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  • Writer's pictureDr Teo Hoon Seong

Walking for Baram Peace Park

My name is Hoon. I am an NHS doctor and an environmental and social justice activist, born in Malaysia, living and working in Manchester, England.

In 2022, I began a series of long walks in solidarity with the good people of Sarawak’s SAVE Rivers Network, in order to help raise the profile of their #StopTheSLAPP campaign.

Since then, these steadfast grassroots rainforest protectors have managed to overturn this devastating lawsuit against them for defamation, by global timber and palm oil giant, Samling - I was obviously overjoyed when the news of came through of this victory, last September.

So, you might well ask, why have I picked up my placard and put on my walking shoes again? Well, because the fight to protect Borneo’s precious rainforests from logging and agri-industrial development is far from over. The creation of the Baram Peace Park is an important battle to win, and I want to draw attention to it, as I walk through the mountains, river valleys and forests of the UK..

The decision to set up the Peace Park was taken in 2009. (Photo credit: Bruno Manser Fonds)

This indigenous led initiative has grown over the last decade and a half with many conservation and heritage projects, including habitat restoration, wildlife monitoring, cultural mapping and sustainable livelihood development, now well underway.

Together the villagers map their traditonal territories. (Photo credit: Bruno Manser Fonds)

The proposed Baram Peace Park territory covers 225,000 hectares in Sarawak's Upper Baram region, to be placed under the management of the communities who live there, ensuring that  Borneo’s largest remaining unprotected primary rainforest, is safeguarded for the benefit of us all.

I invite you to follow my journey of solidarity with Baram Peace Park, through my  series of walking blogs over the next few months. In the meantime please visit the Park’s brilliantly inspiring and informative website and sign their petition to support this crucial initiative.

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