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Peoples deprived of their powers, the story of the Penan in the region of Sarawak in Malaysia

the ROME – The widespread disregard of the rights of indigenous peoples, who live in areas not yet reached by the rules of the intensive exploitation of natur

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Peoples deprived of their powers, the story of the Penan in the region of Sarawak in Malaysia
the ROME – The widespread disregard of the rights of indigenous peoples, who live in areas not yet reached by the rules of the intensive exploitation of natural resources, calls into question the so-called “western world”. And this not only to respect the cultures isolated, often subject to fast integration processes and approval destabilizing and unknown rules of coexistence, but perhaps mainly because those people represent the last bastion of salvation is an ecological balance that seems to be daily threatened.

The book that talks about it. There is a collection of short stories, written by Anton Giulio Onofri, “The first summer and other stories” (“Sedicigiugno, Handrail Editions”, 114 pages, 10 euros), which in some way enters into this topic, by recalling the figure of Leonardo Salimbeni, a photographer, and the author of numerous reports on indigenous peoples are threatened in their integrity, and cultural heritage. The story focuses in fact on the hunter-gatherer Penan in the region of Sarawak, the malaysian Borneo, which are from time waging a battle to save from destruction what is left of their forests and their way of life.

The exploitation on a large scale. The government of Sarawak does not recognize the territorial rights of the Penan and since the 1970s he has promoted the commercial exploitation of large-scale timber on tribal lands across the Country. Since 1987, the Penan protest against logging, blocking access to the forests razed to the ground by timber companies. From then on, the resistance continues as well as the erection of barricades. Some were able to prevent the entry of the insurance companies, but others have witnessed the tragic destruction of a great part of their territory. After you have cut all the trees fine, the companies shave to the ground the forests completely in order to cultivate large plantations of oil palm. The government of Sarawak plans to build twelve new hydroelectric dams that sommergeranno the villages of many of the communities of the Penan and other indigenous peoples.

other peoples threatened. as Well as takes place in the lower Omo Valley, an area of immense beauty, one of the last rainforests survived in the arid regions of sub-saharan Africa, or in some of the most remote regions of the peruvian Amazon, where, according to Survival, the global movement for the rights of indigenous peoples - live in 15 different tribes of Indians isolated, the rights of the Penan are not recognized, and their forests are being razed to the ground by the cutters of timber, oil palm plantations and hydroelectric dams, them to rob of their means of livelihood.

Nomadic but now settled. The hunter-gatherer Penan, told through the images of the Town, mentioned in the book of Onofri, live in rain forests and are traditionally nomads. Most of the 10-12.000 Penan now living in settled communities, although their livelihood and their daily lives continue to depend on the forest. With the arrival of James Brooke in 1839, Sarawak was managed for over a century as the personal kingdom of the “Brooke Rajahs”. In 1946 it was handed over to the British, and in 1963 was incorporated in Malaysia.

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