The news archive until 2019 is currently located on the old webpage of the Bruno Manser Fonds.

Mar 4, 2024

Dutch government calls for investigation into Malaysian timber certification

After various complaints from civil society, PEFC International is asked to demonstrate accountability and to prove that the Malaysian certification scheme MTCS complies with its own standards and, thereby, with the Dutch timber procurement policy.

Feb 23, 2024

Explosive documentary film on Sarawak leader’s environmental crimes to be released next week

“The forest is gone – where is the money?” – Malaysian indigenous leaders, anti-corruption activists and international experts cover alleged corruption and environmental crimes under the late Malaysian politician Abdul Taib Mahmud in an explosive new film

Feb 22, 2024

Bruno Manser Fonds calls on Malaysian authorities to freeze Taib assets, reopen anti-corruption probe

BMF calls on Malaysia’s political leadership and judiciary to freeze Taib’s assets and reopen investigations into the origin of Taib’s enormous wealth

Feb 20, 2024

Last nomadic Penan boycott timber certification

Certification body SIRIM uses Penan rejection of logging as a reason to reinstate certificate - Penan ask Samling representatives and SIRIM auditors to leave

Feb 6, 2024

Company run by Malaysian politician's daughter wins European bully award

At today's European SLAPP Contest 2024, the Canadian real estate group SAKTO won the "International Bully of the Year" award and the People's Choice Award - SAKTO is run by former Sarawak Governor Taib Mahmud's daughter Jamilah Taib and her husband Sean Murray

Jan 30, 2024

Sarawak leadership change opens door for profound reforms, review of Taib's questionable deals

Bruno Manser Fonds welcomes appointment of new Sarawak Governor, calls for review of land leases and forest concessions granted by his predecessor in Malaysian Borneo

Jan 15, 2024

Last Penan nomads want to liberate their territories from certified logging

Penan communities are dismayed that Samling’s forest certificate was reinstated even though serious problems remain unresolved. They demand a no-logging zone in their territories.

Nov 15, 2023

Lost in Certification: New report exposes greenwashing in Malaysian timber industry

Analysis reveals critical cracks in logging operations managed by timber giant Samling and certified by MTCS, a program endorsed by PEFC

Oct 27, 2023

UN Special Rapporteur reprimands Switzerland over Malaysian lawsuit against Bruno Manser Fonds

UN Special Rapporteur on Environmental Defenders Michel Forst criticises Switzerland for not protecting NGO Bruno Manser Fonds from a lawsuit by Sarawak Governor Taib Mahmud's daughter.

Oct 24, 2023

Large-scale gold mining threatens Cambodian Wildlife Sanctuary

A newly published report reveals large-scale mining in two different locations within the Prey Lang Wildlife Sanctuary (PLWS). The Bruno Manser Fonds calls on the Cambodian government to ban gold mining within protected areas.

Sep 18, 2023

Timber giant Samling withdraws lawsuit against Indigenous forest defenders

Samling bows to intense international pressure, withdrawing defamation suit against Indigenous CSO SAVE Rivers — communities celebrate victory of their #StopTheChop and #StopTheSLAPP campaigns

Sep 14, 2023

Swiss Alliance against SLAPP founded

An association of NGOs and media professionals wants to make the Swiss public aware that in Switzerland, too, companies are lauching more and more intimidation. The newly founded association also advocates better legislation to stop such legal proceedings at an early stage.

Sep 12, 2023

Timber giant Samling loses forest certificate in Sarawak

Certification body SIRIM quietly withdraws forest certificate for logging concession in Northern Sarawak, after Samling failed to address non-conformities found in audit, while SIRIM itself is under investigation for Samling case

Aug 10, 2023

75 organizations denounce strategic lawsuit against BMF

International solidarity letter condemns the Taib-Murrays and their Sakto Group for filing a SLAPP against the Bruno Manser Fonds

Jul 19, 2023

Last nomads of Baram want to live undisturbed

The Penan of Ba Jawi reject logging and forest certification and want to continue their lives as nomads

