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Tesco : a basket of problems for the Amazon

Palm oil and timber giant Korindo backs down in long-running case to silence civil society organizations

Baca dalam Bahasa Indonesia

Bahasa language press release

(Hamburg, Germany 21 Feb 2023) The plaintiff in the legal proceedings, a company belonging to the Korindo group of businesses, has agreed to end a long-running lawsuit, after a judge in Germany looked set to dismiss the case. PT Kenertec Power Systems’ lawsuit was obviously intended to silence a civil society campaign to protect rainforest, in Indonesia’s Papua province, threatened by Korindo’s extensive palm oil operations.  


Korindo’s operations span the globe, ranging from timber, paper, rubber, and palm oil to renewable energy. In 2016, Mighty Earth, Rainforest Rescue and several Indonesian and Korean NGOs (non-governmental organisations) were signatories to a letter highlighting Korindo’s rampant deforestation in its huge palm oil operations in Papua, Indonesia. The letters were sent to Kenertec’s major wind tower customers in Germany. 

In 2017 Mighty Earth submitted a complaint to the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), a global sustainable forestry certification body, regarding Korindo’s clearing of more than 30,000 hectares of Indonesian rainforests in Papua. The FSC launched an investigation.1 

In 2018, Korindo instructed legal firm, LPA Singapore, to send threatening emails to at least seven organizations that signed the 2016 letter. The email stated: 'Korindo’s policy is to engage legal actions against individuals or organisations that circulate incorrect information or make factually erroneous public statements about Korindo - with the intention or effect to damage Korindo’s business interests. Korindo is consequently in the process of initiating legal actions against Mighty Earth.’ 

In 2019, Korindo’s PT Kenertec Power Systems German lawyers2 filed a libel lawsuit in Germany, against the Center for International Policy (CIP), a former fiscal sponsor to Mighty Earth, and the German NGO, Rettet den Regenwald (Rainforest Rescue). Kenertec’s German lawyer argued that statements, made in letters sent to wind tower customers in Germany, namely Siemens AG (Germany), Gamesa Corporation (now Siemens Gamesa) and Nordex SE (Germany), were defamatory. 

In 2019 Korindo’s legal firm, threatened the FSC, which was investigating Korindo’s violations of its policies, based on Mighty Earth’s 2017 complaint. The investigation found that Korindo had destroyed more than 30,000 hectares of forest  (equivalent to 42,000 football fields) in the previous five years and committed violations of Indigenous peoples’ traditional and human rights, in contravention of FSC standards.3 The investigation estimated that Korindo haddeprived indigenous communities in Indonesia’s Papua province of $300 million by underpaying for the timber harvested from their lands 4 

In late 2021, the FSC expelled Korindo based on its failure to cooperate with the FSC and agree on a process to address the impacts of its forestry and palm oil operations.5 

Korindo agrees to settle  

On 21 February 2023 Kenertec and Rainforest Rescue agreed to settle the dispute, instigated by Korindo three years ago, based on a proposal put forward by the German court. The judge declared that Kenertec could not sue CIP for statements made in the letter signed by Mighty Earth. 

The SLAPP lawsuit was obviously designed to silence and intimidate the civil society groups and prevent them from repeating some statements in the letters, or be fined €250,000 in each case of violation, or face imprisonment.  

What is SLAPP? 

The lawsuit is an example of a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation, or SLAPP suit, in which big corporations or high-profile individuals, file lawsuits designed to harass and drain substantial resources from watchdog organizations, activists, journalists, trade unions, media organizations, and those who represent the public interest. 

Amanda Hurowitz, Senior Director for Southeast Asia, Mighty Earth said: 

“Korindo’s attempt to silence Mighty Earth and our NGO allies was completely baseless. Finally, after three years, as a German court was preparing to dismiss the case, Korindo backed down. They agreed to settle without any damages or injunctions being awarded against Mighty Earth, CIP or Rainforest Rescue and agreed to pay most of the court’s legal costs.” 

