Target: President Park Geun-hye of Korea
Goal: Investigate allegations that Korindo Group has engaged in illegal rainforest burning in Indonesia.
Environmental activists in Indonesia have released footage allegedly showing a Korean palm oil company, known as the Korindo Group, illegally burning rainforest on land it owns in West Papua, Indonesia.
During 2015’s forest fires, most of the fires in the West Papua region occurred on Korindo-owned land. This alleged destruction of pristine rainforest threatens the habitats of many species including tree kangaroos and birds of paradise. Additionally, fires contribute to a haze that has damaged air quality as far away as Malaysia and Singapore. Sustained declines in air quality have previously been linked to a range of lung diseases including asthma and cancer.
Many of Korindo’s customers have already declared that they will no longer purchase palm oil from the company. However, it is unlikely that Korindo will be unable to sell the palm oil it produces in a number of regions of Indonesia.
In order to defend the Indonesian rainforest and wildlife and air quality in Southeast Asia, the palm oil market must be closed to companies that engage in illegal activities. Demand that Indonesian and Korean authorities cooperate to investigate Korindo for allegedly illegally burning forests.
Dear President Park,
I was alarmed to hear the allegations that Korindo engaged in the illegal burning of rainforest in Indonesia. While Korindo has denied the allegations, last year the majority of the forest fires in West Papua occurred on land owned by the conglomerate. If these allegations are proven to be true, then Korindo would be responsible for threatening both the environment and wildlife in Indonesia and also contributing to the degradation of air quality in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore.
I believe that the palm oil market must be shut down to any firm willing to flout regulations in pursuit of profits. Therefore, I urge you to ensure that Korean law enforcement in collaboration with Indonesian authorities investigate the allegations against Korindo. Until these illegal acts have a material and severe impact on profits, they will continue.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Matt Zimmerman