Jul 17, 2023

SIRIM report confirms community claims against timber giant Samling

Amid new official reports that confirm community claims, civil society calls for SIRIM to cancel Samling’s MTCS certificate for the Gerenai Forest Management Unit in Baram

Jul 10, 2023

Swiss Rainforest Tribunal to look into Borneo deforestation

Representatives of the Penan people from Sarawak (Borneo) and other leading experts will come to Basel, Switzerland in August for an event to bear witness to the destruction of Borneo’s forests: The Rainforest Tribunal. The aim of the Tribunal is to take stock after decades of deforestation and ruthless exploitation of the rainforest: What are the consequences for people and the environment?

Jun 22, 2023

Samling namedrops local activist it is suing in order to make itself look good

SAVE Rivers shocked as timber company uses its chairman’s name on webpage about community engagement in apparent attempt to enhance its image

Jun 14, 2023

Upper Baram Penan villages reject forest certification

The Penan villages of Long Lamai and Ba Lai refuse to participate in the ongoing forest certification process and ask timber giant Samling to respect their territories

May 15, 2023

SAVE Rivers silenced indefinitely as lawsuit postponed for fourth time

Indigenous communities hold peaceful demonstration and global civil society stands in solidarity with SAVE Rivers as they face a defamation lawsuit

May 11, 2023

FSC launches investigation into timber giant Samling

While international experts and civil society discuss best practices for impact assessments at the ongoing IAIA conference in Kuching, FSC launches investigation into Samling’s “unacceptable activities” in Sarawak

Apr 17, 2023

United civil society calls on Samling to Stop The SLAPP

160 groups and local communities rally behind grassroots NGO SAVE Rivers through letters and an email petition demanding timber company Samling withdraw its abusive lawsuit, which goes to trial in May at the Miri High Court.

Mar 21, 2023

Upper Baram Forest Area set to launch

Communities from Upper Baram Forest Area welcome steps taken to realize the project, and hand over declaration to Forest Department Sarawak and International Tropical Timber Organization ITTO

Feb 22, 2023

Borneo natives fear ousting of leader over UNESCO World Heritage row

Mulu community leader Ukau Lupung targeted by Sarawak government over Penan resistance against controversial township plans at UNESCO World Heritage site.

Feb 13, 2023

Penan blockade against Malaysian logging company

Penan from Ba Abang village set up a blockade against logging in their area and demand a community-elected headman.

Feb 13, 2023

King Charles III called on to stand up for forests in Sarawak

Indigenous communities from Sarawak have made an impassioned plea to King Charles III asking for the head of the Commonwealth to lend his support to their campaign to end rainforest destruction.

Jan 25, 2023

Indigenous leaders from Sarawak demand an end to timber greenwashing in the UK

Indigenous delegates from Sarawak, Malaysia visit the United Kingdom this week to talk about Britain’s part in the destruction of rainforests in Borneo. The UK is the third largest importer of MTCS certified timber in the world.

Oct 12, 2022

Forest Stewardship Council FSC called on to drop Samling Group

Coalition submits complaint to FSC during General Assembly, calling on the body to withdraw Samling’s certificates

Oct 3, 2022

Sarawak’s indigenous communities celebrate historic win against palm oil development and thank Premier

Penan, Berawan and Tering communities celebrate historic win against palm oil development and thank Sarawak’s Premier. New infrastructure projects in the immediate vicinity of the UNESCO World Heritage Site are seen as a threat to the communities and the Gunung Mulu National Park

Sep 26, 2022

OECD faults Canada over handling of complaint related to Malaysian political family’s real estate group

In a recently published decision, the OECD Investment Committee faults the Canadian government for its handling of a complaint brought by Swiss NGO Bruno Manser Fonds before Canada’s National Contact Point for the OECD Guidelines on Multinational Enterprises (Guidelines). The complaint handled by Canada concerned Canadian-based Sakto, a real estate group of the daughter of Sarawak Governor Abdul Taib Mahmud.

