Hear from an award-winning Sarawak Indigenous activist leader


“Even though we are up against powerful forces that profit from the destruction of communities and the planet, there are multitudes of people taking steps towards a different future all around the world.” Peter Kallang, Kenyah Community Leader 

Save the date: Join us on Saturday January 14th on Zoom between 11am and noon

On the 14th January we will have the privilege of hearing from Sarawak Indigenous activist leader Peter Kallang. Peter received a  Seacology prize in 2019 for leading a successful Indigenous community grassroots campaign that halted the building of a series of mega-dams in Borneo. The organisation that he leads, SAVE rivers, supports and empowers rural Indigenous communities to protect their lands, rivers and watersheds primarily in the Baram region of Malaysian Borneo. Peter will be telling his story of interconnected global activism and hope, and explaining his new campaign to ‘Stop the Chop’.

You will need to register in advance for this session. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Note: You do not need to register if you have previously registered for one of our ‘Saturday Sessions’.

Why is Stop the Chop needed in Sarawak?

Tropical deforestation is a key component driver of climate change, mass extinction and enforced migration. 80% of the world’s remaining forest biodiversity lies within Indigenous peoples’ territories, and Indigenous and community land store at least 24% of the above-ground carbon in the world’s tropical forests  (IUCN  2019). The aim of Stop the Chop is to stop the certification and export of conflict timber from Sarawak, where only 10% of primary rainforest remains and the land is scarred with logging roads that laid, end to end, would encircle the Earth twice. The campaign supports the historic and ongoing battle by the Sarawak tribal indigenous people against the incursions onto their territories by international logging companies, resulting in the destruction and pollution of remaining forest and riverine homelands, and the subsequent, invasive spread of palm oil and plantation forests, often run by organisations subsidiary to the original logging companies. 

In an example of corporate power, SAVE rivers is not currently able to work directly on Stop the Chop after being issued with a defamation lawsuit by the Samling Group (a Malaysian timber giant) in 2021. Over 100 international organisations have acknowledged that the lawsuit is a SLAPP (a Strategic litigation against Public Participation) and have signed a letter urging the company to drop the suit. 

How does this connect with us in the UK?

What affects Sarawak affects the rest of the world, including the UK. And what the UK imports affects the rest of the world, including Sarawak. In 2020, 11% of the UK’s palm oil came from Malaysia. In 2017, 3% of hardwood and 7% of plywood imported into the UK came from Malaysia. What proportions of these raw imports are ‘sustainable’ is impossible to tell. Given Malaysia’s current record of poor governance, it is likely that little of it can be said to be truly sustainable, especially given that the certification bodies, the Programme for Forest Certification and the Forest Stewardship Council now regularly greenlight the conversion of high value primary forest and neglect the violation of traditional and human rights in the export countries.

Stop the Chop UK is an emergent solidarity campaign working on awareness raising and mobilisation of concerned citizens and building partnerships with organisations to hold the UK to account according to the governments’ own Global Resource Initiative, which purports to clean up the UK’s global supply chains. It’s mission is to eradicate the sale of conflict timber, from Sarawak and beyond, in the UK market. It is being developed in the UK with the support of the Bruno Manser Fund, a Swiss organisation committed to protecting the rights of indigenous peoples, predominantly in Sarawak.

You will need to register in advance for this session. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Note: You do not need to register if you have previously registered for one of our ‘Saturday Sessions’.