Indonesia: terror and eviction for palm oil


An indigenous woman stands in shock in front of her demolished house

This horrendous story is currently being circulated by Rainforest Rescue. The actions of these palm oil companies are totally unacceptable, and unless something is done soon, the indigenous peoples will have nothing left at all, and the rest of the world can kiss goodbye to the irreplaceable Indonesian rainforests. They cannot, however, stand up to these insatiable corporations alone. They need help – lots of help.

“On the morning of December 11, I heard men rattling my door,” said Basron, a 41-year-old resident of the Pinang Tinggi settlement. He then found himself confronted by an armed troop of soldiers, police officers, staff of the PT Asiatic Persada palm oil company and hired thugs.

“These houses are all slated for eviction and demolition today,” one of the men said. A little later, Basron watched as a bulldozer reduced his hut to splinters. In Jambi Province in Sumatra, a total of 1,500 men descended on the helpless indigenous Suku Anak Dalam and evicted them from their huts. At least 296 houses in four villages were looted and demolished in early December 2013.

For almost three decades, Asiatic Persada has been persecuting the forest dwellers – in 1986, the company started to cut down their rainforest for plantations. Yet the people stood firm – until December 2013.

Vast rainforest areas are being cleared for new palm oil plantations in response to the EU’s agrofuel policy. Palm oil imports from the tropics are soaring to meet growing demand for biodiesel: 2.5 million tons were imported in the first half of 2013 – a 63 percent increase over the same period the previous year.

The most important producer of palm-oil biodiesel is Neste Oil Corporation. The Finnish government maintains a 51% controlling interest in the company, which operates the world’s largest biodiesel refineries in Singapore and Rotterdam, each with an annual capacity of one billion litres.

Environmentalists in Cameroon need your support!

Please call on the EU and the governments of its member countries to stop the mandatory blending of biofuels and abolish imports of tropical vegetable oils.

Start of campaign: Dec 23, 2013

13th November 2013 – A Fateful Day for the Rainforests


Up to 90 per cent Of Global Deforestation is Due to Organized Crime

URGENT

Tomorrow, Wednesday, 13th of November 2013, is of utmost importance for the tropical rainforests. On this day, the Committee of Permanent Representatives of the EU will meet in Brussels to discuss Europe’s future biofuel policy. European laws stipulate that biofuels made from plant oil are blended with fossil fuels. At present, 1.9 million tons of palm oil are mixed with diesel in the EU every year. 7,000 square kilometers of tropical rainforest have been converted into huge industrial monoculture plantations to produce the palm oil.

Please participate in the campaign by sending a protest email to the UK representation to the EU, Mrs. Shan Morgan:

Dear Minister,
Please abolish the blending of palm oil with diesel in the EU. The plantations needed to produce the palm oil threaten rainforests and the habitat of endangered orangutans.
Palm oil does not belong in fuel tanks!

To: Shan Morgan, UK Representation to the EU
Email: ukrep@fco.gov.uk
Telephone: +32 (0)2 287 8211

Via Rainforest Rescue 12th November, 2013