Bruno Manser Fonds
Tong Tana, December 2001
Journal of the Bruno Manser Fonds
on the subjects of rain forests, indigenous rights and timber trade
jk – Much has changed since Roger Graf founded the one-man-association "Pro Penan" in the mid 1980s after his return from Sarawak where he had got to know Bruno Manser and the Penan people. The small group of closely knit activists, to which energetic Barbara Nathan-Neher also belonged (see page 11), grew to become a nationally and internationally established NGO.
The Bruno-Manser-Fonds (BMF) was founded after Bruno’s return to Switzerland in 1990 and from 1993 onwards named "Society for the peoples of the rainforest" was an independent organisation. The office was first managed by Aila Ziegler, later by Roger Graf, and the group on which Bruno could depend on for support of his many spectacular, imaginative and humorous actions grew constantly bigger. These actions aimed to inform and sensitize the population, to boycott tropical timber, to achieve acknowledgement and respect for the land and custom rights of the Penan and other peoples of the rainforests, to establish an import moratorium on timber from overexploitation as well as a mandatory declaration of species and origin for all timber, also for swiss timber!
Most of all the BMF supports and finances different organisations in Sarawak which support the indigenous people by financing rent and infrastructure, transports and other expenses necessary for the exchange of information and to attend conferences. The BMF also helps to finance the demarcation of the territories, dental help, the drawing up of a human rights report and diverse lawyer and court costs, as well as compensations for time in prison. Further projects, i.e. in ecologically sound agriculture, are being financed, thanks to the BMF, by third parties such as JUMBO AG or FLY (see p. 10).
The BMF also cultivates contact to the global Environmental and Human Rights Network and regularly attends international conferences organised by the Forest Movement Europe (FME) for example.
For years Bruno’s actions guaranteed the attention of the public, of politicians and the economy. Our association constantly grew bigger and today some 4,500 addressees, of which 3,700 are in Switzerland, regularly receive our journal "Tong Tana" in German, French and English. Next to private persons (3000) these consist also of political authorities and institutions, NGOs, the timber industry and various media companies.
80% of the expenditure are financed by voluntary donations, the remaining by sales of goods, picture and photography royalties, lectures, etc. An average budget of the last few years amounted to roughly CH Fr. 250,000.- while the proceeds amounted to about CH Fr. 200’000.- - the deficit was settled from the fortune accumulated in the past, especially during Bruno’s hunger strike in 1993.
Up to 1999 the BMF had two employees: A 20% job for Bruno and a 50% secretarial job. From 1999 a third person was added on. Since Bruno’s departure in the beginning of 2000 it’s back to two with together 90% employment. The BMF and Bruno play an important role in keeping the public informed.
The many enquiries from private persons, schools, companies, the authorities and the media prove this. Though we are hardly on friendly terms even the Swiss Secretariat of Economy’s (seco) lastest policy document on the tropical rainforests mentions the BMF as a driving force in concerns dealing with the protection of the last rainforests and acknowledges us as an important organisation. Furthermore because of our campaign 300 Swiss communities have decided to renounce wood from overexploitation! The fact that the BMF is taken seriously as an organisation in support of the rainforests and the indigenous peoples shows that we invest our modest means very efficiently.
Bruno has now been missing for almost two years and is unlikely
to return. Bruno is indispensable. If we carry on, keep upholding Bruno’s position
and also wish, in future, to support the Penan (they implore us to do so) then
we must act. We have created the job of a campaigner and action-group leader
to stay present in the public awareness (see page 12).
Bruno Manser, headman of the nomadic Penan in the Ulu Limbang area, Along Sega and Gisa Paren (from left) short before Bruno left Sarawak 1990.
Communication to and from Sarawak has to be re-organised as Bruno is no longer around to inform on what is happening to the Penan and none of us understand or can speak their language. To help fill the lack additional people from Sarawak have been employed, a better infrastructure has been created and activists from Sarawak are regularly being invited to come to Switzerland. Also Mutang Urud, a Dayak from the Kelabit tribe who lives in exile in Canada, is now working for us since the beginning of this year; in the mean time he has twice come to Switzerland to attend UNO conferences.
