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Pacific Resource Wars


Pacific Resource Wars


Rosa Koian: Papua New Guinea

Walter Ritte: Native Hawaiian

Galina Angarova: Buryat, Pacific Environment: Siberia/Mongolia

Brihannala Morgan, The Borneo Project

Anuradha Mittal: Asia-Pacific Land Grabbing, India




A major part of the U.S. “Pacific Pivot”, as announced by President Obama, is the attempt to control more and more of the vast Pacific and Pacific Rim resources, in the oceans and on the land—scarce minerals, agriculture, fossil fuels, forests, sea-life—for the purpose of economic advantage. This panel presents an overview and a detailed run-down of a few of the areas where the battles are advancing. In West Papua, for example, the brutal struggles for control of indigenous lands are largely about forests, and rare resources like nickel, and coral.  In Borneo, forests and rivers are the focus. In Siberia/Mongolia battles are raging over rare minerals and fossil fuels. In Hawaii, it’s all about ocean resources and traditional agriculture lands where Native practitioners are being pushed aside. And, throughout the Pacific, corporations are engaged in land-grabbing—buying-up agricultural lands for monoculture, or letting them lie fallow, for profitable re-sale.  Etc. Throughout the Pacific there is fierce competition between great powers—notably the U.S., China and Russia— to control scarce resources, including control of sea lanes, and small isolated islands, at a time of growing global resource shortages. All of this accelerates military brinksmanship.  And, if the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement goes through, it will accelerate the handing of further rights over Pacific resources to distant powers, while diminishing local economic and political sovereignty.