An article from Do
or Die Issue
. In the paper edition, this article appears on page(s)
World Wide Fraud
Pandering to the
Demands of Industry
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
|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
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
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
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 activities.
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
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 last refuge.
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
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 swap"
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
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