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Jakarta Post

Banks contribute to deforestation, land degradation: Report

  • A. Muh. Ibnu Aqil
    A. Muh. Ibnu Aqil

    The Jakarta Post

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Jakarta   /   Thu, September 10, 2020   /  04:11 pm
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This aerial photo taken on March 3, 2018 shows a protected area of the Rawa Singkil wildlife reserve as part of the Leuser Ecosystem in Trumon, South Aceh, which is being burnt in preparation for the opening of a new palm oil plantation.(AFP/Januar)

An ongoing report by environmental groups suggests that the banking and financial services sector should be liable for deforestation, as they continue to provide services to clients driving massive fires that raze swathes of land and tropical forest cover in countries like Indonesia. According to forestsandfinance.org, a website run by multiple civil society groups from around the world, nearly US$154 billion in credit lines and loans were granted between 2016 and April 2020 by banks to companies that are prone to driving deforestation and land degradation. Among the creditors named are three Indonesian state-owned banks – Bank Mandiri, Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI) and Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI) – which, together, provided more than $8 billion in loans and underwriting, according to Forests and Finance. In its report, BNI provided at least $2.39 billion in underwriti...