“Rogue companies that destroy the planet shouldn’t be wasting the courts’ time with cases aimed at gagging civil society groups, who are rightly pushing for a global end to deforestation for palm oil, timber, soy, beef, and other commodities, to tackle climate change and nature loss.”  

Professor Roger Mann of German legal firm, Damm & Mann, acting for CIP and Rainforest Rescue, said:   

“After more than three years, Korindo has accepted a settlement proposal made by the court after it was inclined to dismiss the case completely. The court had made it clear, at an early stage, that the claims against CIP and for revocation against both defendants were completely without merit.”  

“Regarding the claims for injunctive relief in relation to the statement about the setting of illegal fires by Korindo, the defendants had presented so many facts and offered so much evidence that the court considered hearing witnesses in Indonesia. This did not happen because, after a change of judge, the court indicated that the plaintiff was not entitled to injunctive relief because its business was wind turbines, and it wasn’t involved in the palm oil business of Korindo.” 

Franky Samperante, Yayasan Pusaka (Indonesia) said: 

“For decades, Korindo has gotten away with violating indigenous peoples’ land rights without exposure. Korindo should be seriously committed to respect and recover the rights of affected Papuan Indigenous communities and protect local environment. 

Andi Muttaqien, Satya Bumi (Indonesia):  

Korindo has destroyed tens of thousands of hectares of rainforest in Papua. The company should be using its resources and money to restore the damage it has caused, instead of wasting them to silence activist campaigns in protecting forests and indigenous peoples. 

Shin Young, Advocates for Public Interest Law, APIL (Korea)  

“If Korindo is serious about improving its credibility and environmental and human rights performance, it needs to stop its legal harassment of civil society groups who have tried to stand up to its abuses, restore the forest habitat it destroyed and pay restitution to affected Papuan Indigenous communities." 


Notes to Editors: 

1 FSC launches investigation into Korindo after Mighty Earth files complaint, Mighty Earth May 2017 

2 Lawyers Manner & Spangenberg Partnerschaft von Rechtsanwälten mbB, An der Alster 64, 20099 Hamburg, Germany, Ref.: 10025-003 SCM 

3 FSC overview of findings against Korindo, following the FSC Complaint Panel field trip to the Korindo’s palm oil plantations in December 2017 FSC  

4 As reported by Mongabay and The Gecko Project based on a leaked version of the full FSC Complaint Panel report. 

5 FSC announces disassociation from Korindo. FSC press release 16 October 2021  

Images and broll available here 

Mighty Earth calls for urgent action from UK retailers & government to end deforestation

Mighty Earth, in collaboration with Think Film Impact Productions, held a special film screening and panel event in London on 24 November. It brought together an audience of leading retailers, including Tesco, Waitrose, M&S and John Lewis, along with civil servants from BEIS (Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy), the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, DEFRA the UN, plus environmental NGOs including Friends of the Earth, Sustain and WWF. The aim of the event was to examine how best to prevent deforestation, linked to the global meat and soy industries, from entering UK supply chains and ending up on supermarket shelves.  

The film screening was preceded by a panel discussion, which included special guest Indigenous leader from the Amazon, Benki Piyako, Will Schreiber of the Retail Soy Group and Maggie Charnley, Head of International Forests Unit at BEIS.  

Speaking during the panel event, Benki Piyako offered a message of hope, saying the election of President Lula offered a new dawn for the Amazon, but said everyone has a role to play:   

We all have a collective responsibility to ensure the resources we are using, the products coming to the UK from the Amazon do not harm nature – and we must all understand the impacts of what we are consuming. Companies must stop taking from the forest and we all must ensure we protect the Amazon, for the sake of all of life on our planet.”          

Will Schreiber of RSG (Retail Soy Group) said: 

“We must use the power, both from retailers and through strong legislation, to hold agricultural companies to account and ensure deforestation is eliminated from our supply chains.” 

