Good start to talks on proposed park

Sapuan (seated centre) during a photo call with the delegation.

Sapuan (seated centre) during a photo call with the delegation.

KUCHING: A delegation of Penans representing 18 villages is grateful that the government has agreed to discuss the proposed Penan Peace Park.

A meeting held in Miri recently saw the representatives led by James Lalo Kesoh formally presenting their proposal to the government.

Among those present were State Forest director Sapuan Ahmad, Miri Deputy Resident Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusuf and Penan paramount chief Temenggong Datuk Hassan Sui.

Sapuan stressed that the government welcomed the proposal by the Penan delegation and is willing to do further studies in collaboration with villagers.

He called for a written application from the Penans to support it.

James acknowledged the positive response and requested an immediate moratorium on logging in the area as well as the withdrawal of all lawsuits by the government against the Penan concerning the area.

The park is a proposed community managed protected area of 1,628 square km in Upper Baram.

It aims to promote alternative land use methods to generate income without impacting the biosphere.

According to a survey by the International Tropical Timber Organisation (ITTO), the Pulong Tau National Park, which is adjacent to the proposed area, is a ‘biological hotspot.’