Papuan chef Mundiya Kepanga visiting Évreux urges everyone to take action for the environment


Garden and Papua
Mundiya Kepanga symbolically planted a tree in the Évreux botanical garden. ©Cyrill Roy

Don’t look for its banner: Mundiya Kepanga replaced it with a smaller, more sober one. The Papuan chief donated his original crown to the Musée de l’Homme in Paris in 2016. Papua New GuineaLocated just north of Australia, it has been traveling the world for years.

But he seems to have a very special relationship with France. He especially has a strong bond with photographer Marc Dozier, who accompanies and translates him on all his travels. He also directed the movie. Tree Brothers: A Papuan Chief’s Callwhich Mundiya Kepanga has come to offer Evreux in the framework of AnthropoScenes.

guests all over the world

Because if he seems very sociable and inquisitive, the leader of the Huli would not cross the world for his simple pleasure. On a mission for the environment. “We must protect nature. No one can command it, obey its wishes, not even a minister. You just have to respect that,” Mundiya Kepanga told the Minister of Overseas Territories and the head of the department, sebastien lecornuOn the occasion of the screening of the film Ebroïc for university students on Friday, 29 April 2022.

In 2015 in Paris, actor Robert Redford etc. The Papuan chief has a message to convey at COP 21 in the United States, where he was invited by The first is about deforestation in his country. “The prophecy of my ancestors says that humans are brothers to trees. If they perish, we perish too. »

Planting a tree: more than a symbol

He planted a sapling on Sunday, May 1. wollemi pine in the presence of many elected officials in the botanical garden. A very rare tree that grows very slowly (about 40 remain in its original habitat in Australia). “I am proud to plant a tree. But I’m here for the symbol: The people you should applaud are the people who really look at the trees every day,” he said, thanking the municipal gardeners.

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Mundiya Kepanga has a few victories to her name, though she denies winning alone rather than symbols. For example, the European Union has released 500m euros to fight deforestation in Papua New Guinea. An envelope that allows the development of agroforestry projects for vanilla, cocoa and coffee crops and offers residents an economical alternative to the wood trade.

Mundiya Kepanga planted a Wollemi pine in the Évreux botanical garden in the presence of elected officials.  (©Cyrill Roy / Dispatch)
Mundiya Kepanga planted a Wollemi pine in the Évreux botanical garden in the presence of elected officials. ©Cyrill Roy
Papuan chief Mundya Kepanga.
Papuan chief Mundya Kepanga. ©Cyrill Roy
Sébastien Lecornu, Mundiya Kepanga and Marc Dozier on the occasion of the screening of the documentary “Brothers of the Trees”. ©Cyrill Roy

The road is still long and the Papuan leader is not naive. “I know politicians can’t act out of nowhere,” he explains. But the message really touches people. All humanity is worried. Mundiya Kepanga assures that everyone should act on their own scale, answering a schoolboy’s question asking how he can help save his forest. “It’s up to us to take care of our trees, and it’s up to you to protect your land. »

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