A conference on building dams – and what more ‘appropriate’ venue than Sarawak, where a dam-building frenzy has gripped policy makers.
These days they have green-washed their image: they are calling it “Water Resources and Renewable Energy Development”.
As part of the conference programme, they are organising site visits to Batang Ai, Bakun and Murum as well as “cultural excursions” and “a full social programme” for delegates. I wonder if these will include visits to the indigenous communities, especially the Penan, many of whom have been and will be displaced by all these dams. (Update: Yes, on day two of the programme, “in the mid-afternoon, the group will have an opportunity to visit the Sungai Asap village, where communities were resettled from the Bakun reservoir area. On arrival the guests will be received with the traditional dance of the ‘Kayan’ tribe. There will be a tour of the village, with a chance to learn about the Kayan culture and customs”. I hope they will be thoroughly briefed about the problems faced by those who were resettled.)
Check out the blurb on the conference here.