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 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.
Armed Indians 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
5. WWF promotes a very profitable
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
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 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
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
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
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),
SOURCE: Do or Die DTP/web team: firstname.lastname@example.org