Mulu logging continues despite protests

Oil palm company accused of destroying 300-year old Berawan gravesite

(MULU, SARAWAK / MALAYSIA) Malaysian oil palm company Radiant Lagoon continues to log the Mulu forest despite protests by the local communities and international outrage over the destruction of the Gunung Mulu World Heritage Site’s immediate vicinity.

Penan and Berawan community reports received by the Bruno Manser Fonds are stating that the loggers have increased the pressure on the forest in an apparent attempt to create facts on the ground before politicians will stop them. The communities also provided new footage and picutres of logging activities on the ground.

Penan leader Komeok Joe said on Thursday: “If Radiant Lagoon doesn’t stop logging and keeps converting our forest into an oil palm plantation, we the Penan will have no way to survive. We need the forest for our food supply and to pursue our traditional way of life. The Sarawak government must intervene immediately and stop the destruction of the Mulu forest. Our Native Customary Rights over the forest must finally be recognized.”

Meanwhile, Berawan leader Willie Kajan reported that the Kampung Melinau community filed a police report against Radiant Lagoon over the desecration of a 300-year old Berawan and Tering gravesite in the forest.

By Thursday evening, 16,000 people signed a petition by the Bruno Manser Fonds that calls on the Sarawak state government to revoke the Radiant Lagoon concession and to issue a moratorium on the conversion of forests into oil palm plantations.

The Bruno Manser Fonds calls on the Sarawak state government to recognize the Mulu natives’ rights and immediately halt logging in the area.

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