We’re excited to announce that The Borneo Project, along with the Global Greengrants Fund, is providing SAVE-Rivers Sarawak with a grant of US $5,000 to support SAVE-River’s critical on-the-ground work in Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo. The Borneo Project has been collaborating with SAVE-Rivers since they formed in late 2011, and has been working closely with many of the groups involved in the SAVE-Rivers network for over a decade.
The $5,000 grant will be used to fund continued community organizing efforts to support and train local indigenous communities so they can self-organize, unite and take effective action against the construction of 12 hydroelectric dams that threaten their way of life and will destroy the surrounding natural environment they call home. These resistance efforts are part of a larger, collaborative movement that include SAVE Rivers Sarawak, the Borneo Resources Institute (BRIMAS), the Alliance of Indigenous Peoples, and the Communities’ Information and Communication Center (CICOM).
The Bakun dam, the only hydro electric dam which has been completed in Sarawak, was finished in 2010 and drowned 700 square kilometers of virgin rainforest and prime farmland. An estimated 9,000 native residents, mainly from the Kayan/Kenyah indigenous group, were relocated and were forced to pay close to US $15,000 for homes, despite being subsistence farmers with no previous participation in the Sarawakian economy. This cannot happen again. Sadly, indigenous communities threatened by these dams are often unable to fight back on their own or defend their livelihoods in the face of such oppressive corruption.
That’s why it’s important that The Borneo Project, along with our allies and partners, continue to lead the fight against dam expansion through financial support as well as through direct action and lobbying training to increase public awareness. The recent success of the Murum dam blockade is a powerful example of what together we can do to confront the relentless dam expansion proposed in Sarawak and we look forward to continuing to help these communities in their fight.