LETTER TO EDITOR 14 February 2019
SAM has recently received reports from the Penan community of Kampung Batu Bungan in Mulu, Sarawak that in January this year, road construction for an oil palm plantation began to encroach on their customary territory, which is adjacent to the Gunung Mulu National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Area. In response, the community had set up a blockade and lodged a police report in Marudi to halt the encroachment. However, the blockade was then reportedly dismantled by the road construction workers.
In September last year, the federal Minister of Plantation Industries announced that the new government will not allow any more expansion of oil palm plantations in the country in its effort to ensure that Malaysia maintains a 50 per cent forest cover. By December, Sarawak was also reported to be committed to this. Although we applaud this move, as the Kampung Batu Bungan case shows, there are still many unresolved issues surrounding the matter.
According to the Sarawak Forests Department, under its Licence for Planted Forests (LPF) system, 43 timber tree plantation licences have been issued over 2.8 million hectares. These licences are located on both the reserved permanent forest estates as well as non-reserved stateland forests. Some of the licences are also allowed to devote not more than 20 per cent of their concession areas for the cultivation of oil palm. Plantable areas are estimated to be at 1.3 million hectares and 285,520 hectares for timber trees and oil palm, respectively. As of December 2013, 325,314 hectares and 146,578 hectares have been planted with timber trees and oil palm, respectively.Read more
Clean Malaysia May 07, 2016
Indigenous Penan communities in Sarawak are mad at the continued destruction of their ancestral forests and they won’t be taking it any more. The Penans, who have traditionally been semi-nomadic forest-dwellers, want all logging stopped in the remote Upper Baram region of Sarawak and the area declared a protected national park.
James Lalo Keso, a former penghulu (paramount chief) in the community of Long Lamai, has sent a poetically poignant letter to the state’s Chief Minister Adenan Satem, urging him to impose a moratorium on all logging. Click to read
Borneo Post Online May 06, 2016
KUCHING: The Penan communities in upper Baram are requesting for a moratorium on the logging activities in their area and for the government to convert it into a National Park to sustain their livelihood.
According to a former Penan penghulu of Long Lamai James Lalo Keso, they were in fact pleased with the government’s interest in the realisation of a park in their area. Click to read
FMT News March 13, 2013
KUCHING: More than 2,000 Penans from seven Penan villages in Sungai Patah and three in Long Akah in Baram are facing simultaneous double threats – indiscriminate logging and the proposed construction of the Baram Dam. Click to read