Indigenous people from the Malaysian state of Sarawak on the island of Borneo are fighting against plans to cut their forests, saying that while the logging has been certified as “sustainable”, they have not given their consent to the proposals, which could destroy an environment that is home to critically endangered species including gibbons, sun bears and hornbills.
The thousands of Indigenous people who live in the northern Limbang and Baram districts rely on the forest for their physical and cultural wellbeing, while the Baram River is the state’s second-largest and an important life-source. “Logging will destroy our forests,” Penan leader Komeok Joe said in a statement to Al Jazeera, rejecting the plan. The Penan are a semi-nomadic group living in Borneo. “It will destroy our rivers and medicines and prevent us from satisfying all of our needs in the forests on which we depend for our lives. We Penan communities reject any logging activities in our Baram territory.”