UNDERSTORY

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...

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,...

Building Labor's Power to Stop Exploitation of Palm Oil Workers

Petaling Jaya, Malaysia - RAN just finished hosting an inspiring and humbling two-day Palm Oil Labor Principles Workshop outside Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The intensive discussions involved dozens of representatives from international environmental and labor NGOs alongside labor unions, worker advocacy and human rights organizations from across Indonesia and Malaysia.   The purpose of the workshop was to build consensus for a widely agreed upon standard for fair labor principles in the palm oil sector. When complete, this detailed set of standards will be delivered as a set of recommendations to help guide companies, plantation certification bodies and government regulators towards eliminating systemic abuses currently rife throughout the palm oil industry.  Participants shared heart-wrenching stories of severe health impacts from being forced to apply highly toxic chemical pesticides like paraquat, without proper protective equipment or training, especially among women. Workers spoke of widespread...

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...

A Halloween Trick for Pepsi

All week, Pepsi has been pushing the hashtag #LetsGetSpooky. What do we think is really spooky, downright scary? Conflict Palm Oil.

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