Group: Plantations depriving natives of their livelihood

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 30 Apr 2008

KUALA LUMPUR: Soon, indigenous communities in Sarawak will not be able to feed themselves as their ability to grow their own food is severely cut by the aggressive conversion of their farmland into oil palm plantations.

The warning came from an international fact-finding mission led by five NGOs amid the current global concern over food security.

Most indigenous communities are self-sufficient entities as they farm in their semi-forested land and collect jungle produce for their own consumption and to sell them to city folks for some cash.

“With the imminent global food crisis, they will face further impoverishment and poverty.

“Besides the threat to food production, clear-felling for plantations, especially on peat soil, is contributing to carbon emission that aggravates global warming,” said the group leader Tenaganita director Irene Fernandez.

Fresh from the mission conducted last week in three major regions in the state, the group told a press conference here yesterday that the insatiable expansion of the monocrop had destroyed forests with the resultant loss of biodiversity that has even further affected the dependence of the native communities on forest for livelihood.

The group also felt that this strategy and action constitutes gross violation of indigenous peoples’ rights to Native Customary Rights land.

The group visited 70 villages and met with about 825 people and claimed that there was continued and systemic organised aggression on indigenous peoples land and rights with some cases of outright criminal intimidation.

The group, comprising both local and foreign NGOs like Tenaganita, Pesticide Action Network - Asia Pacific, Sarawak Dayak Iban Association and Rainforest Action Network of the United States called upon the state government to respect the native's customary rights as guaranteed under the Sarawak Land Code and cease the issuance of the 60-year provisional leases that is the source of all the land conflicts.

Fernandez said the mission’s report would form the basis for an international petition campaign to support the Sarawak natives struggle to protect their rights over their ancestral land.

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3

Did you find this article insightful?


Next In Nation

Economy will take time to recover, lockdown is last resort, says Azmin
Covid-19: Sarawak records 120 new cases, two deaths on Monday (Jan 25)
Covid-19: Cases up by 3,048, bringing total to 186,849 (updated daily)
Covid-19: 3,048 new cases, 11 fatalities bring death toll to 689
Ismail Sabri: 717 arrested for violating SOP on Sunday (Jan 24), many failed to observe social distancing
Health Ministry says govt not keen to implement MCO for a long period
Taiping Prison, staff quarters under enhanced MCO from Jan 26-Feb 8
Businessman Datuk pleads not guilty to criminal intimidation, hurting wife
Ku Nan's appeal against conviction in RM2mil graft case fixed for hearing in April
Covid-19: Lackadaisical attitude of public leads to MCO violations despite rising number of cases

Stories You'll Enjoy