As a consequence we have to increase the budget by at least CH Fr. 350,000.-. More money must be obtained if the BMF is to go on fulfilling its commission because the last reserves will soon be exhausted. On page 11 you will find the provisional 2002 budget.
We have different ideas how to obtain financial means:
Dear readers, the BMF boat has lost its captain. To carry on the same course we must use new tools. Lacking Bruno all we can do is "go for it"! With you support we believe we will succeed! In the next journal we will inform you on the concrete steps involving acquisitions of financial means and give a detailed report introducing a new project in the Sarawak.
We wish you a merry Christmas and a happy New Year
John Künzli & the BMF Team
Enough Sago for everybody improves health and the good mood! August 2001, Ulu Baram.
During the flight to Kuala Lumpur Ruedi Suter and I discussed
procedures in case our names, especially my name (Manser), were registered in
the central computer system. Contrary to expectations we had no problems either
at the border, or in Sarawak.
Erich Manser together with friends on Brunos track, august 2001
We departed from the town of Miri to the rainforest in a jeep at tremendous speed. It was very hot when we arrived at the check point. The policemen had retreated into the shade. We passed without a hitch. We drove for hours through the hilly landscape, all around us only endless palm oil plantations in sight. Monoculture par excellence; thousands of hectares of rainforest have disappeared. A shocking reality. We constantly passed timber transporters throwing up gigantic clouds of dust. At the last "big" place we acquired necessary food (rice, sago, salt, sugar), a machete and other useful items.
It had already grown dark when the driver took a short cut, a steep, slippery road which, an hour later, ended in the middle of nowhere. The way back was an adventure. One moment we would be slipping sideways towards the abyss, in the next towards the cliffs. We were turned totally round-about and felt as if we were in a sled on ice. Towards midnight we reached the end of the logging road. Where were the Penan who were to accompany us?
Eight Penan arrived the next afternoon. The translator explained, they had been walking for four days to get here. After a five hour walk we arrived at "Pa Tik", a Penan settlement of a few longhouses. We ate the evening meal together: rice, sago and bear’s meat.
I talked to the Penan, explained how very happy I was to be able to search for "Laki Penan" together with them as friends, I as the brother, and together with Ruedi. I had a unique experience after I had spoken. Gisa Paren stood up and hugged my chest. All the other Penan then also touched me and stood in a circle around me. I stood for some minutes in the middle of this knot of Penan. I can hardly express how I felt.
Through this ritual I have been accepted by the Penan as one of their own.
Early the next morning we departed, together with the eleven natives, in the direction of "Batu Lawi". Making our way meant hours of walking, crossing rivers, overcoming obstacles, setting up camp for the night…
The physical and psychological efforts were a great challenge. The high level of humidity (it rains at least once a day, often also at night), our own perspiration, constantly damp clothes, leeches irritating our feet and much more demanded endurance . Food was extremely dull and consisted mainly of rice and sago, a dry, sticky, tasteless mass. Porcupine, otter and other meat from wild animals enriched our diet. Luckily the Penan are good hunters.
The climb up to the "Batu Iran" is steep and slippery. We had to grab anything that came handy.
This is where Bruno had last contact to Paleu. We climbed down to the "Brunei River". With our machetes we cut down trees in order to bridge the raging river. We reached Bruno’s last camp, an idyllic little place on the river.
The mountain moss-forest we then reached was so dense, we had
to cut our way through meter by meter. In this area we searched intensively
for any further traces left by Bruno; unfortunately without success.
Daredevil river-crossing: improvised bridge, august 2001
Deep in my heart two layers were intensely touched. On one level insecurity, fearing for Bruno’s fate; on the other fascination, every day was full of new impressions and experiences, especially the warm-hearted togetherness with the Penan.
We put up base camp under the "Batu Lawi". We climbed this impressive mountain up to the same place which the first expedition had reached. It was foggy, sight was limited to a few meters. Humidity was so high we were wet through very quickly. We returned to camp frozen stiff. The next morning the weather was with us. We reached the same place again and managed, with quite a bit of effort, to overcome a steep face and to go further. In a crevice we found some silver paper, plastic and packing material dated 1985, which could not have anything to do with Bruno.
We climbed up to the vertical face of the gigantic "Batu Lawi". All along our climb we found traces made by a machete. The Penan guessed they were roughly a year old. The next day we combed through the forest at the foot of the mountain: yet again we could not find any clues.
