BRUNO MANSER FUND, BASEL / SWITZERLAND
Basel, 24 February 2009
Interhill surveyors approach Long Item
Penan village alerts international community: We need urgent assistance to protect our last remaining forest reserve
Surveyors of Interhill Logging are approaching Long Item, a Penan village in the Middle Baram region of Sarawak, in order to prepare the community’s last forest reserve for logging, the Bruno Manser Fonds learned today. The Penan villagers are asking the international community for urgent support.
“Our biggest wish is that Interhill will stop entering our community forest”, headman Balan John of Long Item said. “We need urgent assistance from outside to stop the loggers from destroying our livelihood.” According to the villagers, Interhill already destroyed fruit trees, poison dart trees and had dumped toxic waste in the village’s drinking water supply. In July 2008, the community denounced the destruction of a gravesite by Interhill workers.
Interhill has been logging a timber concession of 55’000 hectares of tropical rainforest in Sarawak’s Middle Baram region since the 1980s. Currently, the Malaysian timber company is reinvesting its profits in a 388-room hotel project, the Novotel Interhill Kuching, which will be managed by the French ACCOR Group.
The Bruno Manser Fund is demanding the withdrawal of ACCOR from its controversial cooperation with Interhill.
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