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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Palm oil producer mired in legal troubles still razing Sumatran forest

JAKARTA — A part of the only forest on Earth where rhinos, tigers, orangutans and elephants coexist is seeing a resumption of deforestation for an oil palm concession. Indonesian company PT Cemerlang Abadi (CA) restarted clearing forests and peatlands in September last year in its concession in the Leuser Ecosystem on the island of Sumatra, […]

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Plantations threaten Indonesia’s orangutans, but they’re not oil palm

JAKARTA — The vast majority of orangutan habitat in Indonesia is located outside of protected areas. That can be bad news for orangutans living in corporate concessions, where a new report finds many companies lack safeguards and commitments to protect these critically endangered apes. The report, by Amsterdam-based sustainability consultancy Aidenvironment, found that Indonesia has […]

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As dry season starts in Indonesia, risk of fires — and haze — looms

Fire in Indonesia forestJAKARTA — A new analysis warns of the potential for forest fires in Indonesia that could spread smoke to neighboring countries as this year’s dry season sets in, following two years of haze-free skies across this part of Southeast Asia. In their “Haze Outlook 2022” report, researchers at the Singapore Institute of International Affairs (SIIA) […]

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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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