Posted by: maximos62 | June 29, 2009

Mentawai Island Logging

This morning’s news that Tasmanian timber company Gunns has found a preferred joint venture partner to fund its controversial $2 billion pulp mill in northern Tasmania caused me to reflect on another time and another place. Not far from Australia, just off the coast of West Sumatra lie the Mentawai Islands.  In the minds of surfers the Mentawais have arguably, some of the best surf breaks in the world.  Of course the Mentawai story doesn’t end here.  SurfAid International, maintains as essential poverty focused program in the Mentawai islands. I’ve removed my article Siberut and the Simple LIfe. It will be published as part of my Book. The story provides a fictionalised account of a visit to Siberut with much on the background on the Mentawai Islands, the culture, the logging and people like this young mother from Ugai, on Siberut Island, as well as the people of nearby Matatonan. mentawai_01 Many years ago I was surprised at how effective logging companies had been in extracting logging concessions from people who’d not yet entered the monetary system.  Tobacco played a critical role in encouraging people to trade.  It was just a matter of finding a lever with sufficient demand inelasticity.

I’ve written more about logging in the Mentawai Islands.


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