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September 14, 2015

My Valley is Changing

 

The building of the giant open-cut copper mine on the island of Bougainville brought profound change to local landowners. Despite royalties, training programs and extensive development, landowner concerns eventually escalated into conflict, which resulted in the closure of the mine in 1989. These issues are already clearly evident in the film My Valley is Changing, made shortly after the mine opened in 1970.

A visitor to this blog mailed me an old taped copy of "My Valley is Changing" which I tried to copy and upload to YouTube, however, the quality was so poor that I gave up.

If anyone is interested in this 26-minute film, they can purchase it for their home use for $19.95 (plus postage) from the National Film & Sound Archive of Australia - watch this short excerpt:


In this clip, Gregory Kopa, a resident of Moroni village, explains that the local people were fearful of the consequences of a mine and how he told the CRA mining company and the government (Papua New Guinea was then under Australian Administration) about their opposition to the mine, which was to be located on land traditionally owned by his people. In response, Gregory was told that the resources found on his land belonged not just to his people, but to everyone in Papua New Guinea.

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