We broke camp and returned to "Pa Tik", said our goodbyes to the Penan and made our way back to the airport.
Though this trip was brought about by a sad occurrence and the
search for my brother Bruno was unsuccessful, it was a unique experience for
me to see with my own eyes, and experience with all my senses that which fascinated
Bruno so much about the rainforest and being together with the Penan. I only
now truly understand him with all my heart. Erich Manser
The bird Kuwai (Great Argus pheasant), who was cunning and managed to play tricks on bird But (another pheasant-species), also had no beautiful feathers to begin with. That was the reason the two were friends.
A long time ago, when these two birds were still friends, both were quite black and pitiful to look at. The other birds, from the Rhinoceros hornbill "Belengang" down to the tiniest, all had beautiful patterns and colours. Their unimpressive feathers were an embarrassment to these two black birds. One day they got together to discuss the matter: " Why, oh why of all the birds in the world are we the worst looking?" they asked themselves. "Well, as this is the case it would be to our advantage to decorate ourselves" said Kuwai. "What a good idea!" replied apatterns from the top of Kuwai’s head to the tips of his tail. When he was finished the result was really very successful! Now it was Kuwai’s turn to paint beautiful patterns on But. However, it did not suit Kuwai at all to have his friend looking beautiful, so he painted him brownish and then determined his part of the decorating fulfilled and added: "My heart is overjoyed because you have really made me look beautiful."
When But realised how unimpressive he looked he got very angry at Kuwai and tried to grab him, but Kuwai flew off and disappeared.
So Kuwai is to blame that But will forever stay an ugly bird and is ashamed of his looks. From this time forth he leads a bad life, stays down in the bush and contents himself with wanderings through the undergrowth.
Kuwai, on the other hand, with his jazzed-up and attractive
plumage sits high up in the branches because among the beautiful birds he now
is the king!
For the natives of Sarawak the feathers of Kuwai have magic power. Today, the bird has disappeared in wide parts of Sarawak due to logging.
jk – On 8th October 2001, Hendry David, a 20-year-old Penan of Long Sabai, which is situated on the upper reaches of the Baram River, was arrested by the police. The partly state-controlled Shin Yang logging company accused him of having set fire to two tractors on the company’s premises. Hendry David and the villagers pleaded not guilty and claimed not to have been at the camp at that time. Although the company couldn’t produce evidence of its accusations, the young man was handcuffed and transferred by express-boat to the prison at Marudi. In the following investigation however, no proof was found concerning Hendry’s involvement, and he was released again on 14th October.
Shield of Kenyah-tribe, Sarawak
jk – The election of the Sarawak Cabinet took place on 27th September. For the first time and with great hope the successful opposition parties Keadilan (followers of the, since 1997, imprisoned ex-Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim) and PAS (Islamic Party) together with the Democratic Action Party DAP wooed the voters. In vain: Taib Mahmud – Chief Minister since 1981 – and his coalition government "National Front" arose as the glorious winners of this campaign and won 60 of the 62 seats in parliament. The DAP lost 3 seats and it’s Chiew Chin Sing is now the only opposition in the whole parliament!
The reasons for this severe defeat are many: The opposition parties could never achieve close cooperation; dozens of the candidates resigned from their parties shortly before the elections; the inexperienced opposition lacked standing power against the powerful propaganda machine of the "National Front"; irksome candidates experienced intimidation and violence, bribing of candidates and voters was the norm. Additionally Taib and accomplices used the attack on the World Trade Center in New York for their own purposes.
The repercussions of this election result are serious: The opposition will not be able to put forth any of its own petitions in parliament because the law requires two signatures…
Hard times are also threatening the (few) NGOs, the indigenous people cultivating their land traditionally, as well as the poor of the country. The first thing the new parliament did in office was to pass a new law which will drastically limit the rights of the indigenous people to protect their land and customary rights. In future only state licensed persons will be allowed to undertake land surveying. Whoever, in future, undertakes land surveying without official permission, i.e. the Penan who demarcate their territories themselves with the help of foreign experts, will be fined up to 50,000 Ringgit (US$ 14,000.-) or be sentenced to 3 years prison or both!
