In the eighties, the Swiss Bruno Manser sought a life in harmony with nature in Malaysia. He found what he was looking for with the Penan in the state of Sarawak on Borneo. After living with them for several years, the bulldozers of the logging companies reached the Penan forest. Bruno Manser started to get involved in the protection of the forest and, after his return from Sarawak, founded the Bruno Manser Fonds in 1992.


In 2000, Bruno Manser mysteriously disappeared without a trace in the rainforest of Sarawak. The Bruno Manser Fonds continues his legacy and is committed to the Penan and the preservation of the rainforest.

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He who has understood and does not act, has not understood.

Campaigns and Projects

Project

Indigenous land rights

One of the ways in which the Penan are attempting to halt the rapidly advancing removal of their rainforests is through court action. The Bruno Manser Fund is helping them file successful land-rights claims by ensuring that they are assisted by qualified lawyers. It also provides general support to the Penan communities by accompanying them throughout the drawn-out legal proceedings.
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Project

Indigenous land rights

One of the ways in which the Penan are attempting to halt the rapidly advancing removal of their rainforests is through court action. The Bruno Manser Fund is helping them file successful land-rights claims by ensuring that they are assisted by qualified lawyers. It also provides general support to the Penan communities by accompanying them throughout the drawn-out legal proceedings.
Learn more
Campaign

Stop the Chop

Sarawak's aggressive logging policy has drastically reduced the rainforests. Now, the logging companies and the government are promoting the PEFC timber sustainability label. The affected indigenous people are fighting against the label’s greenwashing with the support of the Bruno Manser Fund.
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Campaign

Stop the Chop

Sarawak's aggressive logging policy has drastically reduced the rainforests. Now, the logging companies and the government are promoting the PEFC timber sustainability label. The affected indigenous people are fighting against the label’s greenwashing with the support of the Bruno Manser Fund.
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Campaign

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Campaign

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Campaign

Protection of the Mulu rainforest

Oil palm plantations are spreading in Malaysia at an incredible rate at the expense of the rainforest! This is contrary to the Malaysian government's promise to curb rainforest destruction for palm oil. Sarawak's only UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site is also threatened by oil palm plantations. In the immediate vicinity of the Malaysian Mulu National Park, an area of 4400 hectares threatens to be converted into palm oil monocultures. The affected indigenous Berawan and Penan people have not been consulted. They reject the planned oil palm plantation as it will destroy their forests and livelihoods.
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Campaign

Protection of the Mulu rainforest

Oil palm plantations are spreading in Malaysia at an incredible rate at the expense of the rainforest! This is contrary to the Malaysian government's promise to curb rainforest destruction for palm oil. Sarawak's only UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site is also threatened by oil palm plantations. In the immediate vicinity of the Malaysian Mulu National Park, an area of 4400 hectares threatens to be converted into palm oil monocultures. The affected indigenous Berawan and Penan people have not been consulted. They reject the planned oil palm plantation as it will destroy their forests and livelihoods.
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Campaign

Save the Carpathian Forest

Svydovets, one of the most pristine forest landscapes in Europe, is to be destroyed by a mega ski resort. The mountain massif in the Ukrainian Carpathian Forest is home to 93 endangered animal and plant species and serves as a water reservoir for the region. Primary beech forests — protected by UNESCO —can be found in the immediate vicinity of the planned ski resort. The consequences would be fatal for the fragile ecosystem in the Carpathian Forest. The project would also have serious consequences for the local population, who depend on an intact forest landscape for their livelihood. The Bruno Manser Fonds supports the local environmental movement Free Svydovets with an international campaign and demands that the Ukrainian government protects this unique natural landscape!
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Campaign

Save the Carpathian Forest

Svydovets, one of the most pristine forest landscapes in Europe, is to be destroyed by a mega ski resort. The mountain massif in the Ukrainian Carpathian Forest is home to 93 endangered animal and plant species and serves as a water reservoir for the region. Primary beech forests — protected by UNESCO —can be found in the immediate vicinity of the planned ski resort. The consequences would be fatal for the fragile ecosystem in the Carpathian Forest. The project would also have serious consequences for the local population, who depend on an intact forest landscape for their livelihood. The Bruno Manser Fonds supports the local environmental movement Free Svydovets with an international campaign and demands that the Ukrainian government protects this unique natural landscape!
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Campaign

