Dangerous footage shows uncontacted tribe near nickel mine
A dramatic new video has emerged showing people from an uncontacted tribe trying to scare off a bulldozer obliterating their forest home to make way for mines for electric car batteries.
Carrying bows and spears, the two tribespeople from the Hongana Manyawa tribe confront a giant piece of machinery across a rainforest river.
The Hongana Manyawa are one of the few uncontacted tribes left on the planet whose people have no connection with the modern world.
They are highly vulnerable to climate change and can potentially be almost wiped-out by diseases brought in from the outside world they have no immunity to.
Charity Survival International said the deforestation of their land was to make way to mine nickel to make batteries for the so-called green technology of electric cars.
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The video was filmed on the remote Indonesian island of Halmahera where campaigners have warned a human rights catastrophe is unfolding.
Callum Russell, Asia Research and Advocacy Officer for Survival International, said the video had been circulating on social media in Indonesia.
He said: “We know it to directly show two uncontacted members of the uncontacted Hongana Manyawa tribe, directly facing bulldozers in their indigenous territory.
“We didn’t realise this particular part of the forest had been penetrated so much by the logging and the mining companies and we’re extremely worried now that it has.”
He added: “It’s a really deep irony that most of the mining, that will come after the logging, is happening here because of electric car batteries.
“Halmahera island has the world’s largest nickel mine, which is used overwhelmingly for electric car batteries.
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“So these people who have contributed nothing to climate change, they are the lungs of the world really, they are the ones suffering from the green technology transition happening elsewhere in the world.”
Survival International said an estimated 300 to 500 uncontacted Hongana Manyawa people live in the forested interior of Halmahera.
It added that huge areas of their territory have been allocated to mining companies, and in many areas the excavators are already at work.
Survival International’s Director Caroline Pearce said: “Survival has been campaigning against this potential genocide since last year, and this video is unequivocal proof of what we’ve been saying, that the mining operations on Halmahera are now penetrating deep into the rainforest of the Hongana Manyawa.”
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