Pages tagged "sumatra"


Monga Bay: Only place where rhinos, tigers, elephants, and organgutans coexist is under threat

"A forest that is the only place where rhinos, tigers, elephants, and orangutans coexist is under threat from planned infrastructure, mining, logging, and plantation projects, warns a new report from the Rainforest Action Network (RAN)."

READ FULL ARTICLE HERE


The Huffington Post: Tigers Don't Want Their Forests Liquidated

"You shouldn't have to worry that installing a new hardwood floor in your kitchen will rob Siberian tigers of their home. Since 1900, we've had a law in this country, the Lacey Act, that prohibits trade in wildlife, fish, and plants that have been illegally taken, possessed, transported, or sold. And since 2008, that law has also prohibited the importation of illegally sourced wood products. The problem is real: According to a report from the United Nations and Interpol, between 15 and 30 percent of the wood traded in the world comes from illegal logging."

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE


APRIL Makes A Mockery Of Its Own "Sustainable" Forest Policy

 

Almost six months after the release of its Sustainable Forest Management Policy, Asia Pacific Resources International Ltd (APRIL)—the second-largest Indonesian pulp & paper company—continues business-as-usual rainforest destruction, betraying the spirit and substance of its policy.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported in May that APRIL-owned PT RAPP cleared massive swaths of carbon-rich peatlands on Pulau Padang, an island off the Sumatran coast that APRIL promised to help restore. Members of island community Desa Bagan Melibur have called on APRIL to terminate operations on their community land, and Desa Bagan Melibur’s May 17 protest is the most recent clash in a stark legacy of land disputes between APRIL and Padang’s thirteen villages since 2009.

Pulau Padang’s peatlands store millions of tons of carbon and are home to endangered species and communities that depend on these forests for their livelihoods. You could also say the island itself is endangered: decaying peat causes the low-lying island to subside, and scientists warn that if no action is taken, Padang may very well be under sea level and useless for any type of cultivation by 2050.

APRIL’s forest policy itself is rife with loopholes and allows APRIL to continue slashing natural forests in its concessions through December and source rainforest fiber until 2020. Yet the company’s refusal to uphold even its weak policy commitments brings APRIL’s intentions entirely into doubt. In addition to the Pulau Padang case, earlier this year, APRIL suppliers were caught clearing natural forests on legally protected peat land in Borneo and high conservation value forest on peat land in Riau. In the latter case, not only were internationally protected ramin trees cut down, but APRIL supplier PT Triomas allegedly attempted to hide the evidence by burying the contraband logs.

There is mounting recognition that APRIL’s policy and actions are insufficient and not credible. Last Friday, RAN and an international collation of allies co-authored a letter highlighting the severe shortcomings in APRIL’s policies, such as the lack of a moratorium on natural forest and peat land conversion, unclear commitments on resolving social conflicts, and the policy’s narrow scope, which does not extend to cover APRIL’s sister companies within owner Sukanto Tanoto’s rogue cartel of companies, such as Toba Pulp Lestari, Sateri, and Asian Agri. The letter also points to the inadequacy and questionable credibility of the Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC) APRIL set up to help develop, implement, and monitor the forest policy in a transparent and independent manner.

APRIL’s new policy and the SAC risk being nothing but a parade of environmental lip service built on teetering scaffolds of environmental destruction, social conflict, and corruption. Customers and financiers must cut ties with APRIL and other companies owned by Sukanto Tanoto and pressure APRIL to end rainforest clearing and respect community rights.

TAKE ACTION: Tell APRIL owner Sukanto Tanoto to stop pulping Pulau Padang’s rainforests.


An Urgent Request from Indonesian Conservationists

The following post is a guest blog from Indonesian conservationist and RAN ally Tezar Pahlevie. Please watch the brief following video of Tezar speaking to RAN staff from his home province of Aceh in Sumatra, Indonesia from November 2013.