Many of the Dayak communities’ initiatives can, in future, be declared illegal as these indigenous people, as a rule, do not have the educational qualifications demanded by the government. The department for land surveying itself can reject qualified experts without explanations and revoke licences at any given time.
This law is unique in Malaysia as well as in the rest of the
world. Activists and NGOs use the means of map making unrestricted by any legal
limitations. Thanks to such maps the land rights of indigenous people have achieved
world wide recognition – even the courts in Sarawak, in such cases, have been
passing judgement in a more and more progressive way. Only the government of
Sarawak has been moving in the other direction. This is most probably due to
the Iban community of Rumah Nor’s successful court action against the government
and the Borneo Pulp & Paper BPP plantation company whose illegal acquisitions
of land were proven by the Iban’s own maps (see Tong Tana August 2001, p. 4).
The traditional and sustainable living of the Penan and other Dayak-peoples is more and more prohibited.
The same day another forest law was dealt with in parliament. In future the indigenous people will not be allowed to collect wood and other forest produce for commercial reasons. Once again Chiew Chin Sing’s was the only critical voice. He found fault in forbidding the indigenous people to do what the government itself has been doing for so long, becoming filthy rich by exploiting the natural resources. "By turning natural resources into money the indigenous communities only follow the government’s example. Now they can be prosecuted and must prove they are not gathering in order to profit commercially. This goes counter to our legal system in which all are innocent until proven guilty."
According to another new law, anybody who cultivates, propagates or plants "protected trees or such with a pharmaceutical value" is breaking the law. Chiew Chin Sing’s comment: "I do not understand this. There are valuable tree species but people who cultivate these trees are fined with up to 30,000 Ringgit (US$ 8,400.-) and/or are sentenced to prison, while a logging company, which employs unqualified personnel or illegal workforce, is only fined 5,000 Ringgit (US$ 1,400.-). So one is punished much more harshly for trying to do something right than for really doing something wrong! I see neither reason nor right in that!"
This law has, as yet, not been passed and one cannot foresee how the judges will apply it. At least they have lately been passing judgement more and more in favour of the indigenous people by referring to the evidence act – and this would also have to be changed.
Because of these circumstances (and because a lot of money has already been invested) the BMF have been and will finance and speedily advance the demarcation of the Penan territories. Help us support the Penan – thank you!
Press release Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM), 31.10.2001
jk - According to a WWF study (1995), in the mid 1990s one third of Malaysia’s timber production was illegal. It is common knowledge that Malaysia and especially it’s biggest state Sarawak felled excessively more trees than a sustainable forest management would allow. Now their own forests are decimated to such a degree that they can no longer supply the over expanded timber industry with raw material. The timber industry (including over 1,000 saw mills) in Malaysia with a capacity for 40 million m³ timber per annum faces a yearly production of only 22 million m³ (1999). The difference must be obtained from some other source. How attractive and profitably promising the instable situation in poor and corrupt Indonesia must seem. The Malaysian companies do obtain felling licenses in other tropical countries – and in many instances were also found guilty of illegal actions, as was the case in Cambodia, Papua New Guinea and Brasil – but Indonesia is by far the cheapest. Vast amounts of Indonesia’a stolen timber reach the international market, a lot if it via Malaysia.
An investigation of the UK-based Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) has now disclosed that the Chief Minister of Sarawak, Taib Mahmud, and his government are directly involved in smugglings timber. The NGOs have identified both the capital Pontianak (capital of West Kalimantan, Indonesia) and Kuching (capital of Sarawak, Malaysia) as key posts of the illegal timber trade estimated at millions of US$ per month.
Part of the illegal timber reaches Sarawak over land and is sawed into blocks in specially constructed saw mills before crossing the border, because Sarawak does not permit imports of unprocessed trunks… On one single day last year up to 80 truckloads of stolen timber were counted (Strait Times 5th March 2000), many felled in nature reserves. Alone in August last year over 50 Malaysian timber companies each paid US$ 4,500.- to Indonesian customs officials for unhindered passage over the border.
