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Alliance of Indigenous Peoples of The Highlands of Borneo

The Highlands of Borneo are located in the far interior of the island, in the “heart” of Borneo, and are divided between the neighbouring and sovereign states of Indonesia (East Kalimantan) and Malaysia (Sabah and Sarawak).

While administratively divided between two countries, the peoples of the Highlands share a common linguistic and cultural heritage, and a common homeland.

The close ethnic and family ties of the peoples of the Highlands are one of the main reasons for the intense social and economic interactions that take place in the highlands across the international border between Indonesia and Malaysia.

The main indigenous communities of the Highlands are: Lundayeh/ Lun Bawang, Kelabit, Sa’ban and Penan.

The Highlands in the Heart of Borneo contain one of the largest forested and traditionally farmed catchment areas on the island of Borneo. Some of the main rivers of Borneo originate from this important watershed and flow to both Indonesia and Malaysia.

Forest cover secures climate stability at local level and mitigates negative effects of climate change. The Highlands are also home to a rich assemblage of megalithic monuments and archaeological remains, the silent witness to a long history of settlement in the area.

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