Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Indigenous Fishing Rights Update

*Press Release *
*For Immediate Release -- 6 January 2011*

Contact: Sylvia.spalding@noaa.gov

Or (808) 522-5341 or (808) 383-1069

*Indigenous Guam Fishermen Risk of Drowning More Than Doubled afte Enforcement of MPAs *
HONOLULU (6 January 2011) For fishermen on Guam who have traditionally fished inshore, a major concern is the loss of accessible fishing grounds caused in part by the establishment of five marine preserve areas (MPAs) in 1997. Fishermen have reported that the MPAs have displaced them from traditional fishing grounds, prevent them from teaching fishing techniques in a safe environment to the younger generation and impact the future of their local culture. Now a report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), provides concrete evidence on how dangerous fishing has become for the indigenous Chamorro fishermen since fishing restrictions in the MPAs at Tumon Bay, Piti Bomb Holes, Sasa Bay, Achang Reef Flat and Pati Point have been enforced.

"The major finding of the study was that, for Chamorro fishermen, the risk of drowning more than doubled after MPAs were enforced in 2001," note authors Devin L. Lucas, and Jennifer M. Lincoln, PhD. On the other hand, non-Chamorro fishermen experienced a sharp decrease in the risk of drowning after MPAs were established.

The NIOSH report "The Impact of Marine Preserve Areas on the Safety of Fishermen on Guam" also found that the proportion of drowning deaths to Chamorro fishermen that occurred on the East Coast (in more hazardous waters) increased from 20 percent during 1986-2000 to 63 percent during 2001-2009.
The report concludes: "Before the MPAs were established, Guam residents fished primarily in the protected areas of the Western (leeward side) and Southern Coasts. Non-Chamorro fishermen were predominately recreational users, while Chamorro fishermen were more likely to subsist on the resource. As MPAs were established and enforced, the traditional and popular fishing grounds on the West Coast and Southern tip of the island were restricted. Non-Chamorro recreational fishermen most likely scaled back their fishing activities since few accessible, safe areas remained open. At the same time, Chamorro subsistence fishermen began fishing more heavily on the East Coast (windward side of the island)....That increased exposure to more hazardous conditions resulted in higher risk of drowning."

For a copy of the report, which was prepared by the NIOSH for the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council, please go to www.wpcouncil.org/news. For more on Guam's MPAs, go to http://www.guamdawr.org/aquatics/mpa.

The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council was created by Congress in 1976 and is authorized by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act to manage fisheries in federal waters surrounding Guam, Hawaii, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and the US Pacific remote island areas.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Chamorro Language Reading Room

Ginnen Si Sinot Pedro Onedera, Profesot Fino' Chamoru giya i Unibetsedat Guahan:

Ma agågangi hao

Your presence is requested
Para un atendi i
to attend the

Siremoñan Initot Leston
para i
Kuåtton Rifirensian Fino’ CHamoru

CHamoru Language Reference Room
Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

gi Sabalu, diha 15 gi Ineru 2011
on Saturday, January 15, 2011

Gi alas 3 gi despues di talo’åni

3:00 p.m.
gi iya Unibetsedåt Guåhan
held at the University of Guam
Sentan Inilao Lugåt Maikrunisia
Micronesia Area Research Center
Prinisenta nu i:
Presented to you by:
Klas Inentalo’ 2010 CHamoru Ilimentåriu II
2010 Elementary CHamoru II Intercession Class


Students enrolled in the Fall Intercession class of CM102 Elementary Chamorro II class at the University of Guam have established a Chamorro Language Documents Reference Room at the Micronesian Area Research Center.

For decades, emphasis has been on the acquisition of Spanish language documents that have been housed at the center says assistant professor of Chamorro language, Peter R. Onedera

Little effort has been done to collect documents too that have been written in the Chamorro language and it is timely that the same consideration be given to archive many works that have gone unnoticed and uncollected through the years.

One chief aim for the project is to make available these written works to researchers who will devote time to the linguistic value of the indigenous language.

