Climate Justice: Supporting Sarawak Indigenous activists and South Carolina community campaigners

“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 

We have been busy supporting people from the front line of climate crisis who have been visiting the UK to demand climate justice. 

Following our Saturday Session on 14th January with indigenous leaders Pastor Peter Kallang and Celine Lim hearing about the felling of the Borneo rainforest and the part that the UK plays in this destruction, we joined Celine and fellow Sarawak activist Komeok Joe in London at the end of the month. We took part in their powerful solidarity rainforest ritual-ceremony in the Turbine Hall of the Tate Modern art gallery in London before walking with them in procession to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and on to Buckingham Palace, where they delivered letters to the UK Government and to King Charles. Celine and Komeok were visiting the UK to help establish the Clean Up the Tropical Timber Trade (CUT) campaign to stop the greenwashing and importation of ‘dirty’ timber into the UK, taken from indigenous  lands in Malaysia and elsewhere in violation of existing international agreements and regulations to protect human rights and the environment and to seek a new law to protect against human rights abuses and environmental destruction in supply chains everywhere. 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). You can find out more about the CUT campaign here.

In February we joined frontline community campaigner from South Carolina,  Reverend Leo Woodberry who has first-hand experience of the devastating impacts of the logging of Southern US forests to supply wood to burn in UK power stations, especially Drax Power Station in Yorkshire. Rev’d Leo had travelled to London to raise awareness and to call on the Government to stop giving over £2 million per day in UK renewable subsidies to fund Drax’s tree burning. We were invited to speak at his demonstration outside BEIS,  words of solidarity about the sin of environmental racism and about the hope that is created by our network of actions and the web of our activism. We then joined together in prayer for the Earth and a halt to the activities that are harming communities like his. Read more about this issue here.

If you want to join us in amplifying the conversation about climate justice, come and get involved in our actions.