Pages tagged "fpic"

Satire Wins

HugOWar_pepsi_v4.pngWe launched a campaign to turn up the heat on Pepsico and its use of Conflict Palm Oil. The goal has been to takeover its darkly ironic #LiveForNow advertising campaign that encourages consumption while ignoring human rights abuses, land grabs, and deforestation. Supporters like you have been doing just that by tweeting pictures from events and anywhere they spot the logo of Pepsico’s flagship brand Pepsi, calling out the truth.

Taking the heat to the next level, we launched a site highlighting the awesome pictures coming in, making it even easier to take action!

Our “#LiveForNow Shouldn’t Mean Destroying Tomorrow” site is built for people like you to use to crank up the pressure on PepsiCo. Pictures coming in from people across the US and the globe will make it clear to PepsiCo that our movement is building and we won’t stop until it ends its use of Conflict Palm Oil.

So Tweet the site! 

Share the site on Facebook!

Remember, take a selfie with a Pepsi sign and tweet it out with the hashtag #LiveForNow and we’ll feature you on the site too!

We know your pressure is working. PepsiCo is one of the 5 laggards companies we called out in April who have refused to take effective steps to eliminate Conflict Palm Oil, but other companies are moving. This week, palm oil laggard Conagra Foods announced a new commitment to eliminate Conflict Palm Oil. Together we can push PepsiCo to do the right thing and fix the weaknesses in its Palm Oil Commitment. So keep up the pressure! Start now by sharing our spoof site with your friends and family on Twitter and Facebook.


Turn Up The Heat on PepsiCo

On May 20, thousands of us united in a Global Day of Action to tell PepsiCo to eliminate Conflict Palm Oil. PepsiCo responded by announcing a Forestry Stewardship Policy and Palm Oil Commitment, but neither of these new promises are strong enough to guarantee that Pepsi’s use of palm oil is not driving rainforest destruction, species extinction and human and labor rights abuses. 

PepsiCo is the largest globally distributed snack food company in the world - the company uses enough palm oil every single year to fill Pepsi cans that would stretch around the Earth 4 times - but it has fallen out of step with its peers and still has no truly responsible palm oil purchasing policy.

This has to change -- and with your help it will. Are you with us?

Instead of cutting Conflict Palm Oil from its products, PepsiCo continues to push its darkly ironic #LiveForNow campaign. PepsiCo is telling people not to worry about climate change, the fate of the last wild orangutans and children that are forced to work in slave-like conditions on oil palm plantations and just #LiveForNow!

It’s our job to tell PepsiCo that #LiveForNow isn’t good enough. This summer we’re turning up the heat.

PepsiCo is pushing its #LiveForNow propaganda out through it’s “Real Big Summer” marketing campaign which includes Pepsi sponsored concerts and events across the US. We need YOU to crash Pepsi-sponsored events and deliver the message that #LiveForNow shouldn’t mean rainforest destruction, climate change and human rights abuses.

Will you join us?

Because of you PepsiCo has made some progress. With your help we’ve convinced the snack food giant to go beyond just sourcing Roundtable on Sustainable Palm certified palm oil. However, PepsiCo’s policies lack a commitment to trace its palm oil back to the plantations where the oil palm fruit was grown and to verify that its suppliers operations are free of forced and child labor, conflicts with Indigenous Peoples and local communities, and clearance of rainforests and peatlands. It also lacks a time bound action plan, so it’s hard for its consumers to know what steps it will take to clean up its palm oil supply chain.

This isn’t good enough. PepsiCo must adopt a policy that is inline with what forests, the people that rely on them and our planet need and demand that its suppliers, like Cargill, do the same.

With your help we’ll convince the global snack food giant to take the steps that will guarantee that its products - like Quaker Oats and Frito-Lay Chips - will be free of Conflict Palm Oil for good.

Help us turn up the heat on PepsiCo this summer. Sign up to let us know you’re in.


Thanks for an amazing Day of Action!

GDoA_SF_drone2_720x720Thank you! The Global Day of Action was amazing, and PepsiCo absolutely heard your voice loud and clear.

