These banks are sponsoring land theft and murder
Ibu Nurhayana lives in a small community on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia. She is the mother of a daughter – and of a son, too – but he was murdered by henchmen of Sinar Mas Group, the Indonesian giant that’s the big player in Southeast Asia’s lucrative pulp and paper and palm oil agribusiness. Why? Because the young farmer and activist was a thorn in Sinar Mas’ side: He was trying to reclaim his ancestral land from Sinar Mas and was organizing his community so they could live and farm the way they’ve done for generations.
Now, Ibu Nurhayana is demanding justice. She and her community need their land to sustainably grow fruits and produce and to provide for the lives and livelihoods of their families. Frontline communities have the local knowledge needed to protect forests and local ecosystems; ensuring their land rights is critical to making that happen.
What happened to Ibu Nurhayana’s son is just one example. Across Indonesia’s rainforests, big palm oil and pulp and paper companies have gotten away with illegal land grabs, worker abuse and even murder, for far too long. And all of this violence has been made possible and financed by big corporations – name brands and banks we know all too well.
Some of the biggest financiers of Sinar Mas Group and its impacts on forests are the Asian mega banks including BNI (Bank Negara Indonesia), MUFG (Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group) and ICBC (Industrial and Commercial Bank of China). They’re pumping billions of dollars into destructive palm oil and pulp and paper operations while turning a blind eye to what’s happening on the ground. This has to stop!
The thing is: These mega banks know what’s happening. They know that companies like Sinar Mas hide the violence on their plantations from independent monitors, and they know that illegal land grabs are “made” legal by an unjust system.
And the banks know that there are countless Ibu Nurhayanas in Indonesia, fearing and fighting for their lives and their children’s future.
Well, WE know too, and that’s our advantage. WE are on the other end of the money pipeline they‘re using to bankroll human rights abuses and rainforest destruction, Ivar. We can help amplify Ibu Nurhayana’s fight and ramp up the pressure on these banks to cut off the money flow for murderous companies like Sinar Mas – unless it commits to upholding human rights and stops putting profit over people.
In solidarity with Ibu Nurhayana and all the mothers who won’t be silenced, sign this CAMPAIGN here!
Senior Forest Campaigner
Rainforest Action Network