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Indonesian rainforest community representatives have sent an urgent appeal to Tennis star Roger Federer, asking him for help to stop the pulp and paper group, RGE / APRIL, from destroying their livelihoods in the Indonesian province of Riau, Sumatra.
The Indonesians undertook the unusual step after earlier attempts to convince Swiss banking group Credit Suisse to stop funding RGE/APRIL's highly detrimental logging activities had failed. Roger Federer is a brand ambassador for Credit Suisse which, together with Chinese banks, has a major role in funding RGE/APRIL.
„We are writing to you to ask for your urgent assistance to help us save our community lands and to stop illegal logging and deforestation in our unique tropical peatland forests", Isnadi Esman and Woro Supartinah wrote to Federer last week.
Mister Federer hasn't replied to their letter yet.
Isnadi and Woro are currently in Zurich to meet Credit Suisse officials and speak at the bank's annual general meeting on Friday. In 2013, Credit Suisse lent RGE/APRIL USD 50 million for pulp and paper operations in breach of the bank's own sustainability standards.
Santander and ABN/AMRO distanced themselves from RGE / APRIL earlier this year after a KPMG audit of RGE/APRIL's operations in Riau.