Indigenous people living in tropical rainforests in Malaysia and Guyana are
stepping up the global campaign against the Samling group, one of Malaysia's
leading timber companies, and gravest threat to rainforests and their
inhabitants worldwide. The Samling Group holds 1.6 million hectares of tropical
rainforest concessions in Guyana and 1.4 million hectares in the Malaysian state
of Sarawak. On the recent occasion of its public listing at the Hong Kong stock
exchange, 37 organizations from 18 countries asked investors and banks to shun
the company for its failure to comply with basic environmental and social
standards. Samling and the Malaysian government are leaders in the destruction
of he Earth's rainforests and must be stopped.
In Malaysia, nomadic and semi-nomadic Penan communities living on the Limbang
river in the North of the state of Sarawak have launched an appeal to the
international public urging Credit Suisse, HSBC and Macquarie Securities, the
three banks who have sponsored Samling´s recent public listing, to stop
supporting the timber giant. "Samling is destroying our last remaining
rainforest in the Upper Limbang", headman Awing Tubai said on behalf of the
Penan communities. "We need clean water for drinking and fishing and intact
forests where we can gather our food and other forest products."
Meanwhile, other Penan communities from the Upper Baram region of Sarawak report
renewed police action on their native lands. Officers of the Sarawak Forestry
Corporation and a special police force unit removed a long-standing Penan
logging road blockade near Long Benali, a community located at a strategic entry
point to one of Sarawak’s last contiguous primary rainforest areas. Timber
company workers of Samling were present at the site, as the Malaysian government
and police did their bidding to open new rainforests to industrial logging. The
police action took place in an area "certified" by the Malaysian Timber
In the South American state of Guyana, the Akawini Amerindian Village has asked
the Government to help end an agreement with a Samling-subsidiary. Their council
has said that the villagers were threatened with court action unless they signed
an agreement allowing logging on their lands by Guyanese Samling subsidiary
Barama Co. Ltd. "As soon as the agreement was signed we saw heavy duty machinery
such as bulldozers, logging trucks and excavators come onto our village lands."
The Amerindians fear the destruction and loss of their forest resources through
the Samling subsidiary's activities that they were coerced into approving.
Barama's Forest Stewardship Council certification partially paid for by
WWF on 570,000 hectares of tropical forest was suspended because of
such landowner swindles in the Northwest Region of Guyana, further making a
mockery of "certification" of sustainable ancient rainforest logging.
Please send the email below targeting the banks funding Samling; Credit Suisse,
HSBC and Macquaries Securities Ltd., asking them for a public statement to
withdraw their support to Samling and refund of IPO profits. Let these
rainforest destroying banks, Malaysian tourism and business, and Malaysian
government know that globally all remaining large and intact rainforests must be
permanently protected from industrial development; and they can expect boycotts
and further protests should the barbarous Malaysian industrial timber industry
not be disbanded.
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Samling destroys rainforest ecosystems, indigenous cultures and special wildlife like this hornbill
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