//www.youtube.com/embed/uozNAWnuqPU?rel=0&vq=hd720

Please take action now to protect the extraordinary Leuser Ecosystem forever! You can read more from Tezar below: Hello, RAG_Tezar_Cropped_500My name is Tezar Pahlevie. This year I was honored by winning the 2013 GRASP Conservation award for my team’s work restoring rainforests damaged by illegal palm oil plantations, but now, a dangerous push from palm oil companies could see all our hard work undone. I write from my home in Aceh, on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, because the people and the place I love most are in danger and I urgently need support from people around the world to save them. Please join me in asking the governor of Aceh to protect the world class Leuser Ecosystem by nominating it as a new UNESCO World Heritage site. This is a really scary time for me, because the governor of Aceh has on his desk a disastrous plan that would remove crucial protections from the Leuser Ecosystem, opening up huge areas of some of the world’s most biologically diverse forests to major industrial development. This new plan could be signed by the governor at any time. The six million acre Leuser Ecosystem is home to the densest population of orangutans remaining anywhere and it is the only place where orangutans, tigers, elephants, rhinos and sun bears live in the same forest together.Nearly four million people depend on the rainforests of the Leuser Ecosytem to provide them with clean water for drinking, irrigation and food production. I am really sad and frustrated because every day and every month I see the destruction of the forests around my home. We in Aceh have experienced the dangerous floods that come after the logging and destroy people’s homes, livelihoods and in some cases, takes the lives of our friends or family. Witnessing all this destruction breaks my heart. We have a different vision for Aceh. We must protect the Leuser Ecosystem and the people who rely on it. The Aceh people have long fought to protect these forests because they provide us with clean water, food and are important for the next generation. It is urgent that the governor of Aceh hears from you now. Just recently, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) identified the Leuser Ecosystem as one of the world’s foremost “irreplaceable areas” that must be protected to preserve biodiversity. I stand with scientists from across the world who are right now calling on the governor of Aceh to protect our forests by nominating the region to become a new UNESCO World Heritage site. It gives me hope that by people across the world calling on the governor, he will listen to the people instead of the companies that want to destroy our forests, and work to find a balance that will protect the forests and the livelihoods of Aceh’s people. Please take action today to automatically send a fax to Governor Dr. Zaini Abdullah asking him to listen to the traditional wisdom of Aceh’s people by supporting the nomination of the Leuser Ecosystem as a new UNESCO World Heritage site. Semangat - keep the spirit, Tezar Pahlevie Conservationist and 2013 GRASP Conservation Award Winner RAG_Leuser_PH_500x500

Tell Mars, Inc. To Set an Example for the Snack Food 20

Today I visited the corporate headquarters of Mars, Inc. with Strawberry, an orphaned orangutan from Indonesia, to let the company know that consumers all across the world want Mars to stop using Conflict Palm Oil in its products. Unlike some of its fellow Snack Food 20 companies, like Kraft and Smucker’s, Mars is on the move. We have a chance to push Mars, the maker of wildly popular brands like M&Ms, Snickers, and Combos, to become an industry leader in sourcing responsible palm oil. After RAN put the snack food sector on notice last April, Mars, Inc. responded by strengthening its palm oil commitment. The company has committed to working towards sourcing 100% of its palm oil from traceable sources that are not associated with deforestation, expansion on carbon-rich peatlands and the violation of human and labor rights. Mars needs to hear from you right now! Tell the company to turn its new commitments into a global palm oil policy and take action to cut Conflict Palm Oil from its products immediately. 1. Call Mars at 1-800-627-7852. Here's a call script you can use:
“Hi, my name is [your name] from [your city]. I’m a [student, mom..] and one of your valued customers! It concerns me that your company cannot guarantee that it is not using Conflict Palm Oil in its products. Mars, Inc. must demand responsible palm oil from its suppliers and eliminate conflict palm oil from its products. I encourage you to build on Mars, Inc.’s existing palm oil procurement commitments by adopting a new global responsible palm oil procurement policy and implementation plan that ensures that the palm oil in your company’s supply chain is fully traceable, legally grown, and sourced from verified responsible palm oil producers not associated with deforestation, expansion onto carbon-rich peatlands or human and labor rights violations. Thank You!”
2. Post this message on Mars’ Facebook wall:
Hey Mars, Inc., I’m standing with orangutans, and I can’t stand by brands that use Conflict Palm Oil. Demand responsible palm oil from your suppliers and eliminate Conflict Palm Oil from your products. The power is #InYourPalm.
3. Tweet at Mars:
@MarsGlobal I can’t stand by brands that use Conflict #PalmOil. The power is #InYourPalm.
At the Mars HQ, Strawberry and I gave representatives of the company a copy of the RAN report Conflict Palm Oil: How US Snack Food Brands are Contributing to Orangutan Extinction, Climate Change and Human Rights Violations and outlined RAN's demand to cut Conflict Palm Oil. Can you call Mars and encourage the company to cut Conflict Palm Oil from its products and set an example for the rest of the Snack Food 20? And if you haven't yet, sign our petition to all of the Snack Food 20 companies, including companies like Kraft, Smucker's, and Kellogg's, in addition to Mars, to cut Conflict Palm Oil from their products.