From Kuala Lumpur to San Francisco, Oslo to Cape Town, thousands of activists took a stand on May 20th with their friends, colleagues and families to write their own stories for the future of our food system and our planet. Our demand, a food system without Conflict Palm Oil, is bold, ambitious and urgently needed. Because of your willingness to stand up and demand action, we are driving change through the palm oil supply chain.

Thanks to you, the May 20th Global Day of Action to Cut Conflict Palm Oil was a tremendous success. The stories of actions across the globe are inspiring and the numbers impressive: Over 100 events took place in the US, 38 events were hosted abroad and 700 people said they would attend events around the world. Online, PepsiCo heard from thousands of you—its Facebook pages were flooded, its phone lines filled, and the #InYourPalm message was spread far and wide. The photos from Tuesday’s actions are moving; check out the photo album on our Facebook page (and tag yourself if you're in one)!

For over a year, PepsiCo has refused to adopt a responsible palm oil policy, but just 2 days before the Global Day of Action the snack food giant released a new commitment. It’s not strong enough yet, but it’s a start. Thanks to the powerful work, commitment and creativity that Palm Oil Activists poured into the Day of Action, PepsiCo knows that we won’t back down until it cuts Conflict Palm Oil from its global product lines once and for all.

As I think about what we’re accomplishing, a quote about movements like the one that we are building from from one of my heroes, Indian writer and activist Arundhati Roy, keeps coming to mind:

“Our strategy should be not only to confront empire, but to lay siege to it. To deprive it of oxygen. To shame it. To mock it. With our art, our music, our literature, our stubbornness, our joy, our brilliance, our sheer relentlessness – and our ability to tell our own stories. Stories that are different from the ones we’re being brainwashed to believe. The corporate revolution will collapse if we refuse to buy what they are selling – their ideas, their version of history, their wars, their weapons, their notion of inevitability. Remember this: We be many and they be few. They need us more than we need them. Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.”

Because of you, we are close to a tipping point in our campaign to cut Conflict Palm Oil. Together we are transforming the policies of one of the largest Fortune 500 companies in the world as well as shifting the paradigm for how palm oil companies operate in Indonesia.Thank you for joining us in demanding healthy, intact rainforests, a world without slave labor and a future in which unique species like elephants and orangutans are thriving.

A special thanks to the Palm Oil Action Team, our group of super activists who were the first to step up and take action online, volunteer to host events, and to help organize the Day of Action. Our movement is getting stronger. You too can step up and join the Palm Oil Action Team here.

Breaking: Global Day of Action Underway!

GDoA_chicagoWe’re winning. Because of you, PepsiCo is reeling. Over 300,000 of you have demanded PepsiCo cut Conflict Palm Oil from its products.

Today, our Global Day of Action to Cut Conflict Palm Oil is sweeping the world, ratcheting up the pressure for PepsiCo to break its ties to deforestation, human rights abuses and climate pollution. A moment ago, RAN unfurled a massive 60 foot banner exposing the impacts of Conflict Palm Oil at the Sweets and Snacks Expo in Chicago.

From the rainforests of Indonesia and Malaysia to cities across Australia and the UK, to the beaches of San Francisco and Brazil, students, families and ordinary people have organized themselves in droves today to send a clear and united message to PepsiCo and its peers: the time to eliminate Conflict Palm Oil from your products is now.

PepsiCo is scrambling—the fact that the snack food giant released a new palm oil commitment just a few days ago is evidence of this. But, it’s not strong enough and lacks safeguards on human rights and a binding, time bound action plan to cut Conflict Palm Oil. NOW is the time to give PepsiCo the final push for real change for forests and the communities that depend on them.  We have PepsiCo's attention.

Now here's how we win:

1. Let’s take over Pepsi’s Facebook page. Cut and paste this message as a comment: #PepsiCo, cut Conflict Palm Oil! The power is #InYourPalm.

