No justice for Indigenous community taking on a Cambodian rubber baron

Heng Saphen and her daughter, Chan Lay PhiekKAMPONG THOM, Cambodia — The mood outside the Kampong Thom Provincial Court had grown tense on the afternoon of July 26. Some 12 residents of Ngon village, an Indigenous Kuy community in Kampong Thom province’s Sandan district, waited for the judge’s verdict. The group had spent roughly $200 traveling the 75 kilometers (47 miles) to […]

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Indonesia’s Supreme Court rules President Widodo not liable in 2015 fires

JAKARTA — Indonesia’s Supreme Court has ruled President Joko Widodo not liable in the disastrous fires in 2015 that devastate large swathes of rainforests and peatlands in the country, despite three previous court rulings that found the president liable for the disaster. In 2016, a group of citizens and environmental activists in the province of […]

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Report unveils ties between Indonesian conglomerate Sinar Mas and Canada’s Paper Excellence

JAKARTA —Indonesian conglomerate Sinar Mas, which has a long history of deforestation and conflicts with local Indigenous communities, secretly controls Canadian paper and packaging company Paper Excellence, which could soon become one of the biggest pulp and paper suppliers in North America, a new investigative report has alleged. The report, Papering over Corporate Control, was […]

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Sustainability pledges help Indonesia produce palm oil with less deforestation

JAKARTA — Sustainability commitments and greater scrutiny of supply chains is helping bring down deforestation rates associated with palm oil in Indonesia, a new analysis suggests. The country is the world’s top producer of the commodity, and although production is increasing while prices are rising — factors that usually drive a surge in forest clearing […]

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Palm oil firms not acting fast enough on no-deforestation vows: Report

Palm oil plantations in West Kalimantan, Indonesia.JAKARTA — Less than a quarter of companies producing or sourcing palm oil from Indonesia have forest-related policies in line with best practices, a new report says. The report, by CDP, a global nonprofit that promotes environmental reporting and risk management by companies and cities, analyzed data provided by 167 firms. While 86% of companies […]

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Indonesia amnesties 75 companies operating illegally inside forest areas

Independent oil palm farmers from Talang Durian Cacar.JAKARTA — Indonesia has pardoned 75 companies operating illegally inside forest areas, with hundreds more to be amnestied in the future, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry announced during a parliamentary hearing in August. Under the 2013 law on the prevention and mitigation of forest degradation, activities like oil palm cultivation and mining are prohibited […]

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Indonesian palm oil audit a chance to clean up ‘very dirty’ industry

Oil palm nursery and processing facility, Indonesia.JAKARTA — Activists have welcomed the Indonesian government’s announcement to carry out a nationwide audit of all palm oil companies operating here, in response to a shortage of cooking oil that has wracked the world’s top producer of palm oil. “What’s happening in the cooking oil industry is very dirty, because it’s filled with many […]

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