My name is Dana Tarigan, and for the last two years, I have been trying to stop the Batang Toru Dam in my home province of North Sumatra. In 2017, scientists discovered the newest and rarest great ape species on earth – the Tapanuli orangutan.
With less than 800 left in the wild, these amazing creatures live in a very small area, and if built, the dam will essentially doom the Tapanuli orangutan species to extinction. What’s worse, the dam will flood downstream areas for 6 hours a day, which would be catastrophic for hundreds of downstream communities who depend on the river for their livelihoods.
But – there is a way we can stop this dam. And that’s by cutting off the financing allowing this project to move forward.
As Batang Toru Dam’s main financier, Bank of China could pull out and stop the dam from being built. Time is of the essence –primary forest is currently being cleared for the dam, and scientists have documented orangutans fleeing the area.
Time is running out fast – can you join me in calling on Bank of China to stop financing the Batang Toru Dam?
We need the world to condemn Bank of China’s role in essentially destroying the source of livelihoods for hundreds of communities, and potentially dooming an entire species to extinction.
Batang Toru is one of the last forests of Sumatra, and it needs your support. Besides the Tapanuli orangutan, the region is home to Sumatran tigers, Sumatran orangutans, pangolins, rare orchids and plants only found in the Batang Toru jungles. It is one of the most stunning places on earth – in the morning, a silvery mist slowly creeps over lush green mountains, and if you should wander these hills, you might hear the rush of secret waterfalls yet to be seen. Activists have even proposed that Batang Toru be nominated as a World Heritage site because of its outstanding natural beauty.
Despite its amazing natural beauty, the Indonesian government has allowed the dam project to proceed, even despite major gaps in assessing the dam’s environmental and social impacts.The environmental impact assessment, a key document analyzing the cumulative impacts the project may have on biodiversity and communities, is riddled with gaps, inaccurate information, and even contains a forged signature.
How can anyone support this project with such obvious fatal flaws? How can Bank of China continue to support such a botched and mismanaged project?
As an Indonesian, I can tell you that there is no proof the dam will benefit local communities – the electricity produced by the dam will actually benefit a nearby goldmine and corporate interests not us, the world, or the many endangered species who call Batang Toru home.
So please – support our letter calling on Bank of China to cancel their financing to this dam! It will devastate the fragile Batang Toru ecosystem and potentially have irrevocable impacts. This could be our last chance to save the Tapanuli orangutan and help protect the many people and creatures who call it home.
Sign now to stop the Batang Toru Dam project!