Indigenous Peoples’ Rights, Climate Change, and Business and Human Rights focus of recent program in Sabah, Malaysia

DTP’s Indigenous Peoples’ Rights, Climate Change, Business and Human Rights took place in Sabah, Malaysia from 6-11 May with 20 participants from Indigenous Peoples organisations in Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia. The program was led by DTP’s partners, Jaringan Orang Asal SeMalaysia (JOAS) and Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP) and involved DTP alumni Colin Nicholas (1990) and Nasiri Sabiah (2012), Celine Lim (2018), Frederic Wilson (2019) and other leaders from the Indigenous Peoples movements including Jannie Lasimbang, Jenifer Lasimbang, Adrian Lasimbang and Nicholas Mujah.

Sessions were also led by DTP trainers, Serena Lillywhite AM and Matthew Coghlan. Indigenous Peoples in Malaysia (Orang Asal) are defending and protecting their forests, rivers and seas from accelerating development, including projects now linked to demands for the green transition which is driving demand for minerals such as silica sand and rare earths, and new dams for hydropower. The program explored how international commitments to human rights and the environment, biodiversity, climate action and the self-determination of Indigenous Peoples can frame dialogue between government, business and Indigenous communities and open up new avenues for remediation for IPs. Malaysia’s human rights and women’s rights record is currently being reviewed by UPR and CEDAW processes.

This was DTP’s first national level program in its partnership with AIPP and targeted the next generation of young Indigenous community leaders. It was the first to include the newly updated OECD Guidelines on MNEs and Responsible Business Conduct – and emerging frameworks on carbon trading and offsets and private investment.

“This program is helping us build our movement to claim our rights and role as defenders of our land, territories and resources in the interests of the planet," said Jenifer Lasimbang, Local and International Relations Officer at JOAS.

The program's draft schedule is available here. Full report will follow.


The Diplomacy Training Program's 2024 Indigenous Peoples Rights, Climate Change, Human Rights and Business - Malaysia capacity building program receives support from the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).

20 participants from Indigenous Peoples organisations in Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia gathered for capacity building program.