EIA is making a push on the issue just four days after the pension fund announced it had sold all of its shares in Malaysian logging conglomerate Samling Global after an investigation found evidence of illegal logging in Sarawak, a Malaysian state of the island of Borneo. While the sale represented less than 1 percent of Samling’s outstanding shares, the action sent a strong signal.
Now EIA is calling upon the Ministry of Finance to evaluate another $437 million in shareholdings in major forestry, agriculture, and related commodities companies that operate in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and Malaysia.
“Many have been linked to deforestation and other severe environmental damage,” read a statement from EIA. “Some have been accused of illegal logging and land clearance, rights and labor abuses, corruption, and significant tax fraud. All such activities would contravene the Ethical Guidelines of the Pension Fund if confirmed.”