For Indonesian smallholders, EU deforestation rule is a threat — and an opportunity

JAKARTA — New palm oil regulations being adopted by the European Union and the U.K. could put even more pressure on independent small farmers in Indonesia who are already struggling to meet sustainability requirements, new research suggests. Smallholder advocates say there needs to be greater support to help these farmers join the deforestation-free supply chain […]

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‘Amazing first step’ as EU law cracks down on deforestation-linked imports

Aerial photo of riparian forest and deforestation for soy.JAKARTA — The European Union has finalized a law that will ban the trade of commodities associated with deforestation and forest degradation. On Dec. 6, the European Council, Parliament and Commission struck a preliminary deal to adopt the deforestation-free regulation, proposed by the European Commission in 2021. The Parliament and the Council will still have to formally […]

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EU ‘moving the goal posts’ with new timber requirement, Indonesia says

BERLIN — Indonesian officials have slammed the European Union’s proposal of a regulation that they say negates more than a decade of progress by the Southeast Asian country to comply with EU sustainable timber rules. Under a voluntary partnership agreement, or VPA, signed in 2011, Indonesia developed a system, known as the SVLK, to verify […]

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Shady contracts, backdoor deals spur illegal gold mining in Bolivian Amazon

LA PAZ — Gold is Bolivia’s second-biggest export, valued at more than $1 billion annually and employing hundreds of thousands of people in the country. But much of that gold has uncertain origins, coming from somewhere deep in the Amazon rainforest, where environmental regulations often go unenforced. Setting up camp in secluded parts of the […]

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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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Indonesian trade official, palm oil execs charged in cooking oil crisis

Oil palm kernelsJAKARTA — Indonesian prosecutors have charged a top trade ministry official and three palm oil executives in connection with a scarcity of cooking oil that has driven up protest and caused public unrest. The Attorney General’s Office announced on April 19 that it had charged Indrasari Wisnu Wardhana, the director-general of foreign trade at the […]

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For Indonesians, palm oil is everywhere but on supermarket shelves

JAKARTA — Cartel practices have been blamed for a scarcity of cooking oil in the world’s top producer of palm oil — but government policies seen as coddling the industry have also come under scrutiny. Households across Indonesia have since last October experienced acute shortages of cooking oil. Even when supplies have been available, prices […]

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