Aug 16, 2022

Swiss prosecutors deal blow to Malaysian politician’s daughter

Sarawak Governor’s daughter, Jamilah Taib Murray, faces criminal proceedings for false accusation against Swiss NGO, the Bruno Manser Fonds

Jul 25, 2022

Penan successfully stop timber giant Samling from logging in conservation area

Samling withdraws from the Upper Baram Forest Area as Penan increase pressure with police report and blockade

Jul 13, 2022

Timber giant Samling enters forest earmarked for conservation, satellite images show

Logging company Samling extracts timber near culturally important site - Penan communities outraged

May 12, 2022

Indigenous delegation from Borneo expects Dutch government to suspend MTCS

Indigenous delegates from Malaysia visit the Netherlands, top importer of MTCS certified timber, to raise concerns about the certification scheme

May 9, 2022

NGOs demand MTCC acknowledge certification scheme's shortcomings and take action

In conjunction with MTCC’s participation at PEFC International’s members meeting in Dublin, civil society organisations argue MTCC is unable to uphold timber certification standards.

May 6, 2022

Experts at Swiss Anti-SLAPP Conference Identify Samling’s Lawsuit Against SAVE Rivers as an alleged SLAPP Suit

As companies increasingly rely on legal intimidation around the world, Samling is identified as one company in Malaysia allegedly using legal action to silence public participation

Mar 24, 2022

Penan challenge logging giant Samling with video message from the ground

After Samling denied claims that it entered the Penan territory of Long Pakan late last year, the community has released proof from the ground of a clear intention to extract timber: satellite images of a logging road built by the company on their land.

Nov 29, 2021

Baram communities start signature campaign against logging

New community signature campaign condemns selective consultations and requests a stop work order for timber giant Samling in Sarawak’s interior

Nov 22, 2021

Winter Games not possible in the Ukrainian Carpathians, International Olympic Committee says

Lack of infrastructure and the impact on protected areas are not in line with the IOC's sustainability requirements – Environmental NGOs score major victory in bid to protect the Carpathians from controversial huge ski resort.

Nov 9, 2021

55 environmental groups call on IOC to stop Winter Olympics plans for Ukraine

Concern for Carpathians is at the center of a letter to Prince Albert II of Monaco, president of the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) Sustainability Committee

Oct 20, 2021

Baram Communities Lodge Complaint about MTCC Failures with International Certification Body PEFC

Civil society organisations argue MTCC dispute resolution process is faulty, standards not met for Gerenai Forest Management Unit under timber giant Samling

Oct 6, 2021

Penan scale up blockades against logging giant Samling

Penan elders from Long Pakan set up blockade against timber extraction from their forest – the second blockade against Samling in the Baram region within a month

Sep 14, 2021

Penan step up campaign to save Sarawak’s last primeval forests from logging

Timber giant Samling’s operations in Upper Baram blocked by joint community action – Penan communities denounce logging on their ancestral lands

Aug 30, 2021

Over 100 organisations and companies demand Malaysian timber giant withdraw SLAPP suit against Sarawak NGO

Samling Group is suing civil society organisation SAVE Rivers and its directors in a SLAPP suit

Aug 9, 2021

Logging company sues environmental defenders for RM 5,000,000

Samling Group is suing local Sarawak civil society organisation and its directors in a SLAPP suit

Jul 5, 2021

Swiss city to sponsor Sarawak forest conservation project

Basel mayor Beat Jans announces a $200,000 contribution to the International Tropical Timber Organization's (ITTO) Upper Baram Forest Management Area – 24 indigenous communities in Malaysian Borneo are to benefit from the conservation and sustainable development of their forest lands.

Jun 16, 2021

Destructive logging: EU urged to press for Ukrainian forest sector reform

New investigation identifies unjustified "sanitary logging" as key mechanism behind destructive logging in Ukraine – First in-depth local case study details abusive practices in two State Forestry Enterprises in the Ukrainian Carpathians that are exporting large amounts of timber to the European Union

Jun 10, 2021

Certification body launches dispute resolution process between Malaysian timber giant Samling and Sarawak Indigenous communities

Civil society groups call for a moratorium on logging in affected areas until the dispute can be resolved, and for environmental and social impact assessments to be released immediately.

