Latest Report Unveils the World Bank’s Role in Environmental Damage on Obi Island

The World Bank, through their International Finance Corporation (IFC), is actively involved in the Obi Island Nickel Industrial Park project through financial intermediaries, namely OCBC NISP, DBS Bank Ltd, and KEB Hana. These intermediaries provide loans to Trimegah Bangun Persada (TBP) and its subsidiaries for the development of the nickel industry and captive coal power on this small island located in Halmahera, northern Maluku Regency.

What was once considered a paradise, Obi Island now contends with damaged marine ecosystems, polluted springs and water sources, a community forced to breathe polluted air, threats to bird diversity, land disputes, and forced evictions—all as a consequence of the nickel industry.

Kawasi Village, now the site of the Obi Island Nickel Industrial Park, finds itself surrounded by mining pits covering 9,049.53 hectares or 91 km²—more than half of the village’s total area. The village has undergone a transformation into a hub for nickel ore smelters and other industrial zones.

Beyond the community impacts, this industry alone contributes to the climate crisis by generating greenhouse gas emissions, reaching 3,489,944 tons of CO2e in 2022 alone. This figure is equivalent to six times Timor Leste’s emissions in 2021.

The ongoing mining activity and the operation of captive coal power on the small island of Obi serves as evidence of IFC’s failure to ensure its clients implement an Environmental and Social Management System (ESMS) aligned with Performance Standards to manage risks. In conclusion, IFC has fallen short of fulfilling its commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

How IFC's Support for Captive Coal in Nickel Industrial Park is Destroying Obi Island

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