Ramu Nickel Mine – Arguments Against Uprooting Our People

There is something very powerful about the simple yet pronounced observations of rural Papua New Guineans. These observations are often devoid of any emotive bias that they are so brutally honest in their assessments.

I find these personal viewpoints ultimately refreshing as they innocently strip away the layers of political correctness that so many times corrupt the process of good-governance. Sometimes I wonder whether we, in our struggle to become developed and up to the Western standard of what “development” entails, we lose the real essence of who we are – we lose our souls.

The following short film is titled Uprooted and is the story of four communities affected by the Chinese owned Ramu Nickel Mine in Madang. Produced in March 2010 by SoulPNG, prior to the mine’s first production, it raises questions about the issue of submarine tailings disposal in an area that is actively fished by the local people.

In what is a moving short film, old men cry for their land and future while children play happily around them not fully comprehending the meaning of being landless on their own land and in their own country.

The following landowner quote would not look out of place in a Ray Anderson speech:

“Gavman na kampani mas luk save long dispela (bel hevi bilong mipela). Dispela pait bilong mipela i no min olsem mipela no laikim dispela kain samting long kamap. Nogat, em i no as bilong belhevi. As tingting mipela sanap long en, em i environment bilong miplea. Bus, graun, na wara bilong mipela. Bikos bus, graun na wara, em i konekt wantaim laip bilong yumi.”

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~ by Tavurvur on June 11, 2010.

One Response to “Ramu Nickel Mine – Arguments Against Uprooting Our People”

  1. Bula

    The issue is really about the competing interest between development and landowner’s interest.
    Compensation is the critical go-between.
    Currently compo that are determined leave out the critical component – the intangible cultural assets of the landowners.
    The valuation must and should also put a monetary value of the cultures and indegene’s livelihood that will impaired by the minning.These cultural assets are the intangible components of the people and it must be valued and reflected and added to the current compo.Its the perspective of the people as to what they will lost in monetary terms.Only when this is done by the people for the people than they will be comfortable on their own land.
    Currently Im working on a few projects in Fiji to assess intangible valuation component for cultural and lifestyle losses to landowners due to resource development.A current eg in Fiji on Hydro development indicated that the landowners are under compensated by appx FJD5.5mil(The Developer intially agreed for 0.5Mil).After the review and assesment of intangible assets than the landowners are satisfied that the deal is fair to them.

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