Tuesday, June 26, 2018

1) Singapore-based firm Wilmar accused of link to massive rainforest destruction in Papua, Indonesia

2) Dutch pension fund divests from Posco Daewoo over deforestation in Indonesia
3) 3 Civilians Killed by Armed Group in Papua  

1) Singapore-based firm Wilmar accused of link to massive rainforest destruction in Papua, Indonesia

Environmental non-governmental organization Greenpeace has accused a corporation with ties to Singapore-based firm Wilmar International of rainforest destruction in Papua, Indonesia.
In a press release yesterday, Greenpeace alleged that Gama Corp is responsible for the deforestation of an area twice the size of Paris based on flyover analyses they conducted back in March.
Greenpeace also claims that Gama Corp is a shell company for the world’s largest palm oil company, Wilmar International — a claim that the agribusiness giant fiercely disputes.
“Mapping and satellite analysis shows that Gama destroyed at least 21,500ha of rainforest or peatland,” noted the environmental NGO. 
According to Greenpeace, Gama was set up by Wilmar’s co-founder Martua Sitorus and his brother, Ganda, in 2011, while Ganda’s sons — Andy and Darwin Indigo — manage concessions for Gama. Darwin Indigo is also General Manager of Wilmar.

In a letter faxed to Greenpeace, Wilmar CEO Kuok Khoon Hong acknowledged having business dealings with Gama but went through great pains to demonstrate that, despite family ties between the two companies, they are completely separate entities.
“The fact that they are relatives of Mr Sitorus, does not mean that Gama Corp exercises management control over Wilmar or that Wilmar exercises management control over Gama Corp,” Hong said in the letter.
In the same letter, Wilmar conceded that Gama Corp and its suppliers may be associated with deforestation practices and vowed to cease buying from those suppliers itself. 
The question over the link between the businesses is a point of contention for both sides due to Wilmar’s voluntary commitment to end deforestation nearly five years ago. In 2013 they were the first palm oil trader to enact a “no deforestation, no peat, no exploitation” policy – an internal mandate applied to both its own plantations and those of its suppliers.
For Wilmar, admitting executive ties with Gama would mean it is in violation of its own policies and potentially tarnish its reputation as an eco-friendly corporation.
In response to the Greenpeace report, a Wilmar spokesperson reiterated the separation between Wilmar and Gama Corp, and its new policy that it would cease sourcing from Gama Corp’s suppliers Gama which Greenpeace identified in their report.
“Wilmar will not buy from any company that cannot prove to our satisfaction that they do not belong to Gama Corp because of the alleged identified non-compliance with Wilmar’s No Deforestation, No Peat and No Exploitation (NDPE) Policy,” the spokesperson said.


2) Dutch pension fund divests from Posco Daewoo over deforestation in Indonesia

by  on 25 June 2018

  • APB, the Dutch pension fund for government and education employees, announced it would divest 300,000 euros from Posco Daewoo over deforestation in Indonesian Papua.
  • Norway’s pension fund divested from Posco Daewoo, and its parent company, Posco, in 2015. APB is still invested in Posco.
  • Posco Daewoo is owned by one of South Korean’s largest conglomerates.
Dutch national pension fund APB is divesting 300,000 euros ($351,000) from Korean firm Posco Daewoo over deforestation in Indonesia’s easternmost Papua province.
The announcement by ABP follows a series of media reports in the Netherlands about forest destruction by PT Bio Inti Agrindo, an oil palm plantation company owned by Posco Daewoo. 
In May, consumer television program Kassa — the name means “cash register” in Dutch — aired a 16-minute segment on the pension fund’s investment in Posco Daewoo. That same month, the Dutch website Oneworld.nl published its own exposéof the land clearing in Papua.
Environmental groups have campaigned against the deforestation in Papua by Posco Daewoo, and by other companies, for years. The palm oil industry is rapidly expanding there.
In 2015, Norway’s pension fund divested from Posco Daewoo —then named Daewoo International — and from Posco, the parent company. 
APB still has a 157 million euro ($184,000) investment in Posco. 
“Norway got it right — Posco’s massive deforestation and land grabbing isn’t something to play games with,” Rolf Schipper, forest campaigner at Milieudefensie, a Dutch group, said in a statement. “If ABP wants to be seen as a responsible trustee of Dutch resources, they have to stop financing rogue actors like Posco, period.”
The land PT Bio Inti Agrindo has been licensed to develop by the Indonesian government overlaps with a WWF Global Ecoregion home to 344 registered bird and 69 mammal species, some of which are endangered and endemic to the area. 
PT Bio Inti Agrindo has cleared more than 200 square kilometers (77 square miles) of forest in Papua since 2013, according to a report released by think tank the World Resources Institute in March.
Banner: The stocky, flightless northern cassowary (Casuarius unappendiculatus) is one of the birds-of-paradise for which Papua is famous. Image by Rhett Butler for Mongabay.
Article published by 

3) 3 Civilians Killed by Armed Group in Papua  
TEMPO.COJakarta - Papuan armed separatist group (KKSB) has again attacked civilians in Kenyam, Nduga, Papua on Monday, June 25, 2018. The group terrorized civilians while trying to escape after shooting Trigana Air aircraft type of Twin Otter rented by Mobile Brigade Corps (Brimob) during landing.
“While they’re escaping, KKSB shot dead three civilians and one child severely injured,” said Regional Military Command XVII Cenderawasih Chief Colonel Infantry Muhammad Aidi in a statement, Monday, June 25.
Earlier, the airline carrying 15 officers who deployed for the election departed from Wamena airport, Jayawijaya, landed at Keneyam airport at 09:40 local times. While heading to taxi out for parking, 15 unidentified men started to shoot the left side of the airline at around 10:00 local times. Due to the incident, the pilot Abdillah Kamil suffered injuries caused by pieces of bullets in the right shoulder and the back of his head.
According to Aidi, Papuan KKSB had gun contacts with security officers of Battalion/Yalet 755 and police officers as well as Brimob units. “The group ran away to the end of the runway where the airline comes,” he explained.
Aidi mentioned the Papuan KKSB group carried six long weapons AK-47, two NFC rifles, and two pistols. “While others carry arrows, spears, and machetes to attack civilians," he said. The dead victims were Pali (28), Hendrik Sattu Kola (38), and Zainal Abidin (20). In addition, Arjuna Kola (6) suffered severe injuries.

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