May 1, 2012
Harrison Ngau Laing was awarded the Goldman Prize in 1990 for his struggle to protect the rights of the indigenous peoples of Sarawak, Malaysia to defend their tropical forests from the highly corrupt logging industry.
Since then, Ngau has gone on to become legal advisor to Save Rivers Network, which is currently leading the protest against the Baram Hydroelectric Dam Project on the Baram River in Sarawak.
According to their press release, “The protesters used longboats powered by outboard engines, displayed their banners and placard while shouting slogans in the various languages spoken in the Baram district urging the government to scrap the controversial project and take heed of the peoples’ concerns.”
One protester’s placard displayed the words “we want development, but not the Baram dam,” pinpointing a desire shared by many indigenous communities to identify ecologically sound development plans.