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1/7/11 Borneo (AsiaNews) – Fr. Matheus Yuli, a priest of the diocese of Ketapang (in West Borneo), works closely with the Dayaks, a native people of Borneo (Kalimantan, in local language) and explains that “it is almost impossible to think about Dayak cultural identity and civilization, without the presence of their forest. ” The priest denounces the devastation caused by speculators and tycoons, first with an indiscriminate deforestation and then the creation of a palm tree plantation for oil production. The damage caused to the area, has endangered the survival of tribal peoples. The island of Borneo is five times larger than the island of Java, the most populous of the Indonesian archipelago. The native Dayak are divided into hundreds of ethnic groups and each speak a different language, as well as having a different traditional culture and way of cultivation. In western Borneo Capuchin friars have launched a reforestation project, to restore the local natural environment. ” It was a hard job to do, – says Fr Samuel Sidin Oton, a Dayak – since native Dayak tribal groups were not easy to be brainstormed over the possibility of making their barren forest to be green again”. Among the projects launched by the religious, reforestation of over 100 hectares of land in Tunggal Hill in the district of Kubu Raya.

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