Additional areas that can benefit are orthography, semantics, word origins, antecedents, grammar, lexicons, and other language areas vital to the survival of Chamorro as a member of the Austronesian family of languages. Onedera says this has largely been lacking in the field of academia and the collection of written works in the Chamorro language will prove valuable as many researchers, particularly the Chamorro Linguistics International Network that was established with Dr. Robert A. Underwood, Rosa Salas Palomo and Onedera as original founding members.

The organization is based at the University of Bremen in Germany and includes members from many countries spanning Europe to the Caribbean, the United States and Asia.

Individuals, organizations, government agencies, private owners and collectors of Chamorro language memorabilia, as well as those now living in the mainland United States are invited and encouraged to provide copies that range from personal letters, journals, diaries, essays, compositions, books, poetry, lyrics, music, chants, proverbs, booklets, brochures, annual reports, manuscripts, political pamphlets, posters, project proposals, recipes, medicinal and herbal treatment, historical anecdotes, advertisements, legends, myths, stories, public events, organizational charts, ceremonies, religious activities, family tree information, novena books, bibles, guidebooks and other literary materials that are written in Chamorro and can be housed in the reference room at MARC.

This appeal is also extended to the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas and those living around the globe says Onedera.

Anyone wishing to contribute to the project may email Onedera at onedera@uguam.uog.edu or ponedera53@yahoo.com. His office phone number is 1-671-735-2808.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Solidarity Actions to Protest US Military Expansion in Takae, Okinawa

Thank you to Kyle Kajihiro of DMZ Hawai'i for posting in support of Norimatso Satoko's Peace Philosophy Centre blog:

January 3, 2011 by kyle

U.S. military helicopters buzzed the peace encampment near the Yambaru forest in Takae, at the northern end of Okinawa. Construction of the jungle warfare training area has begun. This is another site of community resistance to U.S. military base expansion in Okinawa, but it has gotten far less media attention than Futenma and Henoko. Groups in Japan are mobilizing to protest the U.S. expansion of training in the rainforest of Yambaru. They requested international groups to send messages of solidarity:

Email your message/request to: no.base.okinawa@gmail.com

Please include in your email the following information:

*** Name (for an individual) or name of your organization
*** Your message/request (length is up to you)

Both Japanese and English messages will be accepted.

Deadline: January 8 (Sat.), 2011
Remember that Japan is a day ahead of continental US

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Reposting from Satoko Norimatsu of Peace Philosophy Centre:

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Please Join Action for Takae at US Embassy!

See a YouTube video of the Okinawan media reports on the December 23 incident of a US helicopter hovering above the Takae protest tent, which caused damage to the tent and some items in the tent.

Please Join Us in Our Action for Preserving the Pristine Yanbaru Forest and People of Takae, Okinawa!

We invite you to join us in our protest at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo over the restart of the U.S. helipads construction in Takae, Higashi Village of Okinawa, and the destruction of the sit-in tent by a U.S. helicopter, either by sending us your message/request to the US Embassy by email by January 8, or physically joining our action on January 10 in Tokyo (see instruction at the bottom).

The Yambaru Forest is a habitat for endangered species such as Yambaru Kuina (Okinawan Rail) and Noguchi Gera (Okinawan Woodpecker). It is known internationally as a region rich in biodiversity. Takae, situated in Yambaru, is a small village of about 160 residents, including many who moved here for its pristine nature.

However, the U.S. Marine Corps has been using the Yambaru Forest for combat training. In 1957, th US military started using the area as “Northern Training Area” (Jungle Warfare Training Center), and currently there are 15 U.S. helicopter takeoff and landing zones (helipads) in Higashi Village. Residents of Takae have constantly suffered from the noise and the risk of helicopter crashes. To make matters worse, the Japanese and US governments decided to build 6 new helipads, surrounding the residential neighborhood of Takae.

Construction of new helipads will not only further endanger the livelihood and lives themselves of Takae residents, but also further destroy the precious environment with its wealth of species, forest and rivers. New military facilities also pave the way to the possibility of a new war.

