Press Release 21 July 2019
Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) would like to announce the launch of our publication – ‘The Land We Lost – Native customary rights and monoculture plantations in Sarawak’, the outcome of our research on how large pulp and paper, timber tree and oil palm plantations have caused deforestation, river pollution and the violations of native customary rights (NCR) in Sarawak.
This publication stresses on the importance of understanding the context of large monoculture plantations in Sarawak accurately, as it entails two destructive factors that cannot be denied in any way. First, it involves the destruction of forests, rivers and the environment. This is in fact a post-logging development, which began in the 1990s, as a result of the depletion in natural timber resources caused by the excessive logging conducted between the 1980s and 1990s. Second, it involves the violations of the NCR. Both factors are caused by various systemic weaknesses in governance, policy and law, which have failed to ensure sustainable forestry management and provide land tenure security for the NCR.Read more
SAM is disappointed with approval of Monoculture Plantation Development Projects in Permanent Reserved Forests in Perak
Press Statement 15 February 2019
Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) is disappointed and objects the approval allegedly given by the Perak State Authority for development of monoculture plantations in Kledang Saiong Forest Reserve (HS Kledang Saiong) and Bukit Kinta Forest Reserve (HS Bukit Kinta) in the Forest District of Kinta Manjung which is going viral in social media. We also object other monoculture plantation development projects planned in the state.
SAM views that the policy on promoting the development of forest plantations (monoculture plantation) within Permanent Reserved Forests (PRF) should be abolished.
Typically, the justification and grounds of State Authorities to approve a monoculture plantation development project is that the identified areas are defined as poor forests or degraded forests.
It is to be noted that a PRF in Malaysia becomes a poor forest or degraded forest not because of natural factors but due to human factors, especially encroachment and illegal exploration.Read more
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
Meeting between communities from Marudi and Tinjar with a few Sarawak State Assemblypersons and SAM. Picture: SAM
Press Statement 08 October 2018
In Miri today, SAM arranged for two groups of indigenous communities from Marudi and Tinjar, Baram, to meet Sarawak state assemblypersons with the aim of halting the violations of their native customary rights (NCR) by oil palm plantation projects.Read more
International Day of World’s Indigenous Peoples 2018: Transparency on oil palm plantation project for Iban communities in Marudi
Indigenous peoples in Marudi, Sarawak against the Konsep Baru (New Concept), an oil palm plantation development project. Picture: SAM
Press Statement 09 August 2018
In conjunction with the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples today, Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) wishes to express our concern on the proposal to develop an oil palm plantation project in Marudi, Baram, which will affect the native customary rights (NCR) of at least 20 Iban villages. The affected customary territories not only include some forested areas, they also contain numerous productive smallholding farms, which are important sources of income and food for the communities.Read more
FMT News May 31, 2016
GEORGE TOWN: The government must step up the monitoring of mercury use in view of recent accidents making the news, the Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) said.
CAP President S M Mohamed Idris said a nationwide situation analysis was needed to arrest the problem from spreading. Click to read
In June 2014, Sahabat Alam Malaysia called on the Malaysian Government to address the negative impacts and unethical practices of its overseas or outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) in the past few years. Although the outflow of Malaysian investments abroad have been more than the inflow of investments into the country, serious concerns have arisen in relation to the impact of the palm oil industry in particular.
Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM), a member of Friends of the Earth International in collaboration with Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland, Friends of the Earth Netherlands, Friends of the Earth Europe and Friends of the Earth International released a 70-page long report on the adverse impacts of the expansion of oil palm plantations in Sarawak on Oct 7, 2008.
Malaysian Palm Oil – Green Gold or Green Wash, A commentary on the sustainability claims of Malaysia’s palm oil lobby, with a special focus on the state of Sarawak seeks to question the sustainability claims that have often been made by the Malaysian palm oil lobby.