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An Urgent Message from Aceh

My name is Wiza, and I’m from Aceh on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. I’m working with local communities to protect the endangered forests of the Leuser Ecosystem as our survival and livelihoods depend on it. But everything that I am fighting for could be lost if the new Indonesian President Joko Widodo does not reject a disastrous new land use plan that would drive destructive palm oil and pulp plantations, logging, mining, and poaching in my home province, Aceh. The fate of our people now rests in...

COP 20: Will climate commitments be enough to protect the Peruvian Amazon?

  Indigenous Peoples + Territorial Rights = Living Forests! Hundreds of indigenous peoples and their allies to create a human banner parallel to the UN COP20 climate summit to demonstrate the importance of guaranteeing territorial rights in addressing climate change. ©Amazon Watch / Spectral Q — in Lima, Peru. Political leaders from around the world and thousands of government officials, scientists and lobbyists are meeting this week in the Peruvian capital of Lima to discuss solutions for the global climate crisis. One of their...

Forests and Finance: New Cash for Conflict Palm Oil

RAN briefing finds pending $900 million deal threatens forests, peatlands and communities across Indonesia. Indonesian palm oil firm BW Plantation (BWPT) approved last week a USD $900 million share rights offering in a bid to finance its merger with Green Eagle Holdings (GEH). New stock not purchased by existing shareholders will be traded on the Jakarta Stock Exchange (IDX) from Monday December 8.  RAN released a briefing note, available here, on the controversial deal today, alerting investors to poorly disclosed Conflict Palm Oil risks. The deal expands BWPT's holdings from just under 100,000 ha...

15 Stunning Photos from The Last Place on Earth

The Leuser Ecosystem, one of the most important rainforests in Southeast Asia, is being destroyed for massive industrial development including the expansion of palm oil plantations. Everyday important sections of this precious ecosystem are being systematically cut down, pushing rare species like Sumatran orangutans, elephants and rhinos to the brink of extinction. A new RAN report exposes the links between palm oil giant Musim Mas Group and this destruction. The destruction of the Leuser Ecosystem has to stop and with your help it will. Take action today and tell Musim Mas to break its ties to the destruction of the Leuser Ecosystem. The Leuser Ecosystem is a vast, teeming, ancient landscape on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia that covers over 6.5 million acres including lowland and mountainous rainforests and over 460,000 acres of carbon-rich peatlands. It is like...

Palm Oil: Where to From Here?

As Rainforest Action Network’s palm oil campaigners wrap up a full, fast and furious week here at the 12th annual gathering of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, we can’t help but reflect a bit on this pivotal moment. This dispatch is meant to shed some light on what we see next for the responsible palm oil movement.  Let’s be real: palm oil plantations are directly descended from a colonial model that requires artificially cheap (read: stolen) land and artificially cheap (read: slave) labor to be profitable, or at least to be as wildly profitable as it has proven to be. This industrial-scale, scorched-earth style of agriculture has now been violently imposed upon tens of millions of people across millions of acres of forest in Indonesia and Malaysia and is now aggressively seeking to expand into primary...

The Page Pepsi Doesn't Want You To See

For over a year, Rainforest Action Network and our allies have been calling on PepsiCo to cut Conflict Palm Oil from its supply chain. The reason is simple: with an annual usage of 457,200 metric tons of palm oil, what Pepsi does has a huge impact on the climate, the rainforests of Southeast Asia, and the people and animals that rely on these forests for their lives and livelihoods.  Pepsi could be a leader in sustainability, could rise above its competitors and do the right thing, but instead it has relied on half measures and a commitment with gaps big enough to drive a bulldozer through. Activists have responded by increasing our pressure on Pepsi, with a global Day of Action this spring, events across the US this summer, and an active online push that's ongoing. We're organizing a Global Call-In Day on December 9th that you can...

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An Urgent Message from Aceh

My name is Wiza, and I’m from Aceh on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. I’m working with local communities to protect the endangered forests of the Leuser Ecosystem as our survival and livelihoods depend on it. But everything that I am fighting for could be lost if the new Indonesian President Joko Widodo does not reject a disastrous new land use plan that would drive destructive palm oil and pulp plantations, logging, mining, and poaching in my home province, Aceh. The fate of our people now rests in...

COP 20: Will climate commitments be enough to protect the Peruvian Amazon?

  Indigenous Peoples + Territorial Rights = Living Forests! Hundreds of indigenous peoples and their allies to create a human banner parallel to the UN COP20 climate summit to demonstrate the importance of guaranteeing territorial rights in addressing climate change. ©Amazon Watch / Spectral Q — in Lima, Peru. Political leaders from around the world and thousands of government officials, scientists and lobbyists are meeting this week in the Peruvian capital of Lima to discuss solutions for the global climate crisis. One of their...

