Buying new land for palm oil plantation is “just” for Banker and businessman a new way to invest and promote agro-industrial business. But for the eco-activist it is “just” a new way to destroy rainforest.
A new report names major U.S. and European banks that are financing land grabs in Indonesia for palm oil production—which is harming the rainforest and the lives of the people who live there—and the investors who are profiting from the business.
Palm oil producers in Indonesia are clearing tropical rainforests to plant their oil palm trees, obliterating the homes of endangered animals like orangutans, pygmy elephants and Sumatran tigers. The report, released Thursday by Friends of the Earth, Forest Heroes and SumOfUs, shows how this forest destruction not only harms forest peoples, endangered species and the Earth’s climate, but often is illegal.
A new report exposes palm oil producers in Indonesia destroying vital forest habitat in protected forest reserves, at the expense of local communities and wildlife.Photo courtesy of Shutterstock
A new report exposes palm oil producers in Indonesia destroying vital forest habitat in protected forest reserves, at the expense of local communities and wildlife. Photo credit: Shutterstock
Commodity Crimes: Illicit Land Grabs, Illegal Palm Oil and Endangered Orangutans documents how one Indonesian company, Bumitama Agri Ltd., engaged in systematic forest destruction in and around forest reserves. In 2012 the company sold itself in a public offering that admitted to illegally cleared tracts of forest.
The financial maneuvers of Bumitama Agri—a leading supplier to the global market, including to Wilmar International, the world’s largest palm oil trader— also raise questions about compliance with Indonesia’s tax laws and laws against money laundering.
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