A Letter from our Director

Dear friends,

I recently returned from Sarawak, where I once again experienced the breathtaking beauty of this region alongside the stark reality of ongoing deforestation. On this trip I was able to visit the very remote Tekewit Waterfall, an astonishing site in the Upper Baram River Basin. Unfortunately, my visit was prompted by the logging activities threatening these beautiful places. In some areas, what was once cool and lush forest is now hot, slushy mud and stumps.

As always, these contrasting scenes left a deep imprint and reinforced the urgent need for our continued efforts.

The phenomenal Tekewit waterfall

The landscapes of Malaysian Borneo are truly awe-inspiring—flourishing rainforests teeming with life, and vibrant cultures rooted in centuries-old forest stewardship traditions. While the threats from logging and forest clearing continue, the fact is, there is still so much worth protecting. And our collective campaigns are making a significant impact.

Through our work together, we are championing Indigenous land rights and advocating for the protection of these vital ecosystems. As I mark my tenth year at The Borneo Project, I know that we are in it for the long run, and while the day to day may seem slow, the progress is real.

More and more, I hear about how our publications, campaigns, and projects are making a difference. At the end of 2023 we published our groundbreaking report, Lost In Certification, exposing how efforts to certify logging as sustainable and ethical are pure greenwashing. We have since learned about how this report caused a major stir in government institutions, impacting conversations in the halls of power as well as within the logging industry. 

The community atlases that we created through the Baram Heritage Survey are being used as evidence to counter the industry narrative that communities have agreed to logging, and that their forests are now devoid of endangered flora and fauna that demand special protection measures.

Most importantly, more and more communities are seeking support as they see the impacts of projects and campaigns. Empowering communities to shape their vision of the future and to determine what development looks like on their terms is crucial for tackling deforestation, mitigating climate change, and ensuring human rights. 

Baram Peace Park communities workshopping the UBFA declaration

We have successfully raised awareness, engaged policymakers, and empowered local communities to stand up for their rights. This progress is tangible and reinforces our belief that change is not only possible but within reach. And this year we are elevating our efforts, digging in deeper and expanding our team by adding more staff.

Our team must grow to meet growing demands on the ground. Help us meet our increasing costs by contributing to our work today. A generous supporter from Portland, Oregon will match every contribution up to $20,000. Donate today to double your contribution, help us get to our $40,000 goal by August 1st.

Each success story we write together—whether it’s securing legal protections for Indigenous territories, establishing sustainable land-use practices, or mobilizing global support—serves as a beacon of hope. It demonstrates that our dedication and perseverance are bearing fruit, even in the face of formidable challenges.

The threats facing Malaysian Borneo demand sustained commitment. We must continue to amplify our voices, expand our partnerships, and drive meaningful change.

This year, we ask you to consider increasing your contribution to help us expand our impact even further. As supporters of our cause, your contributions are the bedrock of our achievements. Your generosity fuels our campaigns, sustains our projects, and emboldens our resolve to protect these precious landscapes and cultures.

Thank you for standing with us on this crucial journey. Your support is not only appreciated, it is transformative.

With gratitude and hope,

Jettie Word

Executive Director, The Borneo Project