Gebril Atong

Community Leader at Punan Bah Village Security and Development

Active in Country: Malaysia

DTP Alumnus: 2012 Indigenous Peoples Program - Malaysia



Gebril Atong participated in DTP Indigenous Peoples Program in Malaysia in 2012.

Gebril works as a Community Leader for the Punan Bah Village Security and Development Committee and is a member of the Punan ethnic group from Sarawak, Malaysia. He participated in DTP’s 2012 Indigenous Peoples, Human Rights and Advocacy Program in Sabah, Malaysia, which featured a special training session on the role of OECD guidelines and complaint mechanisms.


Malaysia’s Indigenous peoples face many threats to their way of life and communal ownership of traditional lands – and threats of evictions from their traditional longhouses. Threats come from logging (legal and illegal), from the destruction of native forest for plantations, and from the construction of dams for hydro-power. Community advocates protest and campaign and try legal challenges to preserve their livelihoods, to stay on their lands and maintain their cultural and spiritual connections to land.


“Life is centred on cash but we are still poor and all land was taken from us. We are told that this is to develop and modernise our country, so anyone who dares to question development is labelled antidevelopment”


Profile was part of 2015 DTP's 25th Anniversary Exhibition