Our goal is to provide international support for indigenous and locally-led campaigns to protect rights in Borneo and to advocate internationally for mechanisms that will support community-led forest conservation.
The Borneo Project does not initiate our own campaigns; instead we respond to the needs of our local partners, and provide whatever support best suits their programmatic and campaign needs. Over the years we have provided small grants for village level projects, workshops on community mapping and street protests in Malaysia and California. We believe that we are here to support, rather than lead, campaigns.
The Borneo Project is a project of the Earth Island Institute (EII). Click here to learn more about the Earth Island Institute.
Partners and Allies in Malaysia and Indonesia
Save Sarawak Rivers (SAVE Rivers)
SAVE Rivers is an indigenous-led network working to prevent the construction of mega-dams in Sarawak. If constructed, these dams will force tens of thousands of people from their land, pollute the rivers – the lifelines of the jungle – and destroy thousands of hectares of the most biodiverse terrestrial landscape in the world. SAVE Rivers is at the forefront of the community-led activism fighting the dams. The organization hosts conferences and roadshows, organizes public demonstrations, and advocates for legal measures to protect communities facing forced relocation if the dams are built. Learn more about SAVE Rivers here.
Borneo Resources Institute (BRIMAS)
BRIMAS is a leading indigenous organization working to enhance local initiatives throughout Sarawak. Through its mapping project, BRIMAS fosters community development and self-reliance, builds strategies and networks, and disseminates political and legal awareness to groups throughout Sarawak. Led by long-time activist Mark Bujang, BRIMAS’ staff provides community training, organization, mapping and advocacy services. BRIMAS also helps communities take legal action by working closely with a team of indigenous rights lawyers, including Goldman Environmental Prize Winner Harrison Ngau Laing. Click here for the BRIMAS website.
Partners of Community Organisations (PACOS)
PACOS empowers indigenous communities in Sabah through providing support to village-based organizations. PACOS has been cultivating a cadre of community organizers who return to their villages after training to empower their own communities to deal with issues of land and resource management, and socio-economic development, as well as culture and education. One of their main emphases lies in early child care development, establishing a network of preschools in indigenous areas, training local teachers and developing specialized curricula. PACOS is also poised to become a regional leader in renewable energy technologies through their strength in technical training and support. Click here for more information about PACOS.
Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM or Friends of the Earth Malaysia)
SAM is one of the most established environmental and human rights organizations in Southeast Asia. SAM has been on the forefront of indigenous struggles in Sarawak since the mid-1980s and has partnered with The Borneo Project for the last 20 years. SAM provides organizing and training support to a vast network of indigenous communities. SAM provides paralegal training, documentation, advocacy, community resource management systems. Click here for the SAM website.
Uma Bawang Residents Association (UBRA)
UBRA is a community-based organization founded in 1989 to protect the ancestral lands of the Kayan community of Uma Bawang, beginning with organizing roadblocks against logging companies operating in indigenous territory. Through programs such as a communal fish ponds, livestock rearing, fruit orchards, organic farming, and an agroforestry pilot project for local timber needs, UBRA has become a model for communities struggling to survive in areas where logging has weakened community life and depleted essential forest resources. UBRA’s consistent work in poverty reduction through conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity has been internationally recognized, and the organization has received the United Nations Equator Prize and the Slow Food Award.