| Corporate Genocide, a Modern Holocaust.
Deep in the heart of Borneo a human tradegy is unfolding, at an accelerating pace.
The Penan are the last tribe of nomadic hunter-gatherers remaining in Asia. For millennia they have lived a life of harmony with nature in the huge ten milllion year old Sarawak rain forest. Gathering wild plants and hunting wild animals for food.
Many of us will remember reading about the mysterious tribes, deep in Borneo's inpenetrable jungle, from our school days. Now these people, famous for hunting with blow-pipes and poison darts, face extinction.
That vast inpenetrable jungle is no more, the worst aspects of modern technology has seen to that. In the last 45 years 90 percent of the rain forest has been wiped out by mechanised industrial logging companies. Due to the destruction of their habitat, the majority of the Penan have already been forced to give up their nomadic life.
They are, however, still affected by logging operations and the resultant pollution.
The remainder are under threat, together with other tribal communities. Rivers are polluted, due to logging activities, eliminating the only source of clean water. Plants are destroyed, along with the forest. Animals die of starvation, are killed by loggers or driven away by loss of habitat.
Samling Timber, a gigantic Malaysian industrial logging company, are the main perpetrators. The timber is used by the building industies of 'developed' countries. Japan is a major customer, rain forest timber is turned into plywood, used in shuttering for concrete pouring. Some years ago a Japanese offficial was tackled on this subject, during a TV broadcast.
When asked what his company would do when the rain forest was completely destroyed, he replied, "We will find another source". This is the corporate mentality the World is faced with. Australia is also a major customer for Malaysian timber. There is an active movement to persuade their Government to stop these imports, some people care.
As a species, we are busy sawing off the branch we are collectively sitting on.
Jewsons, a French owned British timber company, was apparently the first overseas customer for timber from the land of the Penan. They claim to be "The U.K.'s leading supplier of building materials", their claimed credentials as leaders in environmental concerns are seemingly lacking in substance.
We have written to the company, asking them to cease import of rain forest timber. We will let everyone know what response, if any, we receive. We also plan writimg to our Government, asking them to ban such imports. We hope you will do the same, or E-Mail us for forwarding.
Samling, having almost wiped out Borneo's rain forests, have got their cruel claws into other countries' rain forests. Also into the forests of impoverished countries from the former Soviet Union. Such is the relentless unfeeling, unthinking drive for corporate profits.
The mudslide this year, that wiped out a Philippines farming village, together with its inhabitants, was caused by deforestation of a mountain. Another disaster caused by corporate greed and irresponsibility. Similar mudslide calamities, caused in the same way, have struck European communities in the past few years.