Maggie Charnley, Head of the UK Government's International Forests Unit (BEIS-FCDO) 
The trader roadmap announcement at COP27 demonstrated collective action by the sector but needs to be implemented and strengthened if we are to halt and reverse the loss of forests and other ecosystems. Strong UK and EU due diligence legislation paired with efforts in Brazilian law must support consumer interests to ensure our supply chains work with local communities and do not drive forest loss.”   

Gemma Hoskins, UK Climate Director at Mighty Earth said:  

Our hope is that by bringing together a wide-ranging collection of actors across the supply chain to see and to feel the impacts and the reality on the ground for those forests’ defenders on the front line of this crucial fight, organisations, Government, and business move our collective agenda forward through specific and urgent action. Suspending business with known forest destroyers is a positive step UK retailers can take immediately to stamp out deforestation from landing on our dinner plates.” 

Michelin moves to keep rubber in EU Deforestation Regulation

Michelin today became the first major company to publicly express support for the inclusion of natural rubber under the forthcoming European Union Deforestation Regulation, which is entering the crucial final week of negotiations.  

The draft Regulation, which will prohibit the sale of agricultural products linked to deforestation in the EU, does not currently include rubber amongst the list of commodities covered. However, the European Parliament is pushing for rubber to be included, whilst individual member states are divided on the issue; leading to a stalemate in the negotiations. 

Crucial to swaying country positions is the opinion of companies that buy and sell rubber products, particularly tire companies, which are by far the largest users of natural rubber. To date, the industry has been lukewarm, with trade association ETRMA (European Tire and Rubber Manufacturers Association) failing to offer a clear position either way. 

Today's announcement by Michelin represents a breakthrough. In their statement, the company writes: 

"Michelin confirm that it supports the inclusion of natural rubber in the list of commodities affected by the regulation on imported deforestation, provided that the traceability’s requirements are adapted to the natural rubber supply chain, which is particularly complex and fragmented". 

The company prefers a district-level approach to traceability, rather than individual farm plot level. 

Responding to the statement, Mighty Earth Senior Director, Dr Julian Oram, commented:" 

“Michelin has shown much-needed leadership by calling for the inclusion of natural rubber within the EU Deforestation Regulation. Other European tire companies like #Pirelli and #Contintental need to do the same and tell EU policymakers that the industry is ready to make legal commitments on zero-deforestation natural rubber supply chains.” 

The final Trialogue discussions between EU member states, the Parliament, and the European Commission are due to take place on Monday December 5, 2022. 

Excavator in action at RLU/LAJ concession on High Conservation Value (HCV) potential area on the edge of Bukit Tigapuluh National Park, Jambi in Sumatra, November 2014. Credit: TFT/Earthworm (2014)

New investigation alleges deforestation and greenwashing linked to Michelin.

A major new year-and-a-half long investigation by Voxeurop into a “sustainable” rubber project by French tire giant Michelin and Indonesian conglomerate Barito Pacific has led to fresh allegations of widespread deforestation, wildlife habitat destruction, and greenwashing linked to the joint venture. 

The investigation, initially sparked by Mighty Earth’s 2020 Complicit report, alleges investors in a $95 million so-called “green bond” used to finance the PT Royal Lestari Utama (RLU) project in Jambi, Sumatra, were misled and never told that Michelin’s local partner had deforested thousands of hectares of tropical rainforest and global priority wildlife habitats just prior to the launch of the flagship project in January 2015. 

Michelin had claimed to investors that the RLU project would promote good practices for sustainable natural rubber production and support the development of local communities while protecting, reforesting, and restoring crucial habitats for the critically endangered Sumatran tigers, elephants, and orangutans, which live in and around RLU's rubber plantations.  

Specifically, Michelin said in a key press statement in May 2015 that their RLU project with Barito Pacific would include: “The reforestation of three concessions, representing a total surface area of 88,000 hectares, ravaged by uncontrolled deforestation.” But analysis of historical satellite imagery published in the Voxeurop report found much of the landscape within RLU’s concessions in Jambi was not previously “ravaged by uncontrolled deforestation” at all.  

