Forest Voices

Forest Voices, Sarawak

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. June 30th, 2010

Forest Voices documents the knowledge of the indigenous people of Sarawak, who have always lived with the forest and use it to empower them and reverse the trend of logging before it is too late.

We support with a small donation, our old camera, and some publicity.

Name:Forest Voices
Aim:"We work to preserve forest knowledge of communities using participatory techniques to nurture a dialogue among and between communities."
Staff:Noah Jackson
People Reached:Sarawak indigenous communities
Contact:B-8-5 LE CHATEAU CONDO II, LORONG SYED KUALA LUMPUR 50460 MALAYSIA jackson.noah [at]!/group.php?gid=114770391488&ref=ts

Donation:100 USD and old digital camera

Eastern Malaysia is home to a tremendous number of unique indigenous species, and still partly covered with one of the planet's richest rain forests.

Because we already had some sense of awareness, we visited a meeting for "green people" that is held in a restaurant at the landmark Petronas towers in downtown Kuala Lumpur. There are many interesting international people connecting and sharing their ideas and initiatives. We talk to some of them, and end up at the table where Noah and Michael are sitting. They tell us about their concept of documenting indigenous knowledge in Eastern Malaysia/Sarawak, and their intention to literally give these citizens a voice by providing them cameras and other resources to document what is going on. We immediately endorsed the idea and decided to support their attempt to make the "Forest Voices" heard.

The next day, we visit them again and have a good conversation about the important issues thez are dealing with. We donate our old camera and some money they'd use to buy gifts to the indigenous people they are working with.

the planting project in Sarawak
In July, they will be working for a few weeks on the ground in Sarawak. During this first phase of their project, they will provide the communities with the means to show the world what is going on and what natural wealth the loggers are irreversibly destroying. In a second phase, they will help the indigenous put to use their local knowledge in such a way that they can keep doing what they have always done: live in harmony with the forest. They will be empowered to make a fist towards the logging companies, and hopefully have a voice in the parliament of Malaysia and Sarawak.

Forest Voices put our donation towards transporting forest experts to help one community plant donated native wildling trees and help plan nursery and community forest efforts. They will do followup work to help support the food and agroforestry systems of settled Penan communities in Sarawak.

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