Tribe holds out against loggers

November 20, 2006

This page was created in 2006 and may contain language which is now outdated.

A small group of nomads on the island of Borneo are continuing to defy loggers targeting their rainforest home. For over two years the members of the Penan tribe have manned a road blockade to prevent the entry of the Samling Group, a giant logging company which has already destroyed large parts of their territory.

The Penan, who live in a community called Long Benali, set up their blockade in February 2004 to protect one of the last remaining areas of intact forest in the Malaysian province of Sarawak, in the north of the island of Borneo.

In June 2006, the authorities announced that they would remove the Long Benali blockade and arrest four Penan leaders.

However, thanks to thousands of protest emails and letters sent to the Malaysian authorities by Survival supporters and others, the blockade remains in place.

Sound Bujang, the headman of Long Benali, said in a message to the outside world, ‘We are very proud to hear that so many people are on our side. This is strong encouragement for us to continue our struggle’.