Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Coconut Revolution; A Must See

You may need to scroll the tracking arrow to the right to start the movie

This is the story of Bougainville, the home of a modern eco-revolution, a real life "Avatar" story.
Like most of us, I had never heard of Bougainville Island, which is (or was) part of Papua New Guinea in the Soloman Islands chain. Bougainville was variously occupied by the Germans, Japanese, Australia, and has been the front of a hard-fought guerrilla war. In the 1970's a London-based company began mining copper in huge open-pit mines which destroyed the jungle and poisoned the rivers. The mining company extracted an estimated three billion dollars in minerals while leaving the local population in poverty and ruins. In 1988 Francis Ona began the Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA), initially stealing large amounts of explosives from the mine and blowing up the power grid. Using bows, arrows and slingshots the BRA gradually began to defeat the national army, seizing weapons and eventually becoming heavily armed. The mine closed, but an embargo of supplies was forced on the island. Here's where the real story begins:
The people of the BRA became the most resourceful people on the planet. Using anything they could salvage from the old mine complex, they made their own guns and tools. They built hydroelectric plants for power, they made their own medicine and grew huge gardens. They even made fuel for their vehicles out of coconut oil.
This documentary, "The Coconut Revolution" is a testament to the ingenuity of man and the spirit of oppressed people that used natural resources to defeat a modern army.
It's fifty minutes long, but I hope everyone that reads this will sit down with their favorite beverage and watch and learn.

For more information on Bougainville Island and the Eco-Revolution, Here's the Wikipedia page.