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The scene takes place on the mountain range of Borneo Malaysia between the Indonesian part of the island, Kalimantan in the upper Baram, isolated… Read More
The scene takes place on the mountain range of Borneo Malaysia between the Indonesian part of the island, Kalimantan in the upper Baram, isolated region of Sarawak. It is 5:30, the day is not up yet but already in the valley resound the blows of bamboo: The tubung Around the small village of Balai, the roosters start singing, some faithful stand up, grab their torches and join the church. The darkness, striped by light beams, begins to die, this is the hour of prayer. The Penan were Christianized in the 20th century by British missionaries and every day, in turn, the population officiate. This morning in November 2012, two women start the reading, in a silent of a new world which awakes, silence broken only by the murmur and singing. Balai is one of 18 villages in May 2012 announced the creation of the Penan Peace Park (PPP), after two years of meetings between communities. A zone covering an area of 1628 km2 that the Penan recognize as customary land, but that the Sarawak government conceded, however, to some logging companies, including the multinational Samling, the most active in the region. Fifty-six percent of PPP is covered by the primary forests, the forty four remaining by secondary forests resulting from deforestation. This is attributed as follow, twenty-seven percent for logging companies, twelve percent for agricultural activity of the Penan and five percent for forest fires. Approximately one thousand eight hundred Penan, a little more than ten percent of the population in Sarawak, live in the PPP. The Penan Peace Park is an ambitious project, considering the imbalance of power relations between some isolated villages with no means of communication and logging companies publicly traded assisted by a Government of Sarawak semi-authoritarian with a strong political and economic autonomy. So "Green Wall" is the story of two walls facing each other: the forest of Sarawak and industrial plantations. It is also the story of the Penan, a traditionnaly nomadic people, sedentary gradually since the 50s, people who nevertheless preserved until today an intimate relationship with the forest. Finally, this is the story of an idea and a hope, the Penan Peace Park, a protected area whose fragile borders are lost in the jungle of Borneo. A land claim that lawyers defend with passion before the courts of Malaysia. Read Less
Published:
                   
                                 
                                                            GREEN WAL II



"Green Wall" is the story of two walls facing each other: the forest of Sarawak and industrial plantations. It is also the story of the Penan, a traditionnaly nomadic people,  sedentary gradually since the 50s, people who nevertheless preserved until today an intimate relationship with the forest. Finally, this is the story of an idea and a hope, the Penan Peace Park, a protected area whose fragile borders are lost in the jungle of Borneo. A land claim that lawyers defend with passion before the courts of Malaysia.
 


 
Men are on the prowl. To determine the wind direction, one of them removes thin peels his fingernail with his machete. Then look at where they fall.
"I take these cases purely on the bases of the natives’ claims of NCR and their evidences furnished to us. If on the balance of probability there is a case as seen from the provisions of the law, I will take up the cases for the natives. Furnishing the evidences at the trial proper is the greatest challenge for us. We have to gather evidences prior to 1.1.1958. These evidences are for example graveyards or burial grounds (pendam), longhouse site (tembawai), fruit trees, historical landmarks, belian posts, rubber coupons issued by the British Government for rubber subsidy etc. We then prepare a map of the area and mark all these in the map to be shown to the Court. We hope the Court appreciate and agree to our claims. That’s the best we could do in the circumstance."
Interviews conducted with Maître Baru Bian January 2013
Nothing differentiates the house of the chief, that of another member of the community. Ali Pet was named for his great wisdom and experience, he will have to resolve potential conflicts and represent the village to the government.
Houdaou Turai feels more tired and never leaves his little house, his wife takes care of him.
In the sweltering heat of the forest, before the fall rains, Andres Oudaou looking for wood to build a shelter for the night.
Parry Tunggang perfectly knows the streams in the vicinity of Long Kerong. End of the day he runs quietly, throwing his net in the clear waters.
Peraoui, penan of Long Kerong.
Besebau No use of an old technique, yet immutable. These specific actions, it separates the good from the bad rice.
These boats carved from the trunk, each can used. For fishing, or to join the neighboring villages.
The telaou is a mousedeer. It attracts the animal, using a decoy crafted using two sheets joined together and between which the hunter breath calmly.
From time to time a tree is felled and left on site in the forest. IT will be debited carefully over the months to provide planks and beams for the construction of houses.
Penan Peace Park - Project 7:
"Securing the remaining primary forest areas - The primary forest provides us with fruit, animals to hunt and medicinal plants to
gather. Following the example and advice of our elders we continue to respect and protect the forest."
At the heart of the forest, it will cemeteries like men. Over time the cross is swallowed by the earth and the rain, and after a few years there is nothing left of them.
"Our language, the Penan language, is extremely important to our heritage. Unfortunately
nowadays the importance of our language is rapidly declining; and has given place to other
languages like Malay or English. Currently, we still have elders who are speaking Penan
fluently and this is the time to act before it is too late."