Once it has reached Sarawak territory the Harwood Timber Company, a subsidiary of the state owned Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation, issues papers for US$ 6.- per cubic meter, thereby legalising the stolen timber. All in all Harwood Timber Co. operates three such timber "launderies": Two are situated on the border to Kalimantan (Lubok Antu, Tebedu) and one on the coast near Kuching (Sematan) where timber is delivered by sea. By such means Harwood "legalises" at least 500,000 m³ timber per annum. The EIA assumes that an equal amount of timber also reaches Sarawak undocumented.
Sabah, the second Malaysian state on Borneo, also can’t get by without smuggled timber. The Industry produces 16 million m³ timber per annum (and must do so to survive) but Sabah’s forests yield not more than 3.4 million m³ (1999). Once again the lack is filled with illegal timber predominantly from Indonesia. In May 2000 Indonesia’s Forest Ministry accused Malaysia’s military of being involved in the smuggling and estimated the smuggled amounts at between 80,000 to 100,000 m³ per month.
Peninsular Malaysia is another big buyer of illegal timber, predominantly from Sumatra. The Indonesian Forest Ministry estimates these monthly amounts at 70.000 m³. The off-loading of the ships – who change flags according to convenience - occurs under the supervision of the Malaysian authorities.
In total Malaysia steals per annum some 3 million m³ highly valuable timber from its neighbour, mainly consisting of the tree species Ramin, Meranti and other species of the Dipterocarpacea family. The EIA estimates that Indonesia has lost at least US$ 580 million solely due to smuggling out of Kalimantan into Malaysia in the last ten years!!! In the mean time the Ramin tree species has been put under protection by Indonesia (the last tree stands are found in nature and wild life reserves) and prohibited all, including international, trade. But Ramin is one of the most valuable tropical timbers and achieves prices up to US$ 1,000.- per m³ (see box). In 1989 Sarawak produced 620,000 m³ Ramin – in 2000 production was down to 67,000 m³ because the swamp forests in the accessible low-lands have been cleared. Last year West Malaysia, which no longer has any swamp forests, also exported 31,000 m³ Ramin timber – tendency increasing - as Malaysia, next to Indonesia, is the only country in which Ramin grows and therefore the only one able to "launder" it…
The amounts Indonesia is losing every year to illegal dealings are immense. This situation has now alerted the governments of South East Asia. From 11th – 13th September 2001 a Conference of Ministers was held on the island of Bali, attended by over 15 countries and even NGOs – that Malaysia was the only country not to attend was obviously not coincidental. On the 28th September, in the Borneo Post, Sabah’s Chief Minister spoke up and "warned" the smugglers in the country to lay down their activities before beomg brought to court…
Logging gang in Indonesian National Park receives US$ 2.20 per m³
Indonesian Broker buying illegal ramin pays US$ 20 per m³
Broker selling ramin to Malaysia receives US$ 160 per m³
Buyer of Ramin sawn timber in Malaysia pays up to US$ 710 per m³
Exporter of sawn ramin in Singapore charges US$ 800 per m³
Buyer of moulded ramin in US pays US$ 1'000 per m³
Sources: Report Timber trafficking, http://eia-international.org/Campaigns/Forests/Reports/timber/index.html
12.09.2001, Jakarta Post, 14.09.2001, Borneo Post, 28.09.2001
Heavy loaded timber truck leaves the Penan territories at the upper reaches of the Baram river: The days of Borneos forests are dwingling. August 2001
jrd – At the beginning of the year the furniture company FLY Switzerland was reprimanded by the BMF for selling garden furniture made of Asian wood from overexploitation. The management acknowledged the mistake and undertook measures of improvement (see Tong Tana May 2001, page 14). They also agreed that the profits out of the sales of these pieces of furniture made of Meranti would be donated as reparations to a project for an indigenous people threatened by logging.
FLY now supports a new project supervised by the Malaysian NGO Borneo Resources Institute BRIMAS (brimas.www1.50megs.com/) and has already transferred the first instalment of US$ 5,000.-.
The two year project is run by KEBAMA, a self-help organisation with 300 members of the Badeng, a tribe belonging to the Kenyah in Long Mejawa (Belaga District). This tribe lives mainly from cultivating rice in the mountains and from forest produce. The traditional yield of game, fish, medicinal plants, building and artisan materials etc. can scarcely be sustained because the forests have been badly damaged by commercial logging.
