The upper Baram River Basin is the largest area of unprotected primary forest in Sarawak, containing dozens of species threatened with extinction. To protect the area from logging and palm oil, indigenous communities will survey flora and fauna, learn agroforestry practices, reforest logged areas, develop green jobs, and continue advocating for land rights and forest protection. Baram communities envision a safe, vibrant rainforest that will remain standing for many generations to come.
Logging and expansion of industrial agriculture puts indigenous cultures, indigenous livelihoods and the wildlife of the Baram under immense pressure. Communities rely on the rainforests for water, food, medicine - for their survival. The planet depends on these forests to regulate the climate. The remaining intact forests are scheduled to be logged. This puts the land, livelihoods and indigenous cultures of the Baram at risk, and thwarts global efforts to combat catastrophic climate change.
Indigenous peoples are the best guardians of the forests they call home. Protecting indigenous land rights and securing community ownership of conservation projects are essential. Our work builds indigenous-led conservation projects through wildlife surveys, reforestation, forest monitoring and other participatory activities. Creating local jobs reinvigorates communities and building grassroots solidarity bolsters efforts to create an officially recognized indigenous-managed protected area.
Investing in indigenous communities is the most effective method to protect forests and our global climate. By supporting communities to establish indigenous-managed forest protection in the upper Baram area we are setting an example of what can be achieved when indigenous knowledge and methods lead the way. Instead of fragmented forest, precious wildlife corridors are maintained. Instead of villages left to perish, communities are empowered with the tools to fight for land rights and justice.