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Nature

Deadly Malaysian Landslide Blamed on Rainforest Logging

On Saturday, three people were killed and several injured after a massive landslide in Sarawak, Malaysia. According to one group, the slide could have been prevented if loggers had left the rainforest in the area alone.

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The landslide is a direct consequence of destructive logging practices,” reads a statement from the Bruno Manser Fund, a non-profit representing Sarawak’s indigenous people.”The landslide took place near Long Sebayang on the upper reaches of the Limbang river.

Logging in the area, which is claimed by local Penan and Kelabit communities, has been controversial since the mid-1980s when locals set up a number of logging-road blockades to prevent the timber companies from encroaching their rainforests.”

The area is still suffering from deforestation, with two companies logging rainforest in order to turn the land into tree farms.

Logging and removal of vegetation is commonly known to increase the likelihood of landslides. While the people who protested and engaged in direct action to stop the loggers in the 1980s were merely trying to protect their land, the impact of deforestation can be felt for years, as this tragic incident shows.

Photo Credit: robstephaustralia on Flickr under Creative Commons license.




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