Forests and Finance: New Cash for Conflict Palm Oil

RAN briefing finds pending $900 million deal threatens forests, peatlands and communities across Indonesia. Indonesian palm oil firm BW Plantation (BWPT) approved last week a USD $900 million share rights offering in a bid to finance its merger with Green Eagle Holdings (GEH)....

Thank You, Cargill a Timeline to Transformation

Thank You.That is what this post is all about. Simply: Thank You. After seven long years of campaigning against Cargill -- the biggest privately held corporation in the US – we have seen a groundbreaking commitment from them along with a seismic shift in the palm oil sector to protect disappearing rainforests and to keep massive amounts of carbon in the ground and out of the atmosphere.To mark this victory, our staff has compiled this photographic timeline of this wide-ranging campaign to keep Conflict Palm Oil out of our food and to protect our forests and the communities and wildlife that depend on them.Of course, this fight is by no means over. But as the executive director of Rainforest Action Network, I want you to know that your support on this issue...

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Southern Forests Aren't Fuel

Big energy corporations are clearcutting forests throughout the Southeast United States, chopping the trees into pellets and shipping them to Europe to be burned for fuel. Tell E.U. policymakers to Save Our Southern forests!  Forests aren’t fuel. But biomass companies are cutting down whole trees to burn in European power plants. This scourge is huge, and it’s growing. From Louisiana to Virginia, there are 20 wood pellet facilities up and running, and 33 more being proposed.1 Wood pellet exports from the U.S. doubled last year, from 1.6 million tons in 2012 to 3.2 million tons in 2013 -- and they’ve been projected to nearly double again by next year, to 5.7 million tons in 2015. 99% of U.S. exports came from the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic, and 98% went to Europe.2 This is all a terrible unintended...

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The Palm Oil Revolution: Turning Promises Into Action

Posted by 12/18/14

2014 will be remembered for growing waves of grassroots activism calling for “system change” across a range of urgent environmental and social justice challenges. For the globalized food industry, activism to hold corporations accountable for theConflict Palm Oil in their products has created a watershed moment, and provoked a “re-think” of business-as-usual among the world’s largest agribusiness trading companies - Significantly, this includes Cargill, which has seen one after another of their major food manufacturing clients demand a radical re-structuring of global supply chains to provide them with traceable, responsible palm oil. Communities on the frontlines in Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Liberia and other rainforest regions, with help from allies campaigning across the globe, are working together to expose the links between the palm oil found in most products on grocery store shelves and forest destruction, climate pollution and human and labor rights abuses associated with palm...   Read more

An Urgent Message from Aceh

Posted by 12/16/14

My name is Wiza, and I’m from Aceh on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. I’m working with local communities to protect the endangered forests of the Leuser Ecosystem as our survival and livelihoods depend on it. But everything that I am fighting for could be lost if the new Indonesian President Joko Widodo does not reject a disastrous new land use plan that would drive destructive palm oil and pulp plantations, logging, mining, and poaching in my home province, Aceh. The fate of our people now rests in the hands of our President through his Minister of Home Affairs. I have traveled to the US because I urgently need your support in calling on the President to protect the Leuser Ecosystem by rejecting Aceh’s new spatial plan. The most effective way for the global community to reach...   Read more

COP 20: Will climate commitments be enough to protect the Peruvian Amazon?

Posted by 12/11/14

  Indigenous Peoples + Territorial Rights = Living Forests! Hundreds of indigenous peoples and their allies to create a human banner parallel to the UN COP20 climate summit to demonstrate the importance of guaranteeing territorial rights in addressing climate change. ©Amazon Watch / Spectral Q — in Lima, Peru. Political leaders from around the world and thousands of government officials, scientists and lobbyists are meeting this week in the Peruvian capital of Lima to discuss solutions for the global climate crisis. One of their priorities is the conservation of natural forests. Forest ecosystems play an important role for the climate, water cycles and soil protection. Trees and soil store enormous amounts of carbon, and up to 20% of yearly greenhouse gas emissions are the result of deforestation. But not far away from...   Read more

Resistance in the Palm Wine Forests: Our Journey to Nagahulambo Village

Posted by 12/01/14

We stepped out of the car, and walked to the banks of what was once the rushing Sepingan river. What we saw, instead, was dry riverbed, filled with the trunks of small eucalyptus trees which had washed down the muddy cliffs in the recent rain. This was the river that once fed the rice fields of the people of Nagahulambo village, in North Sumatra. This was just one of the impacts of the destruction of a natural forest can have on the river, and on the people who depend on it. This is the impact the the pulp and paper company Toba Pulp Lestari (TPL) is having in the beautiful Toba Lake region of North Sumatra. I had come to North Sumatra to meet with our partners, Kelompok Studi dan Pengemangan Prakarsa Masyarakyat (KSPPM),...  Read more

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