of part of its capital by court order just shows how much our republic has been perverted by lobbyists and their lackeys in office. The Gerharts' land in Union Township is under a similar threat from SUNOCO although they have resisted the court ordered robbery by setting up camp and inviting protestors to occupy the projected pipeline route, which is about 200 feet from their house. They have even been arrested for trespassing on their own property.

The company claims that most landowners sold their land 'voluntarily', which is clearly a lie. If it was voluntary, landowners would have the choice not to give up their land for the pipeline easement; either way they have to sell and they don't get to negotiate compensation. The most likely explanation is that these landowners knew they couldn't win in court. The company was given the power eminent domain under the specious pretext that they would provide a public utility; of course, this like their earlier claim is also false. At least some of the natural gas liquids transported through the pipeline will be shipped to Europe through the Marcus Hook refinery, which is in fact a port on the Delaware river that eventually flows into the Atlantic ocean. A company spokesman claimed the pipeline would transport ethane to the power generation facility in Cambria County that is slated to be operational by 2019. However, that facility is the CPV Fairview Energy Center, which is a primarily methane facility that will receive gas from the Spectra/TETCO pipeline owned by a completely different company. Even if their claim to provide a 'public utility' wasn't a lie, it still wouldn't stand to reason that they should be allowed to use eminent domain in counties that won't even receive the service they are providing. The Gerharts live in Huntingdon county, Ralph and Doris Blume live in Cumberland county, and most landowners along the route also don't live in Cambria county and neither do their neighbors. At least when the state uses eminent domain to build a road or an actual utility company uses it to put in power lines the people within that county, including the landowners, receive the benefit of that service.

Providing a public utility isn't even requisite to use eminent domain anyway. Ever since the Kelo decision, the vague appeal to 'economic development' is all a corporation needs to take property from private citizens, even if they don't actually produce anything afterwards. The weakening of property rights is a dangerous habit that if carried to its fullest extent will lead to the decline of civilization itself, which it is fundamental too on par with language and culture. The founding fathers recognized this fact and so enshrined property right protections into the Constitution. As a matter of fact, four out of the ten amendments that make up the bill of rights deal with property rights (I,III,IV, and V amendments).

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Conservation Is A Pretext For Genocide

Source: Survival International

The World Wildlife Fund is a Conservation NGO based in Switzerland that has established protected areas and pushed forward anti-poaching laws in several African countries such as Cameroon, Uganda, and the Republic of Congo. This seems admirable from a cursory glance, but it comes at a steep cost to human life. Hunter-gather tribes that depend on the 'protected areas', mostly forests, for food and shelter are assaulted, tortured, kidnapped and sometimes killed by jackboot thugs partially funded by the WWF. The Pygmy tribes that hunt in these 'protected areas' are not hunting for sport; they are simply trying to preserve their own lives in a manner they are adapted to do so. Given the fact that they have sustained these 'protected areas' for thousands of years, it would seem more reasonable to put them in charge of the conservation movement instead of a European organization that has no connection to their habitat. In all likelihood WWF has an ulterior motive aside from saving the earth.

UN Convention 1021 defines genocide as (a) Killing members of the group;
 (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
 (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
 (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
 and (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group. The WWF has been complicit in (a), (b), and particularly (c) by denying Pygmy tribes the freedom to hunt on their ancestral hunting grounds and thereby diminishing their capacity to preserve their own lives. When a people are forced into living conditions they are not adapted to, the result is poverty, disease, and high mortality rates, all of which constitutes inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction. The only reconciliation for these atrocities is a full restoration of the Pygmy tribes' right to live off the land.