Borneo Tribesmen Armed with Blowpipes Block Roads, Stop Palm Oil Plantations

palm oil destruction photo

To give you a sense of the sort of destruction the Penan people are trying to stop, this area has been cleared for oil palms. Photo: Hayden via flickr.

Here's a very concrete example of how roads into rainforests can bring indigenous people into the firing line: TimesOnline reports that hundreds of men from Borneo's Penan people are blockading roads, armed with blowpipes and dressed in traditional costumes, in protest over what palm oil companies are doing to the forests:The Penan live in the Malaysian state of Sarawak, existing for hundreds of years as hunter-gatherers.

They are protesting the palm oil plantations not the grounds of climate change and carbon emissions like many of us around the globe who are concerned about them, but on the very immediate grounds that the river which the Penan depend on are being polluted and with the dwindling amount of forest area, the future of their food supplies is in jeopardy.

So far timber operations by four companies have been stopped as police and local politicians attempt to negotiate with the Penan.

via: Times Online
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