2. Let’s make our voice heard on Twitter: Hey @PepsiCo, I can’t stand by brands that use Conflict #PalmOil. The power is #InYourPalm

3. Let’s talk to the people who represent PepsiCo: (+1)(914) 253-2000 Here is a guide to what you can say: “Hi, my name is [your name]. I’m taking part in the Global Day of Action. It concerns me that your company cannot guarantee that it is not using Conflict Palm Oil in its products. PepsiCo must demand responsible palm oil from its suppliers and eliminate Conflict Palm Oil from its products. PepsiCo’s taken a step in the right direction by releasing a new palm oil commitment, but a statement of intent is not the same as a binding, time bound responsible palm oil policy. For PepsiCo to meet consumer expectations, it must adopt an action plan to eliminate Conflict Palm Oil from its products that includes full traceability of palm oil back to its source and independently verified safeguards for human rights, forests and peatlands.Thank you” 

Because of YOU we have built a movement to cut Conflict Palm Oil from our food supply. We're just getting warmed up—thanks for being a part of this. 

Join the Global Day of Action to Cut Conflict Palm Oil: The Power is #InYourPalm

I recently heard Jane Goodall speak about the importance of having hope in a time when our planet’s natural systems teeter on the brink of collapse. She compared climate change to a titanic ship that takes a while to build up momentum, but once it gains speed, it may be too huge and too fast to turn to avoid the iceberg in its path. We’re currently on that ship - all of humanity, together. Which means that our children’s future depends on the choices you and I make today. We can either quickly respond to the signs all around us that point to climate catastrophe and jump on board this “all hands on deck” moment to stop climate change or we can idly stand by and watch our ship sink.

As a new mom, slowing climate change by protecting our tropical forests – the largest greenhouse gas storage tank in the world -- and transforming our broken industrial food system, is more important and more personal to me than ever before. There is nothing like the love and fierce protection a mother feels for her children, which is why in honor of Mother’s Day I am taking matters into my own hands to fight for the world that my son will inherit, starting in my own kitchen.

How can I tackle climate change from my very own kitchen, you may ask? By joining the Global Day of Action to Cut Conflict Palm Oil on May 20.


Our food and our climate are inextricably linked. About 75% of global palm oil is used in food products and cooking, and roughly 90% of it is grown in Indonesia & Malaysia, where the scale of destruction is so large that it is having globally significant impacts on the climate, similar in scale to the world’s biggest coal and tar sands projects. Deforestation in Indonesia is responsible for some 5% of global greenhouse gas emissions, which is more than the combined emissions from all the millions of cars, trucks, trains, and buses in the U.S. each year combined.

Are you feeding your family Conflict Palm Oil? It’s a hidden ingredient in the foods most of us are feeding our families every day that is enslaving children, killing endangered orangutans, and destroying the rainforest. America's snack makers are putting Conflict Palm Oil in everything from baby formula to kids’ snacks, and Rainforest Action Network has put them on notice that this practice must stop.

Take, for instance, PepsiCo - the largest globally distributed snack food company in the world. PepsiCo is the biggest and most influential of the Snack Food 20 companies that has yet to take steps to address its Conflict Palm Oil problem. PepsiCo has the power to break the link between the products you buy and rainforest destruction, but they won’t until you, the consumer, demand it.

Moms and Dads, in honor of Mother’s day, will you join me in asking one of the largest makers of kids snacks, PepsiCo, to do the right thing and cut Conflict Palm Oil from the food we’re feeding our families every day? We have a powerful voice. Pepsi will listen if we speak! There is a way to get palm oil that doesn't enslave children and make orangutans extinct.

Working together, we have the power to win a tremendous victory for people and the planet by challenging business as usual and forcing the palm oil industry to respect the rights of workers and communities, protect orangutan habitat and the rainforests that play a crucial role in combating climate change. We can break the link between deforestation, human rights violations and the foods our families eat everyday.

On May 20, mothers, fathers, teachers, and youth around the world will be hosting photo actions around the globe, calling on PepsiCo to cut Conflict Palm Oil from its supply chain. We believe that the power is #InYourPalm and when you speak PepsiCo will have no choice but to listen. This is why we are asking everyone to host an action that includes the words #InYourPalm. All you have to do is take a photo of your action so we can send it to PepsiCo and demand change. With your help, these actions can be a catalyst for change at PepsiCo and throughout the entire snack food industry.