Corruption in the tropical-timber trade

Trade in tropical timber has been a very lucrative business for Sarawak for more than thirty years and also one that is susceptible to corruption. Very few key individuals control the issue of logging concessions and the export of tropical timber. In Sarawak this power is concentrated in the hands of just one man: Taib Mahmud. For 30 years he had been the chief minister of Sarawak and at the same time the minister of finances and the minister for natural resources and currently, he is the governor of Sarawak. While the primary rainforest in Sarawak has shrunk to just one tenth of its original extent, his personal wealth and that of his family clique has grown to several billion dollars in the course of the past three decades. Taib’s own assets alone are estimated to be worth around 15 billion US dollars. The big losers have been the indigenous peoples of Sarawak, since their rainforest and land has been taken from them, while others are profiting from the proceeds.
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Campaign

Corruption in the tropical-timber trade

Trade in tropical timber has been a very lucrative business for Sarawak for more than thirty years and also one that is susceptible to corruption. Very few key individuals control the issue of logging concessions and the export of tropical timber. In Sarawak this power is concentrated in the hands of just one man: Taib Mahmud. For 30 years he had been the chief minister of Sarawak and at the same time the minister of finances and the minister for natural resources and currently, he is the governor of Sarawak. While the primary rainforest in Sarawak has shrunk to just one tenth of its original extent, his personal wealth and that of his family clique has grown to several billion dollars in the course of the past three decades. Taib’s own assets alone are estimated to be worth around 15 billion US dollars. The big losers have been the indigenous peoples of Sarawak, since their rainforest and land has been taken from them, while others are profiting from the proceeds.
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Campaign

The Baram Peace Park

Together with the Bruno Manser Fonds, the Penan came up with the idea of a rainforest park in the north of Sarawak in 2009. The idea has been taken further since then, with the neighbouring ethnic groups of the Kenyah, Saban and Kelabit now also involved. Protection of the rainforest is to go hand in hand with sustainable income opportunities and indigenous rights, and the villages will be actively participating in the shaping and administration of the park. Negotiations between the Sarawak government and the villages have been underway since 2017.
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Campaign

The Baram Peace Park

Together with the Bruno Manser Fonds, the Penan came up with the idea of a rainforest park in the north of Sarawak in 2009. The idea has been taken further since then, with the neighbouring ethnic groups of the Kenyah, Saban and Kelabit now also involved. Protection of the rainforest is to go hand in hand with sustainable income opportunities and indigenous rights, and the villages will be actively participating in the shaping and administration of the park. Negotiations between the Sarawak government and the villages have been underway since 2017.
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Project

Forest Restoration

The Penan of Long Kerong use their primary forest, which they were able to protect from logging and which was able to preserve its biodiversity, to help other communities with reforestation. The Penan collect seeds in the forest and nurture seedlings in a tree nursery, which they use to help surrounding communities rebuild their degraded land and deforested forest stands. The community receives technical, financial and scientific support from the BMF.
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Project

Forest Restoration

The Penan of Long Kerong use their primary forest, which they were able to protect from logging and which was able to preserve its biodiversity, to help other communities with reforestation. The Penan collect seeds in the forest and nurture seedlings in a tree nursery, which they use to help surrounding communities rebuild their degraded land and deforested forest stands. The community receives technical, financial and scientific support from the BMF.
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Campaign

SLAPP: Silencing the Public – Conference in Zurich, 5 May 2022

For the first time, an increasingly hot public issue will be discussed in Switzerland at a conference: the impact of abusive lawsuits on journalism and civil society. Join our conference and learn how SLAPPs (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) are threatening democracy and how politics should react.
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Campaign

SLAPP: Silencing the Public – Conference in Zurich, 5 May 2022

For the first time, an increasingly hot public issue will be discussed in Switzerland at a conference: the impact of abusive lawsuits on journalism and civil society. Join our conference and learn how SLAPPs (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) are threatening democracy and how politics should react.
Learn more
Project

Mapping and cultural documentation

The Penan would like to ensure that their habitat as well as their culture and history are properly documented for the benefit of future generations. They also need the cultural and historic documents and maps as evidence of their use of their land and the limits of their territories in order to be able to claim their land rights before the courts.
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Project

Mapping and cultural documentation

The Penan would like to ensure that their habitat as well as their culture and history are properly documented for the benefit of future generations. They also need the cultural and historic documents and maps as evidence of their use of their land and the limits of their territories in order to be able to claim their land rights before the courts.
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Plant 10 trees for the regeneration of the forest

Help mapping the tropical rainforest

Help sponsor a road blockade against illegal loggers

Lay 50 metres of pipes for clean drinking water

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Bruno Manser helped us with the defence of our forest.