'Dam it, stop the logging'

Published: Monday August 4, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Monday August 4, 2014 MYT 2:44:10 PM

'Dam it, stop the logging'

by stephen then

            <div><p>MIRI: A group of village elders 

from Long Kesseh and Long Naah in Ulu Baram have lodged reports with the
police and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) claiming
that illegal logging is being carried out in forests earmarked for the
proposed RM4bil Baram Dam project.

The villagers claimed they had not been consulted about the logging and had never given their approval.

They also claimed that the logging was a criminal activity because the
state government had not released the environmental impact assessment
(EIA) report on the dam project that is planned for construction between
Long Kesseh and Long Naah, some 200km inland from here.

Villagers led by Jok Wan and Philip Jau lodged the reports at the MACC office and Central Police Station here.

In the police report, Jok claimed the residents of Long Kesseh and Long Naah were shocked to see loggers who had started cutting down the forests along the access road leading into the villages.

We believe these logging activities are part of the preliminary works being carried out by the state and the logging companies to clear the area in preparation for full-scale construction of the Baram Dam.

The areas being logged are part of the access road being built to the dam site. All these areas are native customary rights (NCR) land belonging to the people of Long Kesseh and Long Naah.

Long before any logging companies were active, we already lived in these areas, and now these outsiders come and start cutting down our trees without even consulting us, he said.

He called on the police and MACC to investigate the logging activities and whether any corrupt practice was involved.

Jau, who is chairman of the Baram Protection Action Committee, questioned why the state government persisted with the preliminary works for the dam project despite the fact that the people had objected to it through protests and blockades.

The committee is a group formed by concerned Orang Ulu natives who are worried that the dam project will wipe out the ancestral land of more than 20,000 people from at least 25 settlements.

The proposed 1,000MW Baram Dam is one of several new hydroelectric dam projects approved by the state government to harness Sarawaks hydropower capacity.

Source: http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Community/2014/08/04/Dam-it-stop-the-logging-Village-elders-lodge-report-over-clearing-of-Ulu-Baram-land/

i hope the orang ulu committee get the support they need to protect their land and also the environment.