These actions may be big or small, in parks, on college campuses, homes, or at Pepsi branded locations around the world. They will each be unique, but they'll have a two things in common: they will include #InYourPalm in some way, shape or form and will connect local activists around the globe who are united in a goal to end rainforest destruction and human rights violations caused by the production of Conflict Palm Oil for PepsiCo's snacks foods.

Will you join me? Together we can convince PepsiCo to prioritize the future of our children and cut Conflict Palm Oil to save orangutans from extinction!

RAN Stands With Jaka. Will You?

CPO_720x720 Jaka, pictured here, was 14 years old when he began working on the palm oil plantation. 

My name is Ratri Kusumohartono, and I've traveled here from Indonesia to bring the story of palm oil to the top executives of PepsiCo at the company's annual shareholder meeting. I work for Sawit Watch, which means “Palm Oil Watch” in Indonesian. We are one of Indonesia's leading palm oil advocacy groups, working directly with palm oil laborers who are fighting for decent working conditions and local communities who are resisting or who have lost their forest and livelihoods to large-scale oil palm expansion.

I need you to stand behind me as I tell PepsiCo about the real costs of Conflict Palm Oil. Will you add your voice to mine?

Palm oil expansion isn’t just about deforestation and ecosystems; it’s also having a huge impact on the communities that live here. I've seen these impacts on communities and workers first hand. Last year, I travelled to a palm oil plantation in East Kalimantan to see if workers were being treated fairly. I was faced with a stark reality. I met a 16 year old boy, Jaka, who had been working in the plantation for over two years. At 14, Jaka left his hometown because he was given false promises of a high salary and good living and working conditions. After traveling over a thousand miles by boat, plane and bus to arrive at the plantation, Jaka found a very different reality than what he was promised. But by the time he realized he had been deceived, he was trapped in debt to the labor recruiter, far from home, and the company did not even provide an adequate supply of clean water and food. The conditions were so poor that Jaka had to drink and bathe from the trench where the plantation’s waste runs.

This is why Conflict Palm Oil is able to be sold so cheaply to snack food companies like PepsiCo. 14 year old boys like Jaka are bearing the real costs of palm oil production. This is not OK, it has to stop.

Please, stand with me, with Jaka, and with all of the affected communities whose homes and lands are threatened, who have had their land stolen in land grabs, or worse, have suffered violence and injury at the hands of the palm oil companies.

Jaka is not alone. His story is only one example of the exploitation and devastation that Conflict Palm Oil is causing for communities, workers and forests across Indonesia. PepsiCo needs to adopt a global responsible palm oil policy that requires all the palm oil it sources to be fully traceable, legally grown, and free of deforestation, peatland destruction and human and labor rights violations.

Working together on the ground in Indonesia and in the markets in the U.S, PepsiCo will hear our message. Call on PepsiCo to cut Conflict Palm Oil.


Ratri Kusumohartono

Cargill's Latest Trade in Conflict Palm Oil

klk case study report cover Over the past months, we’ve been working on a report profiling Kuala Lumpur Kepong Berhad (KLK), one of the most notorious producers of Conflict Palm Oil on the planet. We knew when we started that KLK’s practices were devastating, but nothing could have prepared us for what we uncovered. Today we released a report profiling four cases of KLK's Conflict Palm Oil production, including:

  • KLK's expansion plans into the ancestral lands of tribal groups in a remote area of Papua New Guinea without their Free, Prior and Informed Consent.
  • KLK's use of child labor and forced labor on two plantations in Indonesia.
  • On-going deforestation on two KLK plantations in Indonesia.
  • Expansion by KLK's newly acquired Equatorial Palm Oil onto traditional farming lands of local communities in Liberia in violation of their Free, Prior and Informed Consent.

The sheer magnitude of the abuse that KLK has engaged in is shocking. And unfortunately, due to the murky world of palm oil traders and suppliers, KLK is able to continue to operate with absolute impunity while major traders like Cargill continue to purchase the palm oil it produces to sell to food manufacturers in the United States and around the world. As long as Cargill continues to purchase Conflict Palm Oil, no questions asked, from reprehensible companies like KLK, KLK and its peers have absolutely no motivation to change. Why stop using child labor or stealing land when nobody is holding them accountable? This has to change, and it will with your help. Cargill needs to implement a responsible palm oil sourcing policy that blacklists any company that produces Conflict Palm Oil and engages in horrific human rights and environmental abuses immediately.