Instead, Voxeurop’s investigation claims that 8,468 hectares of pristine rainforests within the concession were industrially deforested to make way for RLU’s monoculture rubber plantations and that, in doing so, vital habitats in Sumatra’s No.1 conservation priority area – including key tiger ranges, elephant corridors, and orangutan re-introduction sites – were destroyed and fragmented. Two highly vulnerable forest-dwelling Indigenous communities also lost their ancestral lands, and other villagers and local communities have claimed they did not give their free, prior and informed consent for these forest clearances.

Overall, Voxeurop found about a third of the rubber plantations financed by the green bonds are located in the area that was deforested in Jambi before the joint venture with Michelin and Barito Pacific was signed.

The RLU project was supported by major organisations such as the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), USAID, and WWF and backed by key banks and financiers such as BNP Paribas, ADM Capital and the &Green fund. But the investigation published by Voxeurop asserts that Michelin and the Tropical Landscapes Finance Facility (TLFF), which issued the 15-year $95m green bond, knew from an independent assessment report by Earthworm that Michelin’s local partner, Barito Pacific, had intentionally deforested the Jambi rainforests between 2011 and 2014. According to Voxeurop and an earlier complaint by Mighty Earth, this information was not shared with investors during the sale of $95m of green bonds on the Singapore Exchange in 2018 to finance the RLU project – a financial innovation dubbed as “Asia’s first green bond”, and which seemingly complied with Climate Bonds Initiative standards.  

In June 2022, Michelin acquired RLU as a sole shareholder. In an extraordinary twist, that following month, the entire $95m in long-dated green bonds were quietly redeemed and paid back in full to investors for reasons which remain unclear. 

Following the publication of the new evidence by Voxeurop, Mighty Earth Senior Director, Alex Wijeratna, said: 

“This is a major scandal and a classic example of how green bonds are fuelling corporate greenwashing.” 

“Two years ago, Mighty Earth produced evidence which suggested that Michelin knew its local partner had carried out extensive deforestation in Sumatra’s number one priority conservation area prior to the official launch of their joint venture. Voxeurop’s new investigation adds weight to our assertion that Michelin and other key actors failed to disclose material information about that critical habitat destruction to investors in this collapsed green bond scheme.” 

“Local communities claim they were allegedly forced off their ancestral land in Jambi without free, prior and informed consent, while global priority habitats of critically endangered species were destroyed, bringing people and wildlife into conflict. Mighty Earth is joining local groups in Indonesia calling for an urgent UN investigation into alleged Indigenous, environmental, and human rights violations linked to Michelin’s RLU rubber project in Sumatra.” 

With the publication of Voxeurop’s new investigation, there is now considerable evidence demonstrating that the RLU project in Jambi was in likely violation of the voluntary Green and Sustainability Bond Principles. Mighty Earth submitted a formal complaint to the green bond oversight body, the Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI) in London in March 2021 against the $95m green bond listing on the RLU project, but the CBI failed to formally respond to or investigate Mighty Earth’s complaint. With moves to tackle corporate greenwashing hitting the headlines at COP27, and the UN demanding a tightening of these voluntary standards, this case exemplifies all that is wrong with so-called “green” bonds.  

Dr Julian Oram, Senior Director at Mighty Earth, is calling for proper scrutiny of green and sustainability-linked bonds to prevent greenwashing:  

“Voxeurop’s evidence has exposed grave flaws in the booming but wildly unregulated green bond market. It has revealed how Southeast Asia’s first corporate green bond was glaringly unfit for purpose and facilitated greenwashing of a project with patently unsustainable origins.” 

“With proper human rights-based due diligence and close stakeholder consultation, green finance schemes can play an important role in leveraging vital funds into nature-enhancing agriculture projects. But we need tougher regulation and scrutiny of green, climate and sustainability-linked bonds to ensure these schemes don’t mislead investors or inadvertently fuel climate change or forest and wildlife habitat destruction.” 