Tackling Indonesia’s Deforestation Crisis Together

[caption id="attachment_20338" align="alignleft" width="300"]A Duta Palma-owned palm oil plantation in Indonesian Borneo (Kalimantan). Until Cargill adopts supply chain safeguards and publicly discloses its supposed 'No Trade List,' this rainforest destruction will persist in its palm oil supply chain. Photo: David Gilbert A palm oil plantation in Indonesian Borneo (Kalimantan). Photo: David Gilbert[/caption] Jakarta - As fires continue to burn the rainforests of Sumatra and customers around the world continue to raise the volume of their demands for deforestation-free products, a group of powerful individuals have gathered to align on how to stop this spiraling crisis. The workshop is organized under the auspices of the Tropical Forest Alliance (TFA) and the goal is to find ways to eliminate deforestation in the supply chains of the 400+ Consumer Goods Forum companies. I am encouraged that everyone here—from Indonesia’s President and regional government representatives to high level executives of international commodities corporations to the region's most active environmental NGOs—seems to understand that this issue is urgent and that they have a responsibility to play a role in achieving real and lasting solutions. Auspiciously, the President of Indonesia stated in his welcoming address that he supports the Constitutional court’s recent decision recognizing traditional ADAT (Indigenous community) land rights as separate from state forests. A lack of clear land rights and a jumbled mess of different and often conflicting land ownership maps used by different levels of governments in Indonesia lies at the heart of the rampant rainforest destruction and human rights violations taking place throughout the country. The President discussed his government's initiative to develop 'One map for the Nation’ that all levels of Indonesia’s government can use that show the legal land tenure, ownership and usage rights for all lands in Indonesia. This is an important step, and inclusion of ADAT lands in this map could lead to the recognition of Indigenous people’s customary land rights. According to the Indigenous Peoples Alliance of the Archipelago (AMAN), there are an estimated 40 million hectares (nearly 100 million acres) of ADAT lands in Indonesia, most of which are unrecognized. Legal recognition and respect for human and land rights is urgently needed as Indigenous people and rural communities continue to have their land stolen from them to make way for more palm oil and pulp and paper plantations. Now that the stage has been set there is an opportunity for governments, consumer and producer companies and civil society to develop action-oriented partnerships to tackle deforestation and human rights violations in the pulp and paper and palm oil sectors. But real, concrete actions must be committed to today if we want to end deforestation and human rights violations in Indonesia. For example, companies can require that pulp and paper or palm oil companies that clear rainforests and violate human rights are not welcome in their supply chains and products. And in time, the Indonesian government can create mechanisms to better recognize and respect Indigenous Peoples' rights. RAN has developed a set of recommendations with our civil society partners in Indonesia that will help to protect Indonesia's rainforests and the people who live in and depend upon them. There is reason for guarded optimism coming out of these meetings—I anticipate that some companies will return home with a deeper commitment to zero deforestation and conflict in their supply chain. I also expect that we will need to continue to hold companies and policy makers accountable and to push them to move quickly to implement the solutions being generated. Your support will be crucial in the coming months to keep the pressure on and move the ball forward.

Clearing the Smog: RAN Pushes Companies and Governments to End Indonesia’s Deforestation Crisis