Time is running out. Cargill is lagging behind other traders that have realized that business as usual is no longer tenable.

Tell Cargill that its dirty secret of cheap Conflict Palm Oil is out, and you won’t tolerate the human rights abuses from Cargill's trading operations and partners.

You can read the full report here, but before you do, please send your message to Cargill. It’s crucial that Cargill hears from you.

Progress Report: Asia Pulp & Paper, One Year Later

rfp_app_deforestation_565x350Today marks the 1st year anniversary of the latest published “forest conservation policy” (FCP) of the Sinar Mas Group’s Asia Pulp & Paper (APP). Rainforest Action Network has evaluated the progress APP and its suppliers have made towards implementing key elements of its policy as well as toward meeting the APP Performance Targets and Milestones developed by the Environmental Paper Network, a network of 120 NGOs internationally and endorsed by WWF, Greenpeace, Rainforest Action Network and Wahana Bumi Hijau among others. The Milestones set out specific performance benchmarks for implementation of the FCP as well as describe and set out performance milestones for a number of fundamental gaps in APP’s commitments. In summary, aside from the commendable cessation of logging activities in most of the operations of APP and its supply chain, even after one year, it is too soon to confirm that tangible conservation or social benefits have taken place on the ground as a result of APP’s policy. Most of the progress APP has made in the past year has been in collecting HCV and HCS data – most of which has yet to be shared making an assessment impossible – and in setting up teams, systems and processes such as consultants to conduct HCV assessments, protocols for standard operating procedures and the “dash board.” These are laudable and an essential component of implementing and broadening the company’s commitments, however they do not allow for evaluating whether promised reforms are having any impact. Even in the area of setting up teams and collecting data, much has yet to be done - from the need for securing stakeholder input and agreement with the interpretation and use of this data for forest management plans to the urgent need to address peatland issues, initiate FPIC processes, and scale up land and social conflict resolution. It has been a disappointment to learn how much tropical forest, much on deep peat, was cleared by APP and suppliers in the lead up to the moratorium established by the FCP thereby erasing many potential conservation gains. By the time of the moratorium, APP’s old concessions, covering 2.6 million hectares of formerly mostly forested and often peatlands had relatively small areas of forest remaining. This reality, APP’s track record of broken promises, along with the many land and social conflicts between APP, its suppliers, and rural communities underscore the need for comprehensive and ambitious restoration, compensation, and conflict resolution to address APP’s legacy of adverse social and environmental impacts. We welcome the news that APP has engaged the Rainforest Alliance to conduct an independent audit of its performance. It is imperative that the audit develop robust indicators for and then verifies not only APP performance in implementing the FCP, but also the EPN targets and milestones, including the gaps in the FCP including, for example, restoration/compensation for APP’s legacy of negative impacts, measuring and reducing the company’s carbon footprint and a permanent prohibition on the use of fiber from tropical natural forests. It is premature for potential customers and investors to consider establishing business ties with APP before such audit criteria have been agreed and before it has been independently verified that APP is meeting them. Based on our evaluation we recommend
  • that companies do not buy products from the APP group and avoid investing in their infrastructure expansion projects;
  • that buyers and investors encourage APP to formally commit to expand its so far limited policy to cover all aspects of sustainable and responsible operations as recommended in the EPN Performance Targets and Milestones; and
  • that buyers and investors wait for verification by independent NGOs and an independent auditor that the implementation of the expanded policy has resulted in real, measurable, and permanent achievements on the ground

Warning to Banks: Don't Finance Rainforest Destruction

Last week, RAN joined sixty environmental and social organizations, including a dozen Indonesian groups, in signing an open letter to banks and other financial institutions across the globe warning them to avoid investments in pulp and paper industry projects associated with deforestation and human right abuses in Indonesia. The letter highlights concern with companies associated with the Sinar Mas Group, specifically Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), which is planning to build one of the world's largest new pulp mills in South Sumatra.