Abdullah Bedoel, Executive Director of local environmental group Walhi Jambi, said human-wildlife conflict has become a bigger problem following the RLU project: 

“The local community in Jambi have lost most of their ancestral forests due to massive land clearing for Michelin’s RLU project. In the past, the community could use the forests as a source of livelihood and grow crops. Now the animals that used to live there have lost their habitat, and the area has been opened to wildlife hunters. The food chain is badly disrupted, causing wildlife such as tigers and elephants to descend on community settlements in search of food. In the past, before the large-scale forest clearing, there were no cases of wildlife attacks on local communities. Now, communities around the forest must deal with elephant herds entering their farmlands and tigers preying on their livestock, even resulting in fatalities.” 

Mighty Earth is calling for: 

  • An urgent UN investigation into alleged Indigenous, environmental and human rights violations in the RLU project area in Jambi, specifically those relating to the violation of Indigenous peoples’ rights; 
  • The publication of all environmental and social assessments, wildlife surveys, FPIC and community consultation exercises conducted before the launch of the joint venture between Michelin and Barito Pacific; 
  • Restoration of environmental damage done and full compensation for all negatively affected communities.
  • Tighter regulation of green bond markets to stop the mis-selling of financial products linked to “sustainable” rubber and other commodity projects without adequate due diligence checks.
  • A formal response to a written complaint submitted by Mighty Earth in March 2021 to the Climate Bonds Initiative, which played a crucial role in rubber-stamping the “green” credentials of the RLU project.

Agribusiness plan to end deforestation: no targets, no accountability, more destruction

The meat industry lost a golden opportunity to end deforestation today and seems hell-bent on making sure they keep missing. The roadmap’s insistence that individual companies undertake best efforts to establish individual cut-off dates for deforestation no later than 2025 means the bulldozers will keep running and the destruction will continue.

Cargill, Bunge, and the other companies are trying to defy that we’re in a climate and nature crisis, as well undermining President Lula’s agenda that puts forests at the center of Brazil’s economic and political development.

“They’re also defying the calls of their own customers, the supermarkets who called on them to end deforestation effective from 2020. They seem to expect that they can continue to get away with deforestation with impunity. It’s up to supermarkets like Carrefour and Tesco to make sure there are consequences for their continued role in burning the Amazon and other ecosystems.”

“The Amazon has lost more than 2 billon trees in the last four years and every day that passes takes it closer to a tipping point, where it is no longer able to function and play its part in cooling a warming world. It’s up to private sector and government to make the vision of Nature, as an essential part of the climate solution, a reality.

What a profound relief for the Amazon – Lula beats Bolsonaro

What a profound relief for the Amazon, Brazil’s Indigenous people, and the planet. Lula’s election really is a big deal: When you dig into his agenda for the environment, it’s exhilarating: 

🌳 Restoring environmental law enforcement 
🌳 Creating half a million square kilometers of Indigenous reserves and protected areas. 
🌳 Tax incentives to drive development onto degraded land instead of pristine ecosystems and support sustainable farming.

Lula is also likely to restart the Amazon fund that works with international partners to support conservation and partner with other rainforest nations.

As big of a victory for the climate as this is, however, the election of pro-deforestation governors and congressional representatives means fully achieving Lula’s vision faces challenges. Bringing environmental cops back on the beat and tax changes require Congress to appropriate funds to operationalize it.

Some of the biggest obstacles are the international companies that dominate Brazil’s enormous meat industry – by far the biggest driver of deforestation. Carrefour, Tesco, Stop & Shop, and BNP Paribas engaged in shameful behavior during the Bolsonaro administration. No matter how many acres went up in smoke or how many land defenders were murdered, they continued doing business with the companies most linked to the deforestation spree. I hope Lula’s administration will investigate these companies' actions. 

Under Lula’s previous administration, deforestation plummeted even as the agriculture sector surged. He broke the link between environmental destruction and economic growth. During his time in office from 2003 to 2011 Lula radically reduced the deforestation of the globally important Amazon. Still, much of the hard work was undone by Bolsonaro, who weakened environmental protection and Indigenous land rights over the last four years. One study says during his presidency, the Amazon lost 2 billion trees.

