The Borneo Project

The Borneo Project

The Borneo Project brings international attention and support to community-led efforts to defend forests, sustainable livelihoods, and human rights. We believe that protecting human rights and environmental integrity in Borneo is a critical component of the global movement for a just and peaceful world.

In the late 1980s, indigenous communities in Malaysian Borneo made world headlines when they staged a series of blockades in resistance to logging companies who were illegally encroaching on their lands. International observers– including The Borneo Project’s founder Joe Lamb– came to bear witness to the gassing and mass arrest of protestors. Upon his return to America in 1991, Joe founded The Borneo Project with the immediate goal of providing support to those fighting to protect their rights and the critically important rainforests of Sarawak.


Since its founding the project has trained dozens of indigenous activists in community mapping, enabling communities to map areas of ancestral land claims and win legal cases and negotiations. We have supported paralegal education and mobile legal aid clinics that have helped over 200 longhouse communities hold off destructive logging and industrial plantations. The Project has coordinated over $500,000 in grants from international sources for community reforestation, organic gardening, territory demarcation, indigenous education, and other village projects.


The Borneo Project Goals:


  • To support indigenous-led campaigns to secure legal land rights, and to support actions and activists to preserve indigenous land rights.
  • To support communities acting to preserve and conserve local ecosystems.
  • To support cultural conservation efforts for indigenous and forest-dependent communities in Borneo.
  • To educate the American public about the importance of Borneo, indigenous rights, and the role of forests in climate  change and biodiversity conservation. 


The Borneo Project links grassroots indigenous campaigns with the global fight against the destruction to land. The project works to bring aligned communities together across borders to strengthen these movements and influence policy at the international level.


Their local work of supporting indigenous communities to secure land rights is a crucial part of the global fight to combat climate change.


It is obvious that loss of forests contributes as much as 30 percent of global greenhouse-gas emissions each year–rivaling emissions from the global transportation sector. Protecting forests, while also reducing fossil fuel emissions, is critical in order to stabilize the climate, preserve global biodiversity, sustain the global economy, and protect the livelihoods of billions of people. 


Hence, the well-being of forests makes a difference to all the world’s people, whether we live on forested land or far away from it. Over the years the Borneo Project has supported indigenous communities in Sarawak in their fights to gain legal rights over their land through legal aid grants and mapping projects. They also connect grassroots movements in Sarawak to global indigenous rights movements, strengthening the ties between communities to influence domestic and international policy. 


Some of the achievements of The Borneo Project include:


  1. Indigenous Rights Advocacy: The organization works closely with indigenous communities in Borneo, supporting their efforts to secure land rights and protect their traditional territories. They advocate for the recognition of indigenous rights and the involvement of these communities in decision-making processes regarding land and natural resources.


  1. Rainforest Conservation: The Borneo Project is committed to conserving the rainforests of Borneo, one of the most biodiverse places on the planet. They work to combat deforestation and promote sustainable land-use practices that protect the environment and its wildlife.


  1. Environmental Awareness: The organization raises awareness about the environmental and social issues faced by the indigenous communities in Borneo and the importance of protecting the rainforests. They engage in educational campaigns and outreach to foster a deeper understanding of the challenges and solutions.


  1. Ethical Sustainable Livelihoods: The Borneo Project supports initiatives that promote sustainable livelihoods for indigenous communities, encouraging practices that harmonize with the natural environment rather than exploiting it.


To support The Borneo Project, individuals and organizations can contribute in various ways:


  1. Donations: Financial contributions are essential to support the organization's programs and initiatives. Donating directly through their official website or other recognized platforms helps fund their projects and campaigns.


  1. Volunteering: Individuals with relevant skills and expertise can offer their time and efforts as volunteers to assist with projects or raise awareness.


  1. Advocacy: Supporting the cause of The Borneo Project by raising awareness, sharing information on social media, and advocating for sustainable and responsible environmental practices.


  1. Partnerships: Collaboration with other organizations, companies, or institutions that share similar goals can amplify the impact of The Borneo Project's efforts.

Find Us

2150 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA 94704, USA
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.


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