APP has been a leading beneficiary of the ongoing, wholesale pulping of Indonesia's rainforests, expansion on peatlands and appropriation of community lands. Thoughtful financial institutions will recognize that this poses considerable reputational and financial risks. In the early 2000s, APP was delisted from the New York Stock Exchange after defaulting on $13.9 billion in loans. In 2004, APP promised to protect High Conservation Value Forests (HCVFs) and reach “full sustainability” as part of a legally binding US$6 billion debt “Master Restructuring Agreement” with Western financial institutions and Export Credit Agencies, yet APP still remains in gross violation of this agreement.

But that wasn't the last time APP has failed to meet a commitment. APP has repeatedly promised investors, customers, environmentalists and the public that it will end its dependence on rainforest wood for its paper but has consistently failed to meet its own deadlines, first promised for 2004, then moved to 2007, then revised to 2009 and most recently reset for 2015. When it comes to APP and its purported commitments to sustainability, history has repeated itself again and again and again—all to the detriment of Indonesia's rainforests and communities.

APP's controversial practices require major reforms to its business model. Yet, APP has responded with empty promises and endless greenwash. While the media has reported that APP has submitted plans to the Ministry of Forests to build the mill, APP is still denying its connection to the mill and dodging questions by pointing to its "sustainability" commitments.

APP's proposed new pulp mill looks like the perfect recipe for further social conflict and destruction of forests and peatlands to a growing coalition of civil society groups. Investors would do well to pay attention to the alarm bells. We have been down this road before. With APP it is best to look at what the company does, not what it says. Financiers should 'just say no' as long as APP continues using rainforest wood, expanding on peat and failing to obtain the free, prior and informed consent of communities whose customary lands they appropriate for plantations.

View the open letter below:

