Corporates and BNI Help the Fire in Indonesia

Corporates and BNI Help the Fire in Indonesia

InfoSAWIT, JAKARTA  — The banks play the big roles to the fire in the forest and areas and the smoke in Indonesia. Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI), Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI), Japanese banks, Mizuho Financial Group and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group might have funded the industries ‘which are risky to the forests’ since the Paris Agreement.

Data released by the banks keep supporting companies which fail to end the fire crisis in palm oil and pulp companies in Indonesia. This is known from the SMG which got the biggest finance from the banks. SMG got loans for about US$ 19 billion in the last five years (2015-2020), within detail, US$ 14.3 billion for the pulp and paper operational, and US$ 4,5 billion for its palm oil plantations.

“BRI and BNI yang which have no public policy to forbid the peat new planting or fire to new planting for their clients are the big financial providers for SMG. The big Japanese banks, such as, Mizuho Financial Group and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) are the significant capital providers for the last years though they have adopted the environment and social policy to fund since 2018,” Executive Director of TuK (Transformasi untuk Keadilan) Indonesia, Edi Sutrisno said, as in the official written statement to InfoSAWIT.

Instead of recovering the peat which is risky to the fire, the subsidiary and supplier partner of PT. APP keeps cutting and dry the peat for about 3.500 hectares in total since 2018, including the areas where they should be in protection and prior zones which the government of Indonesia has decided. Jikalahari also claimed to the police that PT. Arara Abadi (AA), as the subsidiary of PT APP did new planting and intentional fire in July 2020.

Jikalahari found that the peat which was in fire still were prepared to the planting. The finding was used drone and taken on 3 July 2020, or a week after the fire took place in the concession areas. The satellite image ensured that the areas were forest in January 2020. The hotspot showed the fire was happening on 28 June 2020.

“The intentional fire in the areas of PT. AA breaks not only the regulations in Indonesia but also breaks the public commitment and policy of PT APP. PT AA always let the fire happen since 2015. It is predicted that the total fire covered more than 12.000 hectares,” coordinator of Jikalahari, Made Ali said.

Besides the fire, the company and the supplier partner of PT APP have conflict tracks with the people and rights of the land. More than 100 conflicts took place with the people. PT AA, the company which is assumed to fire intentionally, has violated the indigenous people and did crime to the people in conflicts.

“The open financial scheme is the important issue so that the public know where to save their money, or which banks to invest. The people have rights to know if the stakeholders implement the sustainable principles or the banks do damage the forest and take others’ land which raises conflicts,” Executive Director of Wahana Lingkungan Hidup, Jambi, Rudiansyah said. (T2)

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