Stop the destruction of Borneo's proboscis monkey forest!

Proboscis monkey and baby 1400 proboscis monkeys call Balikpapan Bay their home (© Pixabay / frei) First Resources destroys proboscis forest near Balikpapan 86 hectares have already been destroyed by Wahana Prima Sejati (First Resources Limited) (© Save Wildlife)

Proboscis monkeys, clouded leopards, sun bears, hornbills, pangolins and other endangered species live at Balikpapan Bay on Borneo. The destruction of the coastal forest for a palm oil refinery and a biodiesel factory by First Resources Ltd is threatening the endangered wildlife. We call for an immediate stop of the construction work!

Call to action

To: Lim Ming Seong, Chairman, Ciliandra Fangiono and Fang Zhixiang, CEO First Resources Ltd

“Stop the destruction of the proboscis monkey forest”

Read letter

Balikpapan Bay is one of the most biodiversity-rich regions of coastal Borneo with a large population of the endangered proboscis monkeys (around 1,400 individuals), as well as other threatened species such as clouded leopards, sun bears, hornbills, pangolins and marbled cats. Furthermore, orangutans have been reintroduced into that area.

The endangered wildlife is currently losing its habitat – for the production of biodiesel and chemical products from palm oil. The Indonesian company PT Wahana Prima Sejati, a subsidiary of the multinational First Resources Ltd group, is currently clearing coastal forest on the beach of Sanro Mutti in order to establish another palm oil refinery and a biodiesel factory. Several dozen hectares of rainforest have already been cleared – the bulldozers left a dead moonscape behind. 

Such destruction of biodiverse rainforest and vital habitat for proboscis monkeys as well as other threatened species is a violation of the Principles and Criteria of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). The parent company First Resources Ltd is a member of RSPO and already in 2015 pledged to eliminate deforestation and rights abuses from its supply chain. But its implementation remains insufficient, as the present example illustrates. The company needs to stop future clear-cutting and the construction work and instead arrange for the restoration of the valuable forest!

Please speak out against the destruction by signing our petition!

Letter

To: Lim Ming Seong, Chairman, Ciliandra Fangiono and Fang Zhixiang, CEO First Resources Ltd

Gentlemen,

I am shocked to learn that the Indonesian company PT Wahana Prima Sejati – a subsidiary of your enterprise First Resources Ltd – has already cleared several dozen hectares of high-biodiversity secondary forest on the eastern coast of Borneo to build to build a palm oil refinery, a biodiesel plant and related infrastructure. First Resources Ltd, as parent company and a leading palm oil plantation operator in Indonesia, is a member of RSPO and pledged to eliminate deforestation and rights abuses from its supply chain already in 2015. As the present case of PT Wahana Prima Sejati alarmingly illustrates, that pledge is not being kept:

Specifically, it is coastal forest at Sanro Mutti Beach (Area Pengunaan Lain) on the eastern coast of Borneo, where several dozen hectares of high conservation value forest have been cleared. The affected area is home to a vital and large population of proboscis monkeys, a species that is classified in the IUCN Red List as endangered. Furthermore, threatened species such as orangutans, clouded leopards, sun bears, hornbills, pangolins and marbled cats have been recorded in that area. While bushfires and deforestation for palm oil plantations have been the biggest threat to these rare animals in the past, the most serious threat now are infrastructure projects for the palm oil industry.

This destruction of high conservation value forest and habitat for threatened proboscis monkeys is a violation of the Principles and Criteria of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), specifically against the principle of environmental responsibility and conservation of natural resources and biodiversity. Any processing of palm oil in this refinery would not qualify for an RSPO certification. In addition, the deforestation is in breach with your own company’s guidelines.

I therefore urge First Resources Ltd to

1) prevent the building of the refinery by PT Wahana Prima Sejati
2) stop the building of the proposed biodiesel and oleochemical plants
3) arrange for the restoration of the deforested area.

Please pull the emergency brake and make reparations for the damage! I thank you for your efforts in this urgent case.

Yours faithfully,

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