AGAINST A DAM IN THE MIDDLE OF BATANG TORU
Imagine the following: A dam to be built in the middle of a biodiversity hotspot. Authorised by the government, funded by a Chinese bank. Who benefits from the dam? Nobody! Not the local population, not the species-rich rainforest, not the Tapanuli-orangutan, the most endangered species of any great ape in the world.
At the beginning of March, a number of environmental organization tried to increase the pressure on the Bank of China. This bank is the main financier for the construction of a dam which is built in the middle of the ecosystem where most of the Tapanuli-orangutans live. Activists and organisations from about 15 countries have personally delivered a letter to the bank and held demonstrations in front of several branches. The letter asks for the immediate stop of the funding. Until now, there is no reaction from the bank.
Only a few days after the international actions against the Bank of China, the national administrative court in Medan, Indonesia, took a sad decision: It rejected the complaint against the construction of the dam in the Batang Toru ecosystem.
It seems, that the Bank of China and the Indonesian government will let the disastrous construction continue. The campaign for the rescue of the Batang Toru ecosystem intends to increase the pressure on the Indonesian and the Chinese president and to persuade the bank to retreat from the funding – the funding would be in breach of the bank’s own guidelines of sustainability.