Activists pressure Malaysia to halt 12 dubious Sarawak dams

March 15, 2012

Environmental activists gathered in front of the UN seat at Geneva’s Place des Nations yesterday to protest against plans to construct 12 hydroelectric dams in the Malaysian state of Sarawak on Borneo Island.

Following the rally in Geneva, the Malaysian representative to the UN was given a petition with 6,000 signatures from Swiss citizens calling for Malaysia to halt the dam plans. The Geneva action followed a similar protest held yesterday by indigenous communities in Sarawak, Malaysia, to mark the International Action Day for Rivers.

In a press statement, the Bruno Manser Fund sharply criticized the lack of transparency of the Malaysian dam plans which will cause the forced displacement of tens of thousands of indigenous people and will irreversibly destroy hundreds of square kilometers of tropical forests.

Malaysia has recently completed the 2,400 MW Bakun mega dam, Asia’s largest dam outside China, which already has more capacity than the entire state of Sarawak can consume and will supply neighboring Indonesia.