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Friday, 15 December

02:04

For Papuan villagers practicing conservation, a bid to formalize the familiar "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

TAMBRAUW, Indonesia It took more than two hours by boat, through a driving rain, to reach the village of Saubeba from the nearest large town of Sausapor in Indonesias West Papua province. There, locals had gathered to discuss a government-backed plan to designate Tambrauw district, of which Saubeba is a part, a conservation zone. On paper, at least, this would seem a no-brainer: 80 percent of the districts nearly 11,400 square kilometers (4,400 square miles) is lush forest that falls within existing conservation or protected areas; its coast is a hatching ground for the rare leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), and its rainforests home to exotic birds-of-paradise (family: Paradisaeidae). The idea to officially designate the entire district a conservation zone came in 2011, following the election of Gabriel Asem as district chief. Tambrauw itself was only established in 2008, as part of the newly formed administrative province of West Papua. Map of West Papua province (green). Photo courtesy of Bwmodular/Wikimedia Commons. Gathered in the downpour that November day in Saubeba, representatives of the various indigenous communities living in the area discussed with local authorities what the conservation designation would mean, not just for the district but also their way of life. Many of us here still dont understand what conservation means, its still unfamiliar [to us], said Bernadus Yewen, a community leader. If it means protecting the forest, then weve been doing it since the time of our ancestors. It was a sentiment widely shared by the others in

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Thursday, 14 December

10:25

Guatemalan women take on Canadas mining giants over horrific human rights abuses Papua New Guinea Mine Watch

Irma Yolanda Choc Cac in her community of Lote Ocho. The women link the violence to the nearby Fenix mine, and the Guatemalan subsidiary controlled by Candas Skye Resources. Photograph: Alexandra Pedersen

A group of indigenous Maya Qeqchi women has launched a precedent-setting legal challenge that could cast a chill over Canadas vast mining interests

Ashifa Kassam | The Guardian | 13 December 2017 

On the 20th floor of an office tower in the heart of Torontos financial district, Irma Yolanda Choc Cacs bright pink embroidered blouse and handwoven skirt contrasted with the suits of the lawyers around her as she detailed the hardest day of her life.

It was the first time Choc Cac had ever left Guatemala. But the story that she and 10 other Maya Qeqchi women had come to tell is at...

09:38

Contractor on seabed mining ship defaults on payment Papua New Guinea Mine Watch

Nautilus said it has a number of options available to it to remedy the default and/or replace MAC as a party to the contract for the seabed mining vessel

More problems for Nautilus as ship owner defaults on payment

David Foxwell | OSJ | 13 December 2017

MAC Goliath Pte Ltd, owner of the production support vessel that is being built for seabed mining outfit Nautilus Minerals, said MAC has failed to pay the third instalment due on the contract for the vessel.

In a statement, Nautilus Minerals said it had been told by Fujian Mawei Shipbuilding Ltd, owner of the shipyard where the production support vessel is being built, that MAC had failed to make a payment of US$18M plus interest. The vessel is to be used by Nautilus and its partner in Papua New Guinea, Eda Kopa (Solwara) Limited, as the base for its seabed mining operations at the Solwara 1 Project site in the Bismarck Sea.

Under the contract between the shipyard and MAC, MAC is required to rectify the default immediately, and perform corresponding obligations under the contract. If MAC fails to remedy the default within 21 days...

08:24

Bougainville ban on businessman called heavy handed Papua New Guinea Mine Watch

The Panguna mine Photo: supplied

Radio New Zealand | 13 December 2017

An Australian mining company says a ban on businessman Renzie Duncan entering Bougainville imposed by Papua New Guineas acting chief migration officer is unfair.

Mr Duncan has worked with the Special Mining Lease Osikiang Landowners Association which opposes the autonomous governments plans for the development of the Panguna mine.

Mr Duncan was banned back in May with the Immigration Authority saying his presence on Bougainville may be detrimental to the governments efforts relating to mining.

The mining company, RTG, which also works with Osikiang and Renzie Duncan, calls the action overly heavy handed.

RTG chairman Michael Carrick said Mr Duncan had worked with the community around Panguna for about five years and won their support.

Not because of money provided to them but because he has lived and worked with them for many many years. Renzie and the landowners [SMLOLA] could not have worked more closely with the previ...