6 November 2012
Dear Sir/Madam,
With this letter the 60 undersigned non-governmental organisations (NGOs) wish to ask you to carefully screen any pulp industry investment projects related to Indonesia, such as new mills, particularly those of companies associated with the Sinar Mas Group, notably Asia Pulp & Paper (APP).
Our concern is the environmental and social consequences of the massive destruction of natural forests that can be shown to be linked to past and current over-capacity in pulp milling plants in Indonesia. We would contend, however, that investment in further milling capacity that relies on natural forest or utilizes land without the free, prior and informed consent of affected communities carries considerable reputational hazard and economic risk to financial institutions.
Our concern is heightened by reports in the Indonesian and trade press that APP is preparing to build a new pulp mill in Sumatra in Indonesia. This would reportedly be one of the world’s biggest pulp mills1, with a planned production of between 1.5 and 2.0 million tonnes per year.
The undersigned NGOs are very concerned about the threat any such new mill might pose to the remaining natural forests in Sumatra and beyond. According to a recent estimate by Sumatra-based NGO coalition Eyes on the Forest, APP has pulped more than 2 million hectares of tropical forests in Sumatra since it started pulp production there in 19842.
Drainage of deep peat soils both for natural forest clearance and for plantation establishment is an issue of global concern in relation to climate change3, 4, 5. Impacts on indigenous peoples and local communities6 and the role of habitat destruction in pushing Sumatra’s elephant to critically endangered status, and its tigers and elephants into deadly conflicts with people and in some cases local extinctions have activated civil society campaigns globally7, 8, 9, 10, 11. It has been reported that three wood suppliers of APP are among the 14 companies which the Ministry of Environment has under examination for possible liability suits over environmental damages12. Four wood suppliers who also supply APP have so far been implicated before courts in the proven bribery of public officials in connection with the issuing of licenses to clear certain natural forest areas13, 14, 15, 16, 17. APP has lost a number of high-profile customers (such as Disney, Hasbro, Mattel, Unilever, Nestle, Danone, Xerox, Mondi) in recent years, as a result of concerns about its deforestation practices, community conflict and the business and reputational risk to buyers 18, 19, 20.
APP has put considerable resources into trumpeting its sustainability credentials, but this campaign has been undercut by the company’s failure to meet its own publicised commitments in protecting forest areas it has previously designated as tiger sanctuary 21, 22,23, forest areas it has identified as high conservation value forests for protection 24, 25 and forest areas it has promoted as part of the Giam Siak Kecil-Bukit Batu UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserve 26. It has committed to sole plantation sourcing for its pulp supplies by 200427, 200728 and 200929 and missed all these self-imposed deadlines 30. In its most recent (2012) sustainability roadmap it is clear APP intends to rely on natural forest clearance beyond 2015, a situation which will be exacerbated by the addition of any new pulping capacity 31, 32, 33, 34, 35.
Some of the tactics employed in campaigning on APP’s behalf have also come under question 36 and independent sustainability certification agencies have rejected APP’s claims of their endorsement37.
We would suggest that special caution is required in relation to Sinar Mas, APP and companies associated with them, in view of the economic risks of adding pulp production capacity in large increments despite manifestly inadequate pulp supplies outside of their continuing and increasingly controversial assault on natural forests.
Financial institutions should particularly note the circumstances and consequences of the previous failure of APP’s business model, graphically illustrated when APP declared a moratorium on the servicing of $US 14 billion in debt in 2001 and was subsequently delisted from the New York Stock Exchange38, 39. Although many of the details remain unclear, this resulted in substantial and unresolved losses to financial institutions and investors.
Much controversy still rages around this default. APP currently faces US court orders to pay back more than $900 million in defaulted debt to US creditors, but the company continues for various reasons to delay in complying with asset disclosure or payment orders40. There are indications that environmental covenants agreed to with export credit agencies for the restructuring of debt have not been complied with, something that NGOs are continuing to pursue with the institutions concerned41, 42, 43.
Given the above, we would welcome your assurance that you would not be investing in or supporting any investment in increased pulp milling capacity by companies associated with the Sinar Mas Group.
The issue is one that all the undersigned NGOs – and others - feel strongly about, and will continue to monitor and campaign on.
We look forward to your response and would also welcome any opportunity to further brief you on the issue. Please send your response to
Abetnego Tarigan, Executive Director, WALHI, Friends of the Earth Indonesia, Indonesia
Muslim Rasyid, Kordinator Jikalahari, Indonesia
Aidil Fitri Wahana Bumi Hijau, South Sumatra, Indonesia
Usman Gumanti, Ketua AMAN Jambi, Indonesia
Jaringan Masyarakat, Gambut Jambi (JMG-J), Indonesia
Persatuan Petani Jambi (PPJ), Indonesia
Umi Syamsiatun, Yayasan CAPPA - Community Alliance for Pulp and Paper Advocacy and Ecological Justice, Indonesia Hariansyah Usman, Director, WALHI Riau, Indonesia
Rudiansyah, WALHI Jambi, Indonesia
Tandyono Bawor Purbaya, Coordinator, Program Community Law Empowerment, HuMA, Indonesia
Harry Oktavian, Scale Up, Center for Natural Resource Conflict Resolution Assistance, Indonesia
Y.L. Franky, Director, Yayasan PUSAKA, Indonesia
Diki Kurniawan, Program Manager of Policy & Advocacy, Conservation Community WARSI, Indonesia
Rodney Taylor, Director Forests, WWF International, Switzerland
Femke Bartels, Forest Network Director, Greenpeace International, The Netherlands
Rebecca Tarbotton, Executive Director, Rainforest Action Network, USA
Agnieszka Komoch, Friends of the Earth Europe, Belgium
Johan Frijns, Director, BankTrack, The Netherlands
Tom Griffiths, Forest Peoples Programme, UK
Deborah Lambert Perez, ECA Watch, Belgium
Jane Madgwick, Chief Executive, Wetlands International, The Netherlands
Thomas Wenidoppler, Director, ECA Watch Austria
Richard Wainwright, FERN, Belgium
Sara Van Dyck, Bond Better Leefmilieu, Belgium
Yu Xiaogang, Green Watershed, China
Jaromir Blaha, Hnuti DUHA - Friends of the Earth Czech Republic
Sini Eräjää, Suomen luonnonsuojeluliitto / Finnish Association for Nature Conservation, Finland
Jürgen Wolters, ARA, Germany
Anna Voß, Managing Director, BOS Deutschland, Germany
Nicola Uhde, BUND – Friends of the Earth Germany
Joanna Cary-Elwes, Elephant Family, Germany
Evelyn Schönheit & Jupp Trauth, Forum Ökologie & Papier, Germany
Heike Drillisch, Coordinator, GegenStroemung - CounterCurrent, Germany
Klaus Schenck, Rettet den Regenwald e.V. - Rainforest Rescue, Germany
Christoph Schmidt, Pro Wildlife, Germany
Simone Hörner, Pro Regenwald, Germany
Agnes Dieckmann, Urgewald, Germany
Monika Schlicher, Watch Indonesia, Germany
Vittorio Cogliati Dezza, Legambiente, Italy
Giulia Franchi, Re-Common, Italy
Fabio Ciconte, President, Terra!Onlus, Italy
Yoshihiro Fujii, Finance GreenWatch, Japan
Junichi Mishiba , Friends of the Earth Japan, Japan
Yoshio Nishioka, Hutan Group, Japan
Akira Harada, Japan Tropical Forest Action Network, Japan
Graziella Cavlan, Nature Trust, Malta
Lars Løvold, Director, Rainforest Foundation Norway
Maria Huma, Polish Green Network, Poland
Nuno Sequeira, Quercus, Portugal
Alba Valle, Euronatura, Portugal
Andrey Laletin, Chairman, Friends of the Siberian Forests, Russia
Tom Kucharz, Ecologistas en Acción, Spain
Almuth Ernsting, Biofuelwatch, UK/USA
Simon Fairlie, The Land Magazine, UK
Archie Beaton, Chlorine Free Products Association, USA
Scott Quaranda, Dogwood Alliance, USA
Michelle Chan, Director, Economic Policy Programs, Friends of the Earth USA
Stephanie Fried, Ulu Foundation, USA
Wim Dekok, Executive Director, World Animal Net, USA
Teresa Perez, Coordinator, World Rainforest Movement, Uruguay 60 signatories to the open letter

