Malaysia: Court ruling may support tribes in opposing deforestation

Darren Hill mail at
Thu May 21 06:14:00 BST 2009

A News item from Business Respect, Issue Number 153, dated 8 May 2009

Indigenous tribes on the island of Borneo may be able to stop companies 
from logging or creating oil palm plantations following a ruling made by 
the Malaysian Federal Court.

According to the ruling, the Penan and other tribes in Sarawak, have 
enforceable rights to land that they use for hunting and gathering, as 
well as land being used for food crops. Previously, they had to show 
that there had been a history of growing crops on the land in order to 
establish a claim - a disadvantage to the Penan who are mainly 

Land has been leased out to logging and oil companies in the past, with 
considerable negative consequences from pollution and other disruption, 
according to campaign group Survival International.

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