Malaysia – Penan Blockade Demolished. Let the deforestation begin.

Malaysia – Penan Blockade Demolished. Let the deforestation begin.

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John Ahni Schertow
February 20, 2007
 

Penan Blockade Demolished: Samling bulldozing new logging road, destroying community’s primary rainforests
BRIMAS, Miri, – 8 February 2007

PENAN LOGGING BLOCKADE REMOVED

A group of Malaysian Police Force together with the personnel of the Samling Timber Corporation has completely removed the Penan logging blockade in upper Baram, Sarawak on 7th February 2007 (Wednesday).

The Penan village of Long Benali and several other Penan villages in the interior of Baram district have set up the blockade since 2004. They put up logs and wooden structures tightened with rattans across the logging road. A hut was also built and used by the Penan as shelter while manning the blockade.

At the time the blockade was dismantled there was no resistance from the Penan as they were back in the village. They only knew about the removal of the blockade upon their return to the blockade site. By then it was too late for them to resist the removal as the police were all around them at the blockade site.

According to the Penan, immediately after the blockade was removed the Samling timber company moved in with logging tractors and bulldozers. Samling has started building the logging road that encroaches into the customary land of the Penan in Long Benali. The Penan watched from a distance as the company bulldozed their land.

Long Benali is a Penan village located in upper Akah River in the interior of Baram District and their area is among the very few remaining virgin rainforest areas of Sarawak. Their survival is very much dependent on forest products within their customary land area.

In 2004, the Samling Timber Corporation was granted a certificate for Sustainable Forest Management by the Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) over an area of 55,949 hectares that affect the customary rights land of the Penan in Long Benali.

The Penan strongly resisted the moved by Samling to carry out logging operation within their customary rights land. At the same time, the Penan does not accept MTCC certification scheme as its scheme given right to Samling to destroy their forest and deprive them of rights to their forest and sustainable livelihood.

Borneo Resources Institute Malaysia (BRIMAS)
Lot 1046, 2nd Flr. Shang Garden Shoplots,
Bulan Sabit Road,
98000 Miri, Sarawak
Malaysia.
Tel/Fax: +6 085 438580
Email: bri@tm.net.my / snanet@tm.net.my

For more information and a map of the Long Benali area, see http://www.bmf.ch/en/news/?show=22

And for a bit of background, here’s a revealing article from 7 years ago http://julienne.wordpress.com

(source)

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