Penan Peace Park project
From a young age, they leave the village for school in Long Lamai. Several hours of walking separate them from their families. When the holidays arrive, the village echo of the laughter of children.
A year ago, this village in the heart of the forest had no electricity. Today, a generator, two televisions and many parables distract people, mostly children, "junction" of both worlds. Favorite programs are series of Chinese imperial era, subtitled, and preaching evangelists American channels.
 
"We base our judgment on the analysis of multi-spectral satellite images. Not only NGOs, but all independent experts agree that there are between 5 and 10% of primary forests (that is to say high biodiversity forests) Sarawak intact. "

Interview with Lukas Straumann Director Bruno Manser Fund - January 2013
Andres and his wife Besebau left the village after crossing several rivers, they reach their reserve. They will sort the rice, then bring back a bag full for their personal consumption.
United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Art 31-1: "Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain, control, protect
and develop their cultural heritage, traditional knowledge and traditional
cultural expressions, as well as the manifestations of their
sciences, technologies and cultures, including human and genetic
resources, seeds, medicines, knowledge of the properties of fauna
and flora(...)"
This young woman benefits from a boat fishing. Deposited on the edge of the river she will collect in a short time a large bouquet of edible fern.
At the end of the Mass, Yvonne Jaou, a young mother, arrived with her child against her. Great figures of the village surrounding her, for common prayer. The child is struck by sudden and repeated fevers.
The church is the place to share for the villagers. Any subject is approached, religion, history of each.
"L’exception Penan c’est un nombre important de communautés restées jusqu’à récemment dans l’histoire en retrait des processus de modernisation, d’intégration politique, économique et social à l’état moderne et qui sont violemment projetés dans la modernité."
Jean-François Bissonnette - Chercheur postdoctoral affilié au département de géographie de l’Université Laval et à la Chaire de recherche du Canada en études asiatiques de l’Université de Montréal - Décembre 2012
"A long time ago, our elders learned to make business with neighboring tribes and other
people. During the colonial period, the British used to organize “Tamu”, a small rural market
that took place up to the remotest areas of the jungle (...) The business resulting from these meetings was lucrative and also well adapted to
our culture. While collecting forest products and selling them in the “Tamu”, our elders were
not only able to pursue their traditional nomadic or semi-nomadic lifestyle, they were also
able to develop themselves, to modernize and to enhance their lifestyle in a self-determined
way.As these “Tamu” no longer exist, the possibility of a cash income is currently lacking
within our villages.
The PPP represents a long-term solution to our financial problems."

Penan Peace Park Project
There was laughter in the forest. Laughter that could be heard from far away. It was such a beautiful song birds. They were there to clean up the stream, to ensure that the water remains clear, as the water there, it is given to children.
The Penan use the technique of shifting cultivation. They cleared an area by causing a fire, then cultivate rice for some time. After 3-4 years the earth will be left fallow and secondary forest gradually return. In the meantime, it opens around villages, many clearings, as here on the right.
Rivers of the territory of the Upper Baram are used for multiple functions by indigenous peoples. Fishing area, water rushing down from the mountains is also used to clean the body, vegetables, dishes. The Penan do not want their rivers become muddy under the influence of forest companies, or become polluted by industry palm oil.
"The proposal contains herewith gives a clear direction in where we see the present and future Penans must head forward. We are putting forward specific proposals and yet envision areas in which we need help and support to realise a vision that has layered quantifiable and nonmonetary benefits starting from us as the customary landowners, going through Sarawak as a great State within the Federation of Malaysia and ultimately to the global community in our
linked world. In essence, we present for the first time, Penans’ proposal to showcase our ideas in which we want to share our existence and all that surrounding us with outsiders to ultimately benefit human. We call upon governments, the civil society and the corporate world to join us in this new path, a path that promises to chart new and positive frontier for the Penans, Sarawak people, the governments and the world. We call out to all to join alongside us in the start of a promised new beginning."
"Penan Peace Park Project"
Oil palm plantations, near Marudi.

                     
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