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April 30, 2015

Banks and Pension Funds Continue to Bankroll Deforestation and Land Grabs

“Since the financial crises of 2007-2008, land and the commodities grown on it have been hugely attractive to a more risk averse investment community. But palm oil in particular, with its incredibly broad range of consumer uses, has been more attractive than most.

‘Loans and bonds backing palm oil expansion have been steadily increasing over the past five years, amounting to tens of billions of dollars per year,’ says Tom Picken of the Rainforest Action Network. ‘This has enabled a surge of palm oil planting across the Congo and Amazon, as well as continued expansion onto the peat forests of Indonesia and Malaysia, destroying habitats and fueling conflict, with local communities forced off their lands.’ ”

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