Residents of Takae have protested against the helipads construction for the above reasons. In 2006, we passed a resolution against the new helipads, and demanded of the relevant authorities that they review the construction plan. Takae residents and their supporters from across Japan and from around the world have continued to sit-in, monitoring the site and trying to persuade the government against the construction.

The Japanese and US governments, however, have not listened to the voices of opposition by the residents, and have not provided sincere explanation or proper opportunities for public hearing. The Japanese government even decided, all of a sudden, to prosecute some of the local protesters for obstructing traffic.

Just before dawn on December 22, 2010, at 6:30 AM, some 100 members of the Okinawa Defense Bureau, ignoring the ongoing court proceedings, barged into the site without warning to restart the helipad construction. On the next night, December 23rd, a US helicopter hovered only 15 meters above the sit-in tent, causing the tent to blow down. Such military exercise over a public road threatens the safety of local residents. The Japanese and US governments are harming the people of Takae by forcing through the construction work without sufficient explanation or consent by local residents. Such an approach by the two governments is unacceptable.

Residents of the Henoko district in Nago City, where the Japanese and US governments plan to build a replacement base for MCAS Futenma, have also been sitting-in for over 2,400 days, in order to preserve their life and the beautiful ocean. We urge you also to say “NO” to the new base plan in Henoko.

Following our protest to the Ministry of Defense on December 22 and the December 26 demonstration in Shinjuku, “Save Takae/Okinawa – an urgent appeal and demonstration against construction of helipads,” we will go to the US Embassy in Tokyo and the Japanese Ministry of Defense on January 10 (Mon.), 2011, to protest. We would like to collect as many requests/demands as possible and deliver them to the US government. We accept both individual and organizational messages. Just one sentence message, such as “We do not need US helipads in the pristine forest” will suffice, or a longer message is welcome too. The Takae and Henoko issues are not just about war and military bases, but they are also about environmental preservation, biological diversity, and an alternative, “slow-life” lifestyle.

Please express your message in your own words.

Please follow the below instruction and send your message by January 8, 2011.

With our voices and with our actions, let us stop the helipad construction in Takae, and the base construction in Henoko. Let us bring a peaceful and fulfilling life to Takae and Henoko!

(The original document in Japanese is at: http://takae.ti-da.net/e3296164.html. Translated by Norimatsu Satoko and Gavan McCormack)

★ Email your message/request to: no.base.okinawa@gmail.com

Please include in your email the following information:

*** Name (for an individual) or name of your organization
*** Your message/request (length is up to you)

Both Japanese and English messages will be accepted.

Deadline: January 8 (Sat.), 2011

If you can physically join our action:

US Embassy -meet in front of Toranomon JT building
3:00 PM
January 10, 2011

(Take Exit 3 of Subway Ginza Line “Toranomon” station. Walk four minutes straight on Sotobori Street, towards Tameike Sanno)

We particularly appreciate participation of people from US!

Address: Toranomon JT Building, 2-1, 2 chome, Toranomon, Minato-ku, Tokyo – see MAP here. Address in Japanese: 2011年1月10日(月・休)15時 虎ノ門JTビル前集合(地下鉄銀座線「虎ノ門駅」3番出口より、外堀通りを溜池山王方面へ直進、徒歩4分)

Organizer: Okinawa o fuminijiruna (Do not trample on Okinawa!) Urgent Action Committee; Yuntaku Takae; Okinawa One-tsubo Anti-war Landowners Association Kanto Bloc (URLs below)



ゆんたく高江 http://helipad-verybad.org/

沖縄・一坪反戦地主会 関東ブロック http://www.jca.apc.org/HHK/

There will be another action on the same day:

Ministry of Defense - meet in front of the MoD
6:30 PM
January 10, 2011

The organizer of this action is “Committee for Not Allowing Base Construction in Henoko.”

See Map of MoD here: http://www.mod.go.jp/e/access/index.html
In Japaneese, 1月10日18時半 防衛省前集合

For the background information in English about the Takae issue, go to:

Voices of Takae (English version)

Postcard…from Takae, by Jon Mitchell