TAKE ACTION! Hydro Tasmania and Sarawak Energy are ignoring human rights by investing in the construction of 12 new dams in Sarawak with no indigenous community consultation or oversight. This is not acceptable. Click here to stand alongside The Borneo Project in support of indigenous people’s rights!
This month, The Borneo Project, alongside other concerned organizations including The Bruno Manser Fund (Switzerland), The Rainforest Action Network (USA), International Rivers (USA) and The Sarawak Report (UK), united to write petition letters directed to the Tasmanian government and Australian government urging both to sever all ties with Sarawak Energy and take a stand for environmental conservation and indigenous people’s rights. The petition requests that both governments conduct an immediate investigation into the role of Hydro Tasmania in Sarawak and suspend all Hydro Tasmania operations in Sarawak to ensure the company does not contribute further to human rights violations.
Sarawak Energy, a state-owned energy supplier in Sarawak, Malaysia, is currently planning 12 new dams which will destroy the lives and livelihoods of indigenous communities and drown hundreds of square kilometers of intact rainforests in the region. Despite public commitments to Indigenous Rights, Tasmanian-owned Hydro Tasmania ultimately shares responsibility for this destruction given its financial backing of dam construction. It’s important to note that Hydro Tasmania, owned by the Australian state of Tasmania, does not align with broader Australian politics, which has repeatedly made strong international commitments to human and indigenous rights, including signing the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Sarawak Energy, however, is not consulting with indigenous communities and is not obtaining the Free, Prior, and Informed Consent of the affected communities, as required under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Sarawak Energy is also not sharing their environmental or social impact assessments, feasibility studies, and resettlement plans, creating a notable lack of transparency. In addition, meager relocation and/or compensation benefits, many of which last for only 4 years and fall below the existing poverty line, will force communities into increasingly challenging circumstances.
The Malaysian province of Sarawak, on the island of Borneo, is home to over 40 indigenous communities, as well as many unique and endangered species. Sarawak Energy threatens to destroy some of the last remaining rainforests in Borneo, obliterating priceless habitat and drowning the homes and livelihood of these communities. Indigenous groups, including the Penans, have made recent headlines given their effective protests against dam construction, but they cannot do it alone; raising international public awareness is critical to keeping companies like Sarawak Energy and Hydro Tasmania in check.
Please sign our petition above to add your voice to this important cause!
For more information on human rights issues in Borneo, please visit: http://borneoproject.org/who-we-are/borneo/human-rights