May 2017 Updates

Protests Against Use of Sarawak Timber in Tokyo Olympics:
Indigenous groups in Miri and Kuala Lumpur held protests in front of the Japanese Embassy and the offices of timber giant Shin Yang regarding the use of unsustainable Sarawak timber for construction of the stadium for the Tokyo Olympics.  On the same day we handed over 140,000 petition signatures to the Japanese Embassy in Switzerland. The petition calls on the Japanese government and international sporting officials, including the heads of the International Olympic Committee and Tokyo organizing committee, to help put a stop to the use of rainforest wood on Olympic construction projects. Read more here.

NGOs and Sarawak Government Officials Meet in Switzerland:
Earlier this month I joined our partner organizations from Sarawak for the annual meetings of the Bruno Manser Fund, based in Basel, Switzerland. Also present at the meeting were two delegates from the Sarawak Forestry Department. This is the first time government has joined these annual meetings, and their presence represents a turning point in the relationship between government and activists in Sarawak. During the meetings were able to openly discuss environmental and indigenous rights, and we look forward to continuing the conversation about indigenous-led conservation in Sarawak.

Indigenous Groups in Kelantan Blockade Logging on their Lands:
Blockades are being set up in the Malaysian state of Kelantan by indigenous groups that say logging activities are damaging forests and the surrounding environment. Kelantan has seen more forest clearing in recent years as the state ramps up tree plantation development. Activist groups say forestry departments are granting forest access to logging companies, while restricting access to forest-dependent communities. Read more in Mongabay.