[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index ][Thread Index ]

(RAN) Oilcos target Burmese rainfor

Subject: (RAN) Oilcos target Burmese rainfor

/* Written  6:50 pm  Nov  3, 1993 by tun@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx in igc:bitl.seanet */
/* ---------- "(RAN) Oilcos target Burmese rainfor" ---------- */
Subject:      (RAN) Oilcos target Burmese rainforest (pls write)

Every month RAN sorts their list of threats to rainforest,
and devises a letter-writing action where RAN's researchers
and strategists think it will do the most good.

The monthly "action alert" is for those of us who've decided
to spend a few minutes a month saving the rainforests and the
indigenous peoples they support and want to make the most
effective possible use of our time.

Action                         Rainforest                        October
Alert #89                    Action Network                         1993

        UNOCAL Joins Texaco in Destructive Burma Pipeline Project

[photo:  RAN activists protest UNOCAL's involvement in destroying
Burmese rainforest]

    In the midst of an atmosphere of corporate withdrawal from
politically repressive Burma, two US oil companies have stepped up their
Burmese operations: Texaco and UNOCAL.  Both companies have shifted their
focus from onshore oil sites to offshore natural gas sites in the
Martaban Gulf in the Adaman Sea.  In order to move the gas, they plan to
build a natural gas pipeline through some of Burma's most pristine
tropical forests to Thailand.  The proposed pipeline would have profound
effects on one of the last remaining forest wilderness areas in Burma.
It would also have serious implications for the Karen and other ethnic
communities who have suffered gross human rights violations at the hands
of Burma's military regime, the "State Law and Order Restoration Council"

    The proposed pipeline is to be built across a narrow part of southern
Burma in the Tenesserim Valley, slicing through a reserve established by
the Karen people, called Kaser Doo Wildlife Sanctuary.  This area,
dominated by Kaser Doo Mountain, is a unique combination or riparian
forest, extensive mineral springs, and high altitude montane forest.
According to a report on the area by scientists of many different
disciplines (forestry, agriculture, community conservation, ecology,
flora, and fauna), "Kaser Doo Wildlife Sanctuary presents a unique
opportunity to work in a virgin ecosystem with local Karen people who
have developed a traditional harmonious relationship with the forest and
the resources and with a local administration that is eager to establish
a condition where community development is enhanced and conservation
preserves vital natural and cultural values."

    This reserve habitat supports several endangered and vulnerable
mammal species such as tiger, barking deer, rhinoceros, leopard, and
elephant, along with a myriad of bird, reptile, fish, and flora species.

    Outside of the reserve area is a war zone where ethnic nationalities
including the Karen, Mons, and Tavoyans indigenous people have been
fighting against the SLORC [and its predecessors -cls] for decades.  In
order for construction to begin, the pipeline range must first be secured
by SLORC.  This is an area which neither the Thai nor Burmese army has
been able to control for more than forty years.  It is likely that
securing, building, and defending the pipeline will involve violent
military action and human rights abuses at the hands of the SLORC.  It is
common in such relocations that thousands of people are forced from their
homes, enslaved, used as porters for the military, or exterminated in
order to prepare the way for development.  Once the area is secured, it
will most likely be deforested in order to prevent rebel sabotage and to
sell the valuable hardwood trees.

    This type of rapacious clearing of forest, violent invasion of
indigenous areas, and gross human rights abuses will be made possible
through the investments of oil companies such as UNOCAL and Texaco in the
US, Total from France, Nippon Gas from Japan, and Premier Oil from the
UK.  By investing millions of dollars in the pipeline, oil companies are
legitimizing SLORC's brutal authority over Burma.  This investment will
also give SLORC hard currency to continue their military buildup that is
used to suppress those fighting for democratic reform and protection of
the environment.

                            What You Can Do

    Please write to UNOCAL and Texaco, asking them to not invest in the
natural gas pipeline, to withdraw from their SLORC joint ventures.  If
you have a Union 76 or UNOCAL credit card, cut it up and send it with
your letter.

Richard Stegemeir
Chairman and CEO
UNOCAL Corporation
PO Box 7600
Los Angeles CA 90051 USA

Alfred C. DeCrane, Jr.
Chairman and CEO
Texaco Inc.
2000 Westchester AVE
White Plains NY 10650 USA

Posted to Usenet etc. by Cameron Spitzer (cls@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx) on
behalf of Rainforest Action Network, 450 Sansome STE 700,
San Francisco CA 94111 USA (415)398-4404