02:07

Monkey business: Building a global database of primate conservation studies (commentary) "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Primates are our family. From tiny, delicate golden lion tamarins to impressively muscular gorillas, we are part of the same evolutionary lineage; a tree of life stretching back about 65 million years. But while one primate Homo sapiens has flourished and spread across the planet, about 60 percent of non-human primate species are threatened with extinction. Conservation of these intelligent, complex creatures can be challenging on many levels. We must work wisely towards finding the best solutions to the multi-faceted problems threatening their survival. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, together with researchers at the University of Cambridge (where I work), have just published the results of a three-year project gathering the data on how well primate conservation initiatives have worked to conserve species from lemurs to chimpanzees. The Primate Synopsis collects scientific papers and, where possible, NGO reports, testing conservation interventions actions that conservationists might undertake in order to have a favorable impact on these species. A bonnet macaque chews electrical wires in Valparai, India. Photo by Claire Wordley. A panel of 23 primate experts from around the world identified 162 interventions that could be implemented for primates, and the research team at Max Planck searched nearly 170 conservation journals and newsletters for studies testing them. They summarized all the papers in plain English, so that even conservationists without access to scientific journals can read the findings. The idea is simple: to present the current evidence for every intervention people might do to

Major flooding after rivers overflow in Emilia-Romagna, Italy "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Several days of heavy rain caused several major rivers, including Enza and Parma, to burst its banks on December 12, 2017, producing widespread flooding in Emilia-Romagna region of northeastern Italy. A critical situation is underway in Emilia-Romagna today, after...... Read more

Wednesday, 13 December

10:25

Australian miner expecting ABG support after Panguna mediation win Papua New Guinea Mine Watch

Local residents hold banners and placards during a protest at the former Bougainville Copper Limiteds Panguna mine. | Photo: Reuters

Radio New Zealand | 13 December 2017

Australian mining company RTG says Philip Miriori has been confirmed as the chairman of the Special Mining Lease Osikiang Landowners Association.

The association owns the land around the Panguna mine in Papua New Guineas Bougainville.

Bougainvilles Panguna Copper mine Photo: Supplied

RTG is one of two companies looking to re-open the copper mine and it has close links with Mr Miriori.

Theres been a dispute over who should lead the Osikiang group, with Mr Mirori facing a challenge from former chair, Lawrence Daveona.

RTG chairman Michael Carrick said mediation has resolved the dispute in Mr Mirioris favour.

Mr Carrick said this should lead to the Autonomous Bougainville Government, or ABG, backing RTGs Panguna development plan.

...

09:22

Independence challenges could derail any return to mining on Bougainville Papua New Guinea Mine Watch

Image: Department of Defence.

While RTG Mining and BCL squabble over exploration rights, far more serious problems are brewing on Bougainville

Back to Bougainville

Declan Sullivan* | ASPI | 11 Dec 2017

Trouble is returning to the island of Bougainville and Australia must be prepared. With the 2019 independence referendum looming, Australia will be called on to help support the peace process, whatever the referendums outcome. Australia was a major participant in two past interventions on the island, and its strategic connections run deep. Australia must ensure that it is adequately prepared for the coming challenges in Bougainville.

The 2001 Bougainville Peace Agreement stipulated that a referendum on independe...

08:42

Bougainville Copper Limited Opposed Strongly by Landowners at Wardens Hearing Papua New Guinea Mine Watch

Bougainville Revolutionary Army fighters look down on the Panguna mine in 1996

RTG Mining | Stockhouse | 12 December 2017

The Board of RTG Mining Inc. is pleased to provide an update on the Wardens Hearing for Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL) held in Panguna yesterday.  Despite BCL not having been to Panguna in over 28 years (given landowners had refused to even allow them access), to ensure a full and fair hearing amongst the Special Mining Lease Osikaiyang Landowners Association members, Autonomous Bougainville Government representatives, including the Warden and BCL, the landowners in a show of good faith allowed BCL access on this special occasion (despite BCL not having followed custom).

At the outset, it is important to acknowledge the Autonomous Bougainville Government representatives on the day being the Warden and Mining Registrar conducted an orderly forum, ensuring both the opposition to BCL and its supporters were given an opportunity to express their views.

BCL has stated it lodged a compliant extension application for Exploration Licence (EL) 1 in July 2016, which legal advice to the...

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