Jun 2, 2021

Indigenous communities threatened with legal action by logging giant as floods devastate Sarawak

One of Malaysia's largest timber conglomerates is threatening to silence civil society with legal action. Meanwhile, the current floods impressively demonstrate the environmental costs of deforestation

May 26, 2021

Tong Tana: Land rights in the rainforest

The area around the Mulu National Park could soon be completely protected from deforestation.

May 20, 2021

Indigenous communities lodge official complaint against Malaysian timber giant Samling

Sarawak communities criticize flawed certification of logging operations

Mar 7, 2021

Community alerts Sarawak Government of ongoing logging in Upper Baram Forest Area

Samling is encroaching into the territory of Long Ajeng, even though the Penan community is within the Upper Baram Forest Area/Baram Peace Park supported by the Sarawak Government and the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO)

Feb 16, 2021

EU Parliament speaks out clearly against the huge Svydovets ski resort project in the Ukrainian Carpathians

On 11 February, the European Parliament adopted the annual report on the implementation of the EU Association Agreement with Ukraine. The report contains a clear criticism of the planned mega ski resort project in Svydovets and illegal logging in the Ukrainian Carpathians. The support of the European Parliament is a great success for the Free Svydovets movement which campaigns for the protection of a unique natural landscape.

Dec 16, 2020

ITTO supports community forest conservation initiative in the Baram Area, Sarawak

The International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) officially endorses the Baram Peace Park/Upper Baram Forest Area to protect the forest and support community livelihoods in Sarawak — at the same time, the timber company Samling continues to log the area.

Nov 3, 2020

Petition calls on international timber certification body to uphold sustainability and indigenous rights in Sarawak

While communities continue to express concern about certificates granted under the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme, a petition with 6,629 signatures from around the world now calls on the international certification body PEFC to step in.

Oct 14, 2020

IKEA: No sustainability without transparency

Furniture giant refuses to provide precise information on the origin of wood from high-risk countries

Oct 6, 2020

Ikea denies purchase of illegal timber from Ukraine

Investigation commissioned by IKEA found no evidence of illegal wood in its supply chain

Oct 1, 2020

Penan communities appalled by timber certification issued without their knowledge

Penan communities from the Limbang area only learnt about the issuance of a timber certificate affecting their area two years after the fact – they now demand respect of Free, Prior and Informed Consent

Sep 10, 2020

IKEA faces investigation for breaching Swiss timber declaration laws

Failure to comply with Swiss consumer laws indicates furniture giant's problem with its supply chains in Eastern Europe

Apr 21, 2020

«When humans invade an ecosystem, viruses spread»

The Bruno Manser Fund (BMF) talked to Kinari Webb, physician and founder of Health in Harmony, about how environmental destruction affects human health and allows for diseases like COVID-19 to spread.

Apr 14, 2020

Joint NGO Statement on Tokyo 2020 Olympics’ «Fake Sustainability»

Organizers called on to learn from & fix procurement failures linked to rainforest destruction in light of the Olympics postponement

Mar 24, 2020

Indigenous leaders question ongoing oil palm and timber activities during COVID-19-lockdown

Oil palm and timber companies received permits to continue work in Sarawak despite national lockdown – indigenous leaders criticise the government’s decision

Oct 15, 2019

Bruno Manser feature film to open Zurich Film Festival

Major Swiss movie production honours missing rainforest advocate Bruno Manser.

Sep 6, 2019

Sarawak natives challenge Malaysia’s palm oil industry

Indigenous Penan and Berawan communities file lawsuit against palm oil development destroying rainforests near the UNESCO-protected Gunung Mulu National Park

Jun 18, 2019

Oligarch’s resort plans threaten primeval beech forests

A planned mega ski resort in the Ukrainian Carpathians threatens some of Europe’s last primeval beech forests.

News archive