Penan and Kenyah Indigenous communities in Malaysian Borneo will be given a chance to formally air their complaints against a timber company operating in their traditional territory, following the start of a dispute resolution case between the two sides. The Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) launched the process last month after the communities filed complaints over alleged flaws in the certification of logging concessions owned by the company. On May 31, the MTCC informed community representatives that their complaints had been taken up by its independently appointed committee of experts, who will deliberate on the certification process of two forest management units in Sarawak state owned by timber giant Samling Group. (FMUs are government-granted concessions that aim to use funds from timber production in parts of a concession to conserve forest in other parts of the concession.) The FMUs in question are the 117,941-hectare (291,439-acre) Ravenscourt FMU in Sarawak’s Limbang division and the 148,305-hectare (366,470-acre) Gerenai FMU in the Miri division. Combined, they make up an area almost half the size of Bali. While Gerenai was certified under MTCC’s flagship Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS) last year and Ravenscourt in 2018, Indigenous groups in the area say the certification procedures were flawed. They allege that Samling withheld key documents about the process, did not obtain free, prior and informed consent from affected communities, and failed to consider how the Indigenous people use the land for their livelihoods. Samling says it has “adhered to all the requirements set by the MTCC with regards to the…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

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