Sarawak is one of two Malaysian states on the island of Borneo. Known as Bumi Kenyalang, “Land of the Hornbills”, Sarawak is situated on the north-west of the island. It is the largest state in Malaysia
The administrative capital is Kuching, which has a population of 579,900. As of the last census (2010), the state population was 2,420,009.
Recent Images from Google Earth seem to prove the claims of campaigners that Sarawak has lost 90% of its forests as a result of logging.
This is in stark contrast to the claims of Sarawak’s Chief Minister Taib Mahmud who states that 70 percent of Sarawak’s forest cover is intact. “People can make many claims, but my government has been very deeply committed to sustainable management of our forest,” Taib said in an interview. “These are the simple facts and if people want to verify, they are welcome to Sarawak. I’ll be open for… independent inspection and I have nothing to hide.”
However Taib has never allowed any foreign inspection of Sarawak’s forests since the 1991 ITTO mission which had not turned out the way he had hoped. In particular, he has consistently refused ITTO to conduct a follow-up mission.
Former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown described the deforestation of Sarawak as “probably the biggest environmental crime of our times”.