The project aims to keep the local population from participating in the destruction of their own forest. An integrated approach has been chosen to better self subsistence, to strengthen traditional customs and to make reforestation possible. Through communal work in the project area a "wet" rice field and fish ponds are being cultivated. KEBAMA has bought a rice mill which enables them to process the rice themselves and sell it at a low price to the members.
In addition chickens, ducklings and pigs are being bought and
reared. Later indigenous trees will be planted in the entire project area, especially
fruit trees that, apart from their yield, also protect the soil from erosion.
Woman of the Kenyah-tribe with traditional earrings, 1999
jk - "The palm oil sector is, unfortunately, not developing towards social and ecological sustainability. Today, palm oil plantations play a substantial role in the destruction of the rainforests. The decimation of rainforests results in the loss of land and environment for the indigenous settlers and countless plant and animal species. Forest fires, wide spread clearing, infraction of national and regional laws, conflicts with the local population and loss of quality in soil and water usually accompany installations of new oil palm plantations." MIGROS announced the above in a press conference on 1st October 2001. In future MIGROS will only buy palm oil that fulfils the social and environmental criterion they developed together with the WWF. These criterion agree with those of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
Once again MIGROS exemplarily demonstrates their sense of responsibility
concerning social and ecological issues, reaching far beyond national borders.
That they take their company's policy seriously is proven by the circumstances.
MIGROS is willing to forgo substantial profits in trade with plant-based oils
and fats. The Bruno-Manser-Fonds which contacted the MIGROS subsidiary MIFA
Co. in January 2000 shortly before Bruno’s departure, to inform them about the
problems concerning palm oil production now heartily congratulates MIGROS to
their decision. Source: Brückenbauer no. 41, 09.10.2001
Where once stood the oldest rainforest of the planet lies a green desert in these days: Oilpalm-plantations as far as you can see..., august 2001
jrd - Birmenstorf in the canton of Aargau is the 300th community joining the Bruno-Manser-Fonds’ Community Campaign lanced in 1997. It thereby commits itself to renounce use of wood from overexploitation, especially of wood from tropical rainforests (Brazil, Cameroon, Malaysia, etc.) or from the coniferous forests of the North (i.e. Canada, Siberia). The forest management in these regions is hardly ever socially acceptable or ecologically sustainable and the remaining forests are being plundered ruthlessly.
Previously two communities in the canton of Bern, Guggisberg and Wahlern, had decided to, in future, give preference to the use of indigenous wood in their public buildings.
Through such self imposed commitment these 300 Swiss communities of various size (with a population of 2.84 million) do everything in their power and set an example following the motto "think global – act local".
In France as well more and more communities are renouncing wood from overexploitation in their public buildings. On the occasion of a homage to Bruno at the 5th Festival "Future to Nature" at L’Albenc (Isère) on 2nd September 2001, the organizing "Association Espace Nature Isère" was happy to announce that 6 municipalities in the Department (Adrets, Montferrat, Saint-Cassien, Sainte-Agnes, St Etienne de Crossey and the town of Meylan) have passed a corresponding resolution.
In October the City Council of Paris declared its intention to give preference to indigenous wood over wood from non-sustainable management or endangered tree species. This laudable intention still needs to be passed as a legally binding decision. Please look up anhuman.anotherlight.com/bonnews/bonnews.htm and also www.amisdelaterre.org/foret/cadre_foret_batir.htm , as well as www.chez.com/chantalbe/Boistropicaux.html .
jrd – Furniture shops have their material for the next season ordered long ago. It is to hope that not only at FLY and Jumbo, but also at all other shops, no garden-tables nor garden-chairs originating from tropical or other non-sustainable production have been added to the range.
You as a customer have to be on your guard: only wooden articles of which the origin and the species used are declared in a correct and comprehensible way are proof of the company’s intention to care about transparency in the trade. Avoid wooden products with exotic names like Nyatoh, Meranti and Tectona, as these are most often species which only grow in the rainforest! Don’t let yourself be fooled by promises as "out of plantations", "out of reforestation", "out of sustainable forestry" and so on. Claims as these are often worth less than the label on which they are written.