sing smogOn my way to Jakarta yesterday for a series of meetings with the Tropical Forest Alliance—a consortium of government and corporate leaders from around the world working to confront the world's deforestation crisis—I stopped for a layover in Singapore. I was immediately hit over the head by the urgency of our task. There, just outside the airport windows, the once rich rainforests of Sumatra hung suspended as a thick, sickly smoke polluting the tropical air. While the historic haze engulfing Singapore and parts of Malaysia right now is shocking and record-breaking, the tragic reality is that it is just the most visible symptom of the much deeper problem I traveled here to address. Widespread, illegal burning to clear rainforests and peatlands for palm oil and pulp and paper plantation expansion has become a well-established yearly ritual in Sumatra and Borneo. Rapidly expanding pulp, paper and palm oil plantations are driving one of the world’s highest rates of deforestation in Indonesia and Malaysia. There is an urgent need to transform the way that these commodities are produced. Irreplaceable wildlife species like the orangutan and Sumatran tiger face a very real threat of extinction in our lifetimes, while land conflicts and human rights abuses plague rural and Indigenous communities across Borneo and Sumatra. I traveled across the world because a promising new opportunity is emerging that could deliver a transformation in these sectors with the potential to break the link between pulp, paper and palm oil production and deforestation and human rights violations. The Tropical Forest Alliance (TFA) is a partnership between major companies (including the makers of many of America’s most popular foods) and governments. TFA aspires to achieve 100%-deforestation-free commodities by 2020. The TFA was launched last year at Rio+20 by the Consumer Goods Forum—which includes 400 major global companies—and the U.S. government. Since then, the United Kingdom, Netherlands, and Norwegian governments have joined the alliance. The TFA’s June 27th – 28th workshop aims to bring together the key players who produce, consume and set policies that impact the way pulp, paper and palm oil are produced. Singapore-Smog-Eases-As-Indonesian-Planes-Waterbomb-Fires-430x244 Rainforest Action Network is attending the workshop to encourage companies and governments to commit to decisive action to end deforestation and human rights violations. We will also call for the TFA to strengthen its commitment by pledging to achieve 100% deforestation AND social conflict/slave labor free commodities by 2020. The US government has an important role to play as the founder of the TFA. Seven leading groups, including Rainforest Action Network, have produced a report titled “Breaking the Link between Commodities and Climate Change” that outlines the steps the US government needs to take to tackle rainforest destruction and land conflicts associated with these commodities. One of the most important roles for governments is to support land management reforms in key countries so communities’ rights to their customary lands are recognized, respected and maintained. My greatest hope is that the international media attention being generated by the record smoke pollution enveloping Singapore right now will serve as a wake up call that pressures the members of the TFA to move quickly and meaningfully. The time for talking in circles and shifting blame is over. We still have a narrow window of opportunity to work together to create systemic change to preserve our remaining rainforests and stop the human suffering that producing these commodities currently causes. But that window is shrinking, and fast. Stay tuned for further dispatches this week from Jakarta as the meetings proceed.

