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Veronique Mistiaen

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Year of Publication: 2020

Mistiaen, Veronique, Saving Rivers, Saving Lives, New Internationalist, 2020, pp. 46-47

Interview with Peter Lallang, campaigning in Sarawak to defend its biodiverse rainf orest and indigenous people against the Malaysian government's plans for megadams. He briefly describes the Save Rivers campaign that included river flotillas in towns and rural areas and a two-year blockade to stop dam building. The campaign also made international links with the Green Party in Australia to lobby parliamentarians about links to a Tasmanian company, and also top renewable energy experts at the University of California, who provided alternative energy proposals for the region. After five years the Malaysian government agreed to cancel the dam, but campaigners fear it may revive the project.

Year of Publication: 2019

Mistiaen, Veronique, Protecting the "Lungs of West Africa", New Internationalist, 2019, pp. 54-56

Brownell took up the case of indigenous people living in the rainforest against abusive violence and imprisonment for resisting the destruction of their environment and cultural monuments by the Southeast Asian agro-industrial company Golden Veroleum (GVL) planning to grow palm oil. Brownell's seven-year campaign invoked help from global NGOs to support a complaint to the Roundtable on sustainable Palm Oil, which froze GVL's expansion. He succeeded in saving over half a million acres of rainforest, but he had to flee to the US. He has also established a rural network - the Alliance for Rural Democracy - throughout Liberia to work form environmental justice.

Mistiaen, Veronique, Protecting the 'Lungs of West Africa', July-Aug 2019, New Internationalist, 2019, pp. 54-56

Conversation with Alfred Brownell, Liberian environmental lawyers recorded by Veronique Mistiaen. Brownell has been involved in a seven year campaign which succeeded in protecting half a million acres of Liberia's tropical rainforest from the Southeast Asia-based Golden Veroleum company, which had been granted the right by the government to clear and use the land to grow palm oil. He took up the cause of the indigenous community in Sinoe County whose forests and cultural sites were being destroyed by the company. The article outlines how the campaign succeeded and Brownell's wider role in creating the Alliance for Rural Democracy throughout Liberia to work for environmental justice. He had been forced by death threats to move with his family to the USA.