If you really need new, weatherproof garden furniture, buy of
Central European origin; especially larch and robinia is suitable. The BMF readily
Watch out: this design is typical for garden furniture out of the last rainforests!
jrd – In May both the BMF in Switzerland and the allied organisation ""Peuples des Forêts Primaires" in France each launched a petition demanding their country to resign membership to the International Tropical Timber Organisation (ITTO).
We have already received hundreds of signatures but will continue collecting until middle of April! If you need additional petitions (in German, French or English) just give the BMF office a call or print it directly from our homepage (www.bmf.ch).
Please return all petitions, even any not completely full, by 15th April 2002 to either the BMF or the "Peuples des Forêts Primaires". Many thanks!
Switzerland is represented within the ITTO by the State Secretariat for Economic
Affairs (seco). This neo-liberal Swiss agency aims at solving all problems by
"more market" and extended trade. So, it is not surprising that in
its new strategy paper on tropical timber (28.03.2001) a mandatory declaration
for wood and wooden products is still rejected, with the groundless explanation
that tropical woods would be discriminated. The seco cannot realize that the
BMF and others request a mandatory declaration for all woods from all
countries! Please give the author an extra lesson and
write to firstname.lastname@example.org
jk - Much loved and sadly missed by the BMF, Barbara Nathan passed away on the 25th August from a sudden and painful serious illness. In May Barbara was still very much with us at the commemoration for Bruno on the ‘Bärenplatz’ in Bern, sharing her spontaneous and creative nature with all. Nearly 75 years old, Barbara was a unique person, full of energy, certainty, courage and an inner strength. Barbara brought these characteristics, since the very beginning energetically into the involvement for the Penan and the Bruno-Manser-Fonds and influenced the latter until 1997 as committee member, later and up till the present time as a very close friend.
In July and already very seriously ill, Barbara rang me up from hospital, also because she was worrying about the future of the BMF. Faced with such greatness, one feels very small – we were greatly shocked to hear this totally unexpected news. She was maybe comparable to Bruno Manser in kind, who thought very highly of her as the many photos on the walls of the office show and whose thoughts in his last will (which he drew up shortly before he left) were circling around his friends’ and the BMF’s future as well.
Barbara and Bruno had much in common and will be painfully missed; the way they lived according to their convictions, namely right now and here, uncompromising, strong-willed in spite of set-backs and resistance. That will always be an example to us.
Our thoughts of Barbara Nathan are full of deep respect and great thankfulness. We will never forget her. In the name of our friends from Sarawak Mutang Urud, from the tribe of the Kelabit, says good bye:
"For those who knew you well and loved you, the pain will be deep and enduring. To all of us, your absence is a great loss to our struggle. May your eternal journey be unencumbered. Tonight, when we see the twinkling of a special star, we know you are looking down at us."
We would sincerely like to thank all the relatives and friends
who followed her wish and, instead of buying flowers made donations to the BMF
– we will invest the CH Fr. 16,000.- according to Barbara’s wishes.
Barbara Nathan-Neher and Bruno Manser: we miss you!
jk – The budget increase is a consequence of Bruno’s disappearance.
To survive, the BMF must be taken into account by the public’s eye. It is going
to be difficult without Bruno, but we would like to try! The Penan also miss
Bruno acting as their spokesperson and lawyer and now activists from Sarawak
will have to travel more to fill this lack. Finally, the Penan’s situation has
deteriorated to such a degree that "help to self help" is no longer
an issue. More financial aid is demanded, be it concerning legal matters, demarcation
of the territories or in ecological agriculture.
|Employment costs Switzerland||
|Office materials & machines||
|Office rent, additional costs||
|Purchase of trade goods||
|Various other costs Switzerland||
|Salaries & office costs Sarawak||
|Travel and other expenses Sarawak||
The main amount of the loss 2000 was settled through reserves and partly also with the money not used for the search expedition in December 2000. The donations for specific purposes were, with the agreement of the sponsors, able to be used to pay off the deficit. You will not find the costs for the expedition in the annual budget as the situation around Bruno developed in a totally unexpected way. The 10’000.- swiss franks from the JUMBO Co. for the first phase of an ecological, agricultural project have also not been taken into account.