Good News for Species on the Brink of Extinction in Tripa

[caption id="attachment_19974" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Photo: David Gilbert"][/caption] UPDATE, 9.26.12:  BREAKING: Within the next 24 hours, Kallista Alam, 1 of the 5 major palm oil companies operating in Tripa, will have their operating permit WITHDRAWN. This is a highly important precedent-setting case, as this is the first in Aceh's (Sumatra, Indonesia) entire governmental history. RAN members like you have helped to keep the pressure on the Indonesian government to hold palm oil companies accountable for their massive deforestation. This imminent historic decision sends a strong message to the palm oil & pulp industry that the status quo of operating illegally with impunity will no longer be tolerated as business as usual. It is CRUCIAL now to keep the international spotlight on other instances of rainforest destruction and human rights abuses so this milestone case becomes a pattern and not an anomaly. **************************************************** In a huge turn of events last week and a massive step in the right direction for the Tripa peat forest of Sumatra, the Administrative High Court of Medan has commanded the Governor of Aceh to withdraw the permit of palm oil company PT Kallista Alam. This is the very same palm oil company that played a role in the tragic illegal burning of the Tripa rainforest last Spring, which threatened this delicate peat swamp, home to the highest population density of the critically endangered Sumatran orangutan anywhere on Earth. PT Kallista Alam’s permit was originally issued by former Governor Yusuf in August 2011 to allow 1,605 hectares (just under 4,000 acres) of deep peat in the Tripa forest to be converted into oil palm plantations. The permit was issued despite the fact that the area of Tripa covered by the permit is protected by national laws that prevent any development that causes environmental degradation or destruction. A police report was filed by the local community to the National Police in Jakarta, and Indonesian environmental group WALHI sought legal justice by filing a case against Governor Yusuf and PT Kallista Alam for the illegal expansion into the Tripa forest. [caption id="attachment_19976" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Photo: Carlos Qulies"][/caption] But the story only thickens from there. This past March, hundreds of fires raged through the Tripa peat swamp as palm oil companies rushed to clear the forest before the verdict was announced—with none other than PT Kallista Alam leading the pack. To the dismay of environmentalists and orangutan lovers alike, the Indonesian court decided to throw out the case and WALHI filed for an appeal. RAN and Tripa supporters from all around the world sent thousands of emails, faxes, letters and petitions to the Indonesian government, and Tripa became the subject of a National Police investigation into the crimes and illegal burning by the expanding oil palm plantations. That brings us to today. Since the appeal was filed, the world has witnessed continued burning of Tripa— fires so bad that they created a regional air quality crisis and made the extinction of the critically endangered Sumatran orangutan a more imminent reality. The High Court's decision to grant the appeal and its order to the Governor of Aceh to withdraw PT Kallista Alam's permit is not just an achievement for WALHI, but also a victory for the communities of Aceh and the hundreds of national and international groups concerned with the conservation of Tripa. This decision sets a new precedent that law enforcement is key for the protection of Indonesia’s forests. WALHI expects this may be the beginning of “momentum of law enforcement in a broader sense” concering environmental issues in Indonesia. [caption id="attachment_18531" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Photo: Carlos Quiles"][/caption] But this is not the end of the road for saving the threatened rainforests of Tripa. Rather, it’s only a small step in the right direction. Now it’s up to Governor Zaini Abdullah to follow through with his instructions and cancel PT Kallista Allam’s permit. Beyond revoking the permit, other necessary action is needed by the courts in order to protect Tripa: evaluate the licenses of the other palm oil companies operating illegally and revoke any permits in violation of legal procedure, and punish the guilty parties who issued any illegal permits. Tripa is an important test case to see if Indonesian Police and Government really can uphold the law—the survival of Tripa depends on it. This small but meaningful win for Tripa was made possible with the help of the thousands of people worldwide who took actions to put a spotlight on Tripa and created international pressure to save this peatland. There’s still a long road ahead, but we will continue to call for support and together we can continue to gain significant victories towards saving Tripa once and for all.

Illegal Fires in Sumatra Escalate, Creating Regional Air Pollution Crisis

[caption id="attachment_19342" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Illegal Fires in Tripa Blazing Again. Photo via www.EndofTheIcons.wordpress.com"]Illegal Fires in Tripa Blazing Again. Photo: www.EndofTheIcons.wordpress.com[/caption] Tragically, we just received a breaking report from our allies at the End of the Icons Coalition that at least 20 major fires and dozens of smaller ones are again sweeping through the Tripa rainforest in Sumatra, one of the world’s most ecologically important forests. Despite overwhelming international pressure to restore Tripa, which led to a National Police investigation being launched into the crimes of Tripa in May, another firestorm at the hands of palm oil companies is sweeping through the critically threatened Tripa Peat Forest of Sumatra right now. As if the first hundred weren’t bad enough, the 86 documented fire hotspots since May 3 are not only making the extinction of the critically endangered Sumtran orangutan a more imminent reality but also creating a regional air quality crisis. As reported in the New York Times last week, the haze resulting from the illegal fires in Sumatra is so severe in surrounding countries that Halimah Hassan, director general of Malaysia's Department of Environment, says readings on the air pollution index exceed the threshold for "unhealthy", prompting the department to warn people to wear masks. My colleague Laurel Sutherlin experienced this apocalyptic inferno last year and wrote a moving personal account of what is now considered widely commonplace in Indonesia at the beginning of every dry season, which starts in July. He wrote:
Global climate change is usually an abstraction — a concept that must be imagined or made academic to understand. But here, it’s in your face, tangible and acute. Incredibly, Indonesia has become the world’s third largest carbon polluting country, behind only the US and China — and 80% of those emissions are the result of deforestation.
The Wall Street Journal reported that in Singapore, as well, the air quality reached "unhealthy" levels last Thursday as the city-state became enveloped in haze from fires in neighboring Indonesia's Sumatra island. Check out the unbelievable before and after photos taken in downtown Singapore. The main source of smoke, according to researchers, are fires set on palm oil and rubber plantations, primarily in Sumatra, to get rid of old trees and to clear land for new plantations. Supposedly it's much faster and easier to open forest for establishing new plantations through fire, exemplary of the mentality of profit-driven palm oil companies who demonstrate complete disregard for the health of forests or its inhabitants. Although clearing land