Indonesian billionaire using ‘shadow companies’ to clear forest for palm oil, report alleges

first_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Article published by mongabayauthor Anonymous Companies, Banks, Corporate Environmental Transgressors, Deforestation, Environment, Environmental Policy, Finance, Forestry, Forests, Governance, Palm Oil, Peatlands, Plantations, Rainforests, Threats To Rainforests, Transparency, Tropical Forests center_img Two plantation companies linked to Anthoni Salim, Indonesia’s third-richest man, are deforesting a peat swamp in Borneo, according to new research by Aidenvironment.In response to the findings, Citigroup said it was cancelling all lending agreements with IndoAgri, the Salim Group’s agribusiness arm.The Salim Group was previously accused of being behind four companies at the forefront of illegal oil palm expansion in Indonesia’s Papua region, employing a complex network of shared directorships and offshore companies to obfuscate its responsibility.“It is not just the Salim Group; most of the main palm oil groups have these ‘dark sides’ that continue to deforest,” said Selwyn Moran, founder of investigative blog awas MIFEE. The owner of Indonesia’s largest conglomerate has been accused of participating in the illegal deforestation of Borneo’s Ketungau peat swamp to make way for oil palm plantations.The Salim Group, owned by tycoon Anthoni Salim, Indonesia’s fourth-richest man according to Forbes, is reportedly linked either by ownership or association with the two companies that cleared nearly 10,000 hectares of the protected rainforest.The Salim Group notably includes Indofood, a joint-venture partner with major brands such as PepsiCo and Nestle, as well as First Pacific, the joint owner of Goodman Fielder, a leading food producer in the Asia-Pacific region.In a new report released today, Aidenvironment, a sustainability consultancy, said that the Salim Group’s continuing reliance on “shadow companies” to sidestep legal oversight also raised questions over the complicity of major banks, such as Citibank, Mizuho, Standard Chartered, BNP Paribas and Rabobank, that finance the Salim Group.“This report provides clear evidence of shady business dealings and inaction at the highest levels of business, all while tropical rainforests continue to fall for Conflict Palm Oil,” said Gemma Tillack, forest policy director of Rainforest Action Network (RAN), which commissioned the research along with Rainforest Foundation Norway (RFN) and SumOfUs.The report, titled “Palm oil sustainability assessment of Salim-related companies in Borneo peat forests”, also alleged that The Salim Group was made aware of the deforestation carried out by PT Duta Rendra Mulya — majority owned by Anthoni Salim — and PT Sawit Khatulistiwa Lestari — linked with the tycoon through business associates — in early 2016, but failed to act despite repeated attempts at government intervention.It found that one of the companies, PT Sawit Khatulistiwa Lestari, had successfully applied for a change to the government’s peatland moratorium map to allow development, despite almost all of the concession being categorized as “peatlands prioritized for protection.”“The Salim Group’s financiers and business partners––like PepsiCo––are complicit in the illegal deforestation, as they continue to do business with Salim without issue. PepsiCo, Nestle and Wilmar must bring their business partner into compliance with Indonesian law and sustainability norms of deforestation-free development or exit their business relationships,” Tillack said in a statement.A piece of oil palm fruit. Palm oil is used in a wide variety of processed foods, cosmetics, detergents and biofuels. Photo by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.The corporate structure of Salim’s conglomerate — a foundation of publicly listed companies with declared sustainability commitments and Salim Group-related shadow companies that allegedly continue to operate illegally — should be of serious concern to investors and business partners, the report argues.“This isn’t the first time that companies in the Salim Group have been exposed for destructive practices,” Kiki Taufik, head of Greenpeace’s Indonesian forests campaign, said in the statement. “The Salim Group is one of the worst offenders and has gone out of its way to keep its destructive operations separate from the public face of the Indofood empire. That’s why companies need to take responsibility for ensuring that they only use palm oil from responsible producers that protect rainforests and respect human rights.”The Salim Group did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Mongabay.The Ketungau peat swamp in Indonesian Borneo’s Sintang district is subject to special protections under Indonesian law. Peat forests are at high risk of burning and are covered by specific rules as part of global climate regulations because they act as natural carbon storage areas. The annual CO2 emissions from the drained area of the Ketungau peatland will be equivalent to the annual emissions from 110,000 passenger vehicles, according to figures from the World Resources Institute.According to new supply chain data analyzed by Greenpeace, major brands continue to do business with palm oil mills which are at high risk of sourcing from Salim Group-linked companies.“Billions of dollars in corporate loans, and finance from bonds and shares, have all flowed to the Salim Group companies despite Mr Salim’s connection to ongoing illegal deforestation,” said Vemund Olsen from RFN. “Banks need to step up their commitments to climate change and stop bankrolling peat destruction.”The canopy of an oil palm plantation in Indonesia. Photo by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.In response to the findings in the Aidenvironment report, Citigroup said it was cancelling all lending agreements with IndoAgri, the Salim Group’s agribusiness arm, effective immediately and conducting an investigation into its exposure to tainted palm oil through other lines of credit offered to Indofood. Standard Chartered, HSBC, Rabobank and DBS said they remained committed to sustainable palm oil policies and would review lending arrangements where necessary. BNP Paribas and SMFG denied responsibility because PT Duta Rendra Mulya and PT Sawit Khatulistiwa Lestari are not their clients.In 2016, The Salim Group was accused of being behind four companies that were at the forefront of illegal oil palm expansion in Indonesia’s Papua region, employing a complex network of shared directorships and offshore companies to obfuscate its responsibility.Recent research by investigative blog awas MIFEE has also alleged that the Indogunta Group, a non-traditional corporate entity with numerous plantations in the Kalimantan and Papua regions, was controlled, through a series of beneficial ownership arrangements, by Salim.Selwyn Moran of awas MIFEE said it was a challenge for the environmental movement to campaign against the financing of companies such as the Salim Group, which operate obscure supply chains.“It is not just the Salim Group; most of the main palm oil groups have these ‘dark sides’ that continue to deforest,” he told Mongabay. “If trader and consumer companies genuinely want to commit to no-deforestation policies then they need to apply the principle of group-level responsibility to these groups where the ownership structure is obscure and there is a good reason to believe that there is a beneficial owner who is not on the shareholding list.”“It should really be up to the trading companies to place the burden of proof on their suppliers to disprove the link with companies that deforest, especially if they are registered at the same address, as in the case of some of the Salim concessions.”last_img

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