Therefore, in comparison to 2000, the proceeds must double! One positive point is that since Bruno has been reported missing donations have not decreased. The 2000 result has already been surpassed: Additionally to the 160’000.- franks income (a total of 1’133 donations by 843 parties to date) are CH Fr. 54’000.- from sales of goods, amongst others. By the end of 2001 an additional income of CH Fr. 20’000.- will increase the annual income to 235’000.- franks.
jrd – 57 applications were sent in answer to our ad. Many were qualified and the decision was difficult. In Claude Haltmeyer we found someone from whose experience the BMF will greatly profit.
Claude (43) studied history, geography and political sciences in Bern and Berlin. He first worked as a teacher, then for the "Ökozentrum" in Bern which he directed for 4 years. Since 1996 he has managed different development and ecological PR projects and events on a free-lance basis.
Claude will work part-time for the BMF, build up the campaign
groups (see below), advise the groups and the office in PR matters and continue
or reorganise different campaigns.
bmf – This year we have been bombarded with bad news: Terrorist attacks, war in Afghanistan, companies going broke and so forth. This has also made the Swiss insecure. Despite all these new insecurities we should not simply forget and deny the "old" globalisation problems: The growing divide between rich and poor, protecting the climate and human rights.
For the Bruno-Manser-Fonds 2001 has also not been an easy year. On the one hand Birmenstorf in the canton of Aargau is the 300th Swiss community that renounces using timber from overexploitation. On the other, in 2001 the hope that Bruno Manser will return has dwindled. Bruno's concern and ideas for saving tropical rainforests and protecting the rights of the indigenous people are more relevant than ever. The BMF’s general assembly and the committee decided to fight with even greater effort against the world-wide destruction of the forests. Funds have been allotted to pay a new campaigner. On 1st December 2001 Claude Haltmeyer (see below) will take up this position. He will also support local campaign groups.
Therefore we appeal to everyone who is interested in joining a regional campaign group to take up contact with us soon (address inside front page). The campaign groups’ task will be to supervise information stands in their area, collect signatures and carry Bruno Manser’s ideas into the communities and the schools. By the beginning of 2002 we would like to start working with 2 or 3 regional campaign groups; i.e. in north-western Switzerland (BS, BL, SO), in eastern Switzerland (SG, TG, perhaps ZH) and in the west (Bern, Bienne, FR, NE, etc.).
Of course the BMF needs funds for these additional activities. Apart from active participation you can also support the 2002 campaigns financially. Thank you very much for your contribution and support!
jrd – In the school of Sulgenbach, Bern, the primary class 2a had studied the way of life of the American Indians and read the book ‘The Flying Star’. Their teacher, Karin Gräppi, then wrote a musical which the children greatly enjoyed playing in June. After the event even the scenery was auctioned off!
All the proceeds of this successful event (CHF 805.-) were donated to the BMF, for which we send our heartfelt thanks. This donation will be used in support of the indigenous peoples of this World.
jrd – In the "Naturmuseum" in Olten the successful exhibition "Bruno Manser’s Diaries" will open to the public on 11th January and last until 30th April 2002.
Already on 9th January two Penan representatives will
start building a traditional house; it will be possible to watch them at work
during opening hours. Additionally, on 19th February at 08:00 p.m.
a slide-show will be presented. Information available from the museum (phone
062 212 79 19).
Flying Squirrel, Bruno Manser's diary 1995
Published by Bruno-Manser-Fonds (BMF)
Society for the peoples of the rainforest
Heuberg 25, CH-4051 Basel, Switzerland
Telephone ++41(61)261 94 74
Fax ++41(61)261 94 73
Post account: 40-5899-8
Coop Bank account, 4002 Basel, Acct. 421329.29.00.00-5
France: La Poste, Strasbourg, Acct. CCP 2.604.59T
Germany: Deutsche Bank, Lörrach (BLZ 683 700 34) Acct. 1678556
Editors: John Künzli, J. Rudolf Dietrich
Authors: J.R. Dietrich (jrd), J. Künzli (jk), E. Manser
Photos: BMF, Ruedi Suter, Renate Rabus
Drawing: Bruno Manser
Translations: Robert Gogel (French), Susan Gut, Nicole Widmer (English)
Edition: 5400 (3500 German, 1300 French, 600 English)
Please note: Voluntary contributions are very welcome and very needed! Thank you!
Printed by Gremper AG, Basel