When Indonesia retook land from developers, it gave them a solid case to sue

JAKARTA — The Indonesian government has opened itself up to litigation by unilaterally revoking hundreds of permits for logging concessions, plantations and mines, according to environmental law experts. The revocations were ordered in early January by President Joko Widodo, and include permits issued by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry for 192 logging, plantation, mining and ecotourism […]

Read More

Spurred by investor-friendly law, palm oil firms sue to get licenses back

JAKARTA — Palm oil companies in Indonesia’s West Papua province are suing a local district head for revoking their permits, the second such case filed since authorities last year rescinded licenses for concessions covering an area twice the size of Los Angeles. Concession holders PT Anugerah Sakti Internusa (ASI) and PT Persada Utama Agromulia (PUA) […]

Read More

Mexican firm profits from reforestation, empowers Indigenous people

Local stories in Michoacán tell how, when the Spanish invaded what would later be known as Mexico in the 1500s, they found Indigenous communities tapping pine trees and using the resin in sizzling-bright torches and lamps that lit the Aztec Empire capital of Tenochtitlan, today’s Mexico City. The Spanish appropriated the resin to use as […]

Read More

Mongabay reporter sued in what appears to be a pattern of legal intimidation by Peruvian cacao company

Global Forest Watch tree cover loss 2001-2021 set on Planet imagery from Jun-Sep 2020.In November 2020, Peruvian cacao company Tamshi filed a lawsuit against Mongabay Latam staff reporter Yvette Sierra Praeli for “aggravated defamation” over her reporting of a government investigation into the firm’s activities in the Peruvian Amazon. While the case was formally dismissed by a Peruvian court last month, it wasn’t the first time that Tamshi […]

Read More

‘Forests will disappear again,’ activists warn as Indonesia ends plantation freeze

BALI, Indonesia — Palm oil industry watchdogs are warning of a possible surge in deforestation across Indonesia, after the government ended a three-year freeze on issuing permits for new plantations. The moratorium had been imposed in 2018, ostensibly to allow the industry to address the problems of deforestation, land conflicts and labor abuses long associated […]

Read More

Lack of resolution mechanisms allow palm oil conflicts to fester in Indonesia

JAKARTA — Indonesia has no effective mechanism for resolving its epidemic of land conflicts between rural communities and palm oil companies, according to a new study. Indonesia is the world’s top producer of palm oil, but the industry’s rapid expansion has fueled deforestation and allegations of land grabbing throughout the archipelago nation. The study, produced […]

Read More

Indonesian official busted over alleged bribe for palm oil permit

Forest illegally cleared for oil palm in Riau Province. Photo by Rhett A ButlerPEKANBARU, Riau — Anti-corruption investigators in Indonesia’s palm oil heartland have arrested a local official for allegedly taking bribes from a palm oil company in exchange for extending its business permit. Officers from the KPK, the national anti-graft agency, have charged Andi Putra, the head of Kuantan Singingi district in Riau province, and Sudarso, general […]

Read More

Data-driven platform looks to clear up fog of palm oil traceability

Mills linked to a refinery. Courtesy of palmoil.ioJAKARTA — A new web monitoring platform aims to achieve full traceability in palm oil supply chains and help companies to meet their zero-deforestation commitments — a goal that continues to elude the industry due to numerous challenges. Palm oil is a major driver of deforestation in the two countries that produce nearly 90% of […]

Read More