Malaysia's "Sustainable" Palm Oil Just Pure Greenwash

Malaysia Sustainable Palm Oil. Photo: astromediashop
Malaysia Sustainable Palm Oil. Photo: astromediashop
As I reported on Monday, the Malaysian government—hand in hand with the country’s largest palm oil companies—is attempting to undermine the RSPO’s “sustainable palm oil” certification standard by creating its own certification. Problem is—the Malaysian palm oil industry’s version of “sustainable palm oil” is pure greenwash which is extremely problematic for the companies and consumers demanding real standards of sustainability that are based on sound science. The entire notion of determining a baseline of "sustainability" for forest preservation will be lost. Yesterday’s Malaysian paper StarBiz update on the process does not bode well for the species, communities and forests of Indonesia that are most threatened by the expansion of palm oil plantations. It reported that the “draft on the Malaysia Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification scheme is currently being formulated with the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) earmarked as the main moderator.” Does it seems strange to anyone else that Malaysia’s Palm Oil Board – in charge of advocating for palm oil expansion at any cost – is formulating a certification scheme for sustainable palm oil? Where are the scientists, agronomists and ecologists? The article continues:
“the [Malaysian] Government is serious about introducing its national green palm oil certification scheme as an alternative to the current voluntary Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certification…this is an opportunity for Malaysia to tell the world that its oil palms are grown in a sustainable manner and do not involve the clearing of virgin forest.”
Malaysia Malaysia wants to tell the world that land conversion for its oil palm "doesn't involve the clearing of virgin forest?" Clearly the preservation of natural forests is important, but what about the Free, Prior, Informed Consent (FPIC) of its Indigenous peoples and forest communities? What about its critical habitat for endangered species like the orangutan? What about its other forested areas that are not natural forest land anymore but secondary forests—key habitat for endangered species and diverse forest peoples? I think Malaysia has more at stake that it cares to admit. Watering down criteria for the "sustainability" of its palm oil plantations could turn out to be nothing short of devastating for the people and wildlife of Malaysia.

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