Green Heroes pp 171-176 | Cite as

Missing in Action – The Story of Bruno Manser

  • László Erdős


Bruno Manser was a Swiss man who dreamed of living in nature. He spent ten summers in alpine pastures, herding animals, milking, making butter and cheese, and going on excursions. It was a life as close to nature as was possible in a western European country. In the early 1980s Manser decided to settle in Borneo and live among the Penan, a nomadic tribe of Borneo. Manser learned their language and adopted the appearance and behaviour of his new friends. Also, Manser supported Penan efforts to save the jungle and resist deforestation. For his activism, he was declared enemy of the state. Police arrested him, but he managed to run away. In 2000 Manser disappeared in the rainforest. Despite search expeditions, neither his body nor his backpack have been found.


Indigenous peoples Indigenous rights Human rights Marginalised people Penan Borneo Tropical rainforest Deforestation Logging 

Worth Reading

  1. Hoffman, C. (2018). The last wild men of Borneo: A true story of death and treasure. New York: William Morrow. Google Scholar
  2. Manser, B. (2015). Voices from the rainforest: Testimonies of a threatened people. Petaling Jaya: Strategic Information and Research Development Centre.Google Scholar
  3. Suter, R. (2015). Rainforest hero: The life and death of Bruno Manser. Basel: Bergli Books.Google Scholar
  4. Straumann, L. (2014). Money logging: On the trail of the Asian Timber Mafia. Basel: Bergli Books.Google Scholar

Worth Browsing

  1. Worth Watching

    1. Blowpipes and Bulldozers (1988)Google Scholar
    2. The Borneo Case (2016)Google Scholar
  1. Bruno Manser (2019)Google Scholar
  2. Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • László Erdős
    • 1
  1. 1.MTA-DE Lendület Functional and Restoration Ecology Research Group, DebrecenInstitute of Ecology and Botany MTA Centre for Ecological ResearchVácrátótHungary

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