Friday, April 29, 2011

Malaysia: Tribes fighting to protect rainforests

The long tussle over resources from rainforests in Malaysia's Sarawak province has pitted strong logging and palm oil companies against the indigenous tribes.

Three tribes from the state, accusing the government of illegally handing out timber and palm oil licences to companies, have approached the country's highest court over their rights on the land.

The government says it is trying to alleviate poverty and bring the state's natives into mainstream society and that forest management practices are helping the environment.

But conservationists say 70 per cent of the rainforests have already been felled.

Al Jazeera's Azhar Sukri reports from Sarawak.