On August 10, police and security for the massive palm oil corporation Wilmar International (of which Archer Daniels Midland is the second largest shareholder) stormed a small, indigenous village on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. They came with bulldozers and guns, destroying up to 70 homes, evicting 82 families, and arresting 18 people. Then they blockaded the village, keeping the villagers in -- and journalists out.
Will Chevron avoid paying oil spill fines in Brazil as it is doing in Ecuador Amazon case?
SAN FRANCISCO- Brazil's environmental agency said Monday it will fine Chevron nearly $28 million for a continuing oil spill off the Rio de Janeiro coast, and that the company could face several more similar fines in the coming days. Chevron, which has admitted responsibility for the November 7 spill, continues to face political backlash in Brazil for misleading statements about the size of the spill and its containment.
CHARLOTTE, NC—Today, eight people were arrested protesting Bank of America’s reckless financing practices, including the banks role as the lead financier of coal. Two people were arrested after unfurling a banner reading “Not with Our Money” from atop two 50-foot flagpoles at the entrance of Bank of America’s headquarters in downtown Charlotte. Six more were arrested below: two while supporting the climbers, and four while blocking the main entrance to the bank’s headquarters.
Today Rainforest Action Network (RAN) urged the City of San Francisco to cut ties with Bank of America, calling for the city to review its contracts with Bank of America next spring when the city re-opens bidding for its service agreements. As the Occupy movement exposes the current public anger with banks, Bank of America has risen as one of the most distrusted in the country.
Two Girl Scouts have earned their merit badge in effecting social change.
Madison Vorva, 16, and Rhiannon Tomtishen, 15, of Michigan started a campaign five years ago urging the Girl Scouts of America to stop using palm oil in its cookies, the Wall Street Journal reports. Now, the company will tell bakers to use as little of the oil as possible, purchase GreenPalm certificates and will try to switch to sustainable oil by 2015.
A five-year campaign by two Michigan girls to make Girl Scout cookies more environmentally friendly has prompted the youth organization to curb the use of palm oil in its iconic baked goods.
Girl Scouts of the USA isn't eliminating the ingredient, but it says that beginning with the 2012-13 cookie season, each box will include a GreenPalm logo as a symbol of Girl Scouts' commitment to address concerns about the deforestation of sensitive lands caused by production of palm oil.
Rainforest Action Network and Amazon Watch Statement
NEW YORK—Yesterday, a US court dealt Chevron a severe blow after lifting a ban on an $18bn judgment against the oil giant for contaminating the Amazon. A New York appeals court vacated a lower court's order that had blocked Ecuadorean plaintiffs from collecting money in a long-running lawsuit over pollution in their Amazon rainforest home.
In February, a judge in Ecuador ruled that Chevron should pay to clean up contamination in the oil fields where Texaco, bought by Chevron in 2001, once worked.
Rhiannon Tomtishen and Madison Vorva, the two Girl Scouts that have been leading the effort to make Girl Scout cookies deforestation free, issued the following statement in reaction to Girl Scouts USA announcement that it will purchase Green Palm certificates and work towards the use of RSPO-certified palm oil by 2015, as well as work to reduce the amount of palm oil used in its cookies. They are available for interviews.
Security forces used by a palm oil supplier to Cargill are using violence and intimidation against villagers in Indonesia, the Rainforest Action Network claims.
The Rainforest Action Network accused palm oil supplier Wilmar of using armed violence against villagers in Sumatra. Heavy machinery, the advocacy group adds, is used by Wilmar to destroy area homes as well.
Lindsey Allen, forest program director at the group, said agricultural trading giant Cargill needs to adopt "crucial" safeguards on its supply chains.