Tackling deforestation in Brazil remains critical for the country to meet its climate pledges. Emissions linked to deforestation and agriculture make Brazil the seventh highest polluter globally. Despite Brazil’s pledges to rein in deforestation at the COP26 summit last year in Glasgow, it is still very much active in Brazil.

Brazil now has an opportunity to go even further and transform from a major source of climate pollution into the country doing more to suck carbon out of the air than anywhere else in the world…if the private sector companies who have financed the destruction can finally get out of the way.

For our part, we’re going to be ramping up campaigns to ensure that these companies finally respect Brazil’s natural resources and people so that an environmental disaster never happens again.




Paris, 17 juin 2021 - Ce matin, une dizaine de militants de l’ONG Canopée se sont rendus dans l’agence BNP Paribas du boulevard Sébastopol à Paris où ils ont déclenché une alarme incendie afin d’alerter sur la responsabilité de la banque dans les feux de forêts au Brésil. (voir video ici).

Cette action fait suite à plusieurs alertes restées sans réponse satisfaisante malgré l’urgence :

  • BNP Paribas a accordé près de 200 millions de dollars de financements liés au risque de déforestation à Cargill et Bunge entre 2015 et 2020 (1).
  • Plus de 60 000 hectares de forêts et d’écosystèmes ont été détruits par chacune de ces deux entreprises en 2019 et 2020 pour cultiver du soja au Brésil (2).
  • BNP Paribas n’a pris aucune mesure concrète et urgente pour couper ses liens avec ces entreprises. En février 2021, BNP a annoncé un objectif vague, et sans plan d’action concret, pour mettre fin à ses soutiens à la déforestation à l’horizon 2025 (3).
  • En mai 2021, la déforestation en Amazonie a augmenté de 41% par rapport à mai 2020. Un nouveau niveau record qui augure du pire pour la saison des incendies qui commence (4).

“C’est parce que BNP Paribas ne semble pas comprendre l’urgence à agir que nous venons tirer la sonnette d’alarme. S’il y avait vraiment le feu dans les agences, est-ce que la banque attendrait 2025 pour éteindre l’incendie?” explique Klervi Le Guenic, chargée de campagne chez Canopée.

BNP fait la sourde oreille. La banque est soumise à la loi sur le devoir de vigilance mais n’a toujours pas intégré des mesures pour réduire son exposition au risque de financer des entreprises dans la déforestation.” ajoute Sylvain Angerand, coordinateur des campagnes chez Canopée.

Près de 140 000 personnes se sont mobilisées pour demander à BNP d’arrêter de financer la déforestation (5). Si dans ses déclarations la banque promeut de grands engagements, ses réponses concrètes ne font en réalité preuve d’aucune ambition. Nous espérons que cette fois-ci, BNP saura user de son leadership à bon escient et renforcer sa politique pour enfin être à la hauteur de l’enjeu.” ajoute Leyla Larbi, chargée de campagne chez SumOfUs.

“BNP Paribas est le premier financeur au monde des activités à risque de déforestation des plus grands traders de soja du Brésil, Cargill et Bunge. Son virage est donc fondamental, mais ne doit être qu’un premier pas vers une transformation nécessaire du secteur financier, qui leur a accordé plus de 2 milliards d’euros entre 2015 et 2020” (6), conclut Nico Muzi, directeur européen chez Mighty Earth.

Contact presse:

Leyla Larbi, Chargée de campagnes, SumOfUs, +33 750 960 130
Klervi Le Guenic, Chargée de campagnes, Canopée, +33 7 52 64 08 54
Nico Muzi, Directeur Européen, Mighty Earth, +32 484 27 87 91


Mighty Earth submit $1bn ‘Green bond’ application to convert Central Park and Hyde Park into rubber plantations

LONDON – Two of the world’s most famous recreational parks – Central Park in New York and Hyde Park in London – could be razed and transformed into huge new industrial rubber plantations under a proposed $1 billion ‘Green bond’ application submitted today by environmental campaign group Mighty Earth.

US-based Mighty Earth released a set of images including of New York's iconic Central Park, and Hyde Park in London, of their audacious plan to deforest and replace these two historic parks with lines of rubber trees as they submitted their $1bn application to the Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI) in London – the body that oversees the booming $1.3 trillion global ‘green bond’ market.

“We’re following in the footsteps of other financiers that have used green bonds to back industrial rubber projects that destroyed rainforests in Indonesia,” said Mighty Earth Campaign Director Alex Wijeratna. “We’re asking the CBI to rubber-stamp a $1 billion ‘Green bond’ to finance the flattening of Central Park and Hyde Park so we can plant thousands of rubber trees.“

“Millions of visitors to these famous parks might be a bit peeved by our rubber reforestation plans,” said Wijeratna. “But we promise we’ll keep a small part of the lake in Central Park intact and leave the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s sprawling Royal pad, Kensington Palace, in Hyde Park, untouched, too.”

Mighty Earth’s images show a scarred and unrecognizable landscape and the potentially catastrophic impact of their outlandish plans to bulldoze and industrially ‘reforest’ the iconic 340-hectare Central Park in New York and 253-ha Hyde Park/Kensington Gardens in London, which are renowned for their abundant trees, lakes, wildlife and natural beauty, and together are visited by over 55 million people each year.

Mighty Earth’s application to the CBI and green bond principles standard setting body the International Capital Market Association (ICMA) is designed to draw attention to the burgeoning issue of ‘greenwashing’ linked to self-labelled green bonds and the failure of the CBI to investigate and respond to Mighty Earth’s formal complaint and allegations of widespread deforestation linked to a $95 million CBI-screened ‘green bond’ on French tire maker Michelin’s 70,716-ha joint venture natural rubber project in the rainforests of Jambi, Indonesia.

Mighty Earth alleged in their complaint to the CBI on March 11, 2021, that over five thousand hectares of rainforest in Jambi – a globally significant biodiversity hotspot, that was home to two forest-dependent Indigenous communities and critically endangered Sumatran elephants, tigers and orangutans – was industrially deforested by a subsidiary of Michelin’s local partner. The complaint claims that Michelin’s knowledge of this deforestation was never publicly disclosed to investors when the bonds were sold to green investors on the Singapore Exchange in 2018, in a bond offering arranged by French bank BNP Paribas and facilitated by financiers ADM Capital.

Mighty Earth call for the $95m bond on Michelin’s rubber project to be struck off and delisted as an official CBI-screened green bond. Mighty Earth have had no formal response from the CBI to date and were recently told by CBI’s CEO Sean Kidney that their complaint about massive deforestation was “not a priority” for the CBI.

“Green bonds are plagued by greenwashing and the Climate Bonds Initiative has absolutely no interest in investigating our highly credible but inconvenient allegations of deforestation linked to Michelin’s flagship green bond-financed rubber project in Sumatra,” said Alex Wijeratna. “We’d like to test the CBI’s willingness to turn a blind eye to the deforestation of precious and iconic green spaces by seeing if they would approve of Hyde Park and Central Park being razed, bulldozed, and replanted with a massive industrial rubber tree plantation!”

About Mighty Earth

Mighty Earth is a global environmental campaign organization that works to protect forests, conserve oceans, and address climate change. We work in Southeast Asia, Latin America, Africa, and North America to drive large-scale action towards environmentally responsible agriculture that protects native ecosystems, wildlife, and water, and respects local community rights. Mighty Earth’s team has played a decisive role in persuading the world’s largest food and agriculture companies to dramatically improve their environmental and social policies and practices. More information on Mighty Earth can be found at

Contact: Campaign Director, Alex Wijeratna, [email protected] or + 44 (0)1753 370 824.


Indonesia is putting business before the environment and that could be disastrous for its rainforests

CNN | October 12, 2020 

Indonesia's rainforests are the world's third largest after the Amazon and Africa's Congo Basin and are ecologically important for their rich biodiversity, with animals including elephants, clouded leopards, sun bears and the critically endangered orangutan. Deforestation is already driving many species toward extinction and environmentalists warn that the law could give them a "strong push towards the edge," said Phelim Kine, senior Asia director at environmental campaign group Mighty Earth.

Read More

Chocolate groups gain ground on bean-to-bar tracing

Financial Times | October 7, 2020 

“If the cocoa industry can achieve full traceability it will be huge,” said Etelle Higonnet, senior campaign director at NGO Mighty Earth, noting that if the chocolate sector could achieve supply chain transparency, there was no excuse for other agricultural commodities not to follow suit. The industry, which pledged to eradicate the problem of child labour decades ago, has long faced criticism over its social and environmental impact in the countries where it is grown.

Read More

Indonesian workers stage protests against new labour laws

Al Jazeera | October 6, 2020

…Critics also said the move reduces environmental protections.  Environmental campaign group Mighty Earth said: “Elements of the new law will worsen deforestation and land rights abuses and reverse recent successes in reducing forest loss.”  “The Indonesian parliament made a ruinous false choice between environmental sustainability and economic growth by effectively legitimising uncontrolled deforestation as an engine for a so-called pro-investment job creation policy,” Phelim Kine, senior campaigns director with Mighty Earth said in a statement sent to Al Jazeera.

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Food companies urge Britain to adopt tougher rules to protect tropical forests

Reuters | October 4, 2020 

The companies want the new British rules to apply to all deforestation - not just in cases where the destruction is illegal. “The proposed legislation would continue to allow rampant deforestation in hotspots such as Indonesia and Brazil,” said Robin Willoughby, UK director of campaign group Mighty Earth.

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French lenders bankroll firms linked to deforestation: analysis

France 24 | February 10, 2020 

French banks have provided almost two billion euros of financial backing to agribusiness groups implicated in deforestation despite a law preventing firms from funding environmental damage, according to new analysis seen by AFP.

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How Ditching the Iowa Caucus Could Remake the Biofuels Debate

The New Republic | February 10, 2020

If politicians no longer coveted that early "Iowa bump," would they still feel compelled to support ethanol subsidies?

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Protesters demonstrate during Tyson’s Shareholders Meeting

4029 News | February 6, 2020

The group ‘Mighty Earth’ held a protest outside the meeting in Springdale.

Dam that threatens orangutan habitat is ‘wholly unnecessary’: Report

Mongabay | January 30, 2020

Proponents of a hydropower plant to be built in the only known habitat of a critically endangered orangutan species say it’s important for meeting the future energy needs of northern Sumatra.

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Ivory Coast: an interactive map follows the deforestation of the cocoa sector

RFI | January 29, 2020 

It is a giant step in the fight against deforestation and for the transparency and traceability of the cocoa sector. The American environmental NGO Mighty Earth has just put on line a very precise map allowing to follow the retreat of the forest, and in particular of the classified forests, and the progress of the cocoa.

Natural rubber platform ‘must address shortcomings’ in 2020

European Rubber Journal | January 23, 2020 

The Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber (GPSNR) needs to address a series of shortcomings if it is to start delivering a truly sustainable value-chain for natural rubber, believes Mighty Earth.

Read More

Africa: End Energy Poverty in Africa to Combat Climate Change

allAfrica | January 8, 2020 

For most Africans, burning charcoal and wood provides the sole source of energy. However, as these fires burn, black carbon and smoke accelerate climate change and are a source of serious health problems and a cause of ongoing forest destruction.

Nestlé ceases to source Brazil soy from Cargill

Feed Navigator | January 8, 2020 

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) recently reported that the world's largest food and beverage company, Nestlé, has stopped butying Cargill's Brazilian soy because of concerns about the link to deforestation.

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