Friday, 16 January 2009

Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

I left for Buayan, the Dusun community in Borneo where we have been working since 2004, under a threatening sky. After a quick drive to Donggongon with James Wong, GDF-Southeast Asia’s field coordinator, we waited for our fellow travellers to assemble for the bumpy 1 hour drive along logging roads and then 4 hour walk in mountainous terrain. I crossed paths with Jannie Lasimbang, who has resettled in Sabah after several years in Thailand, where she was coordinating the Asia Indigenous Peoples Programme (AIPP). This and other indigenous organisations are playing a leading role in making sure that communities are involved in negotiating and implementing international policy on indigenous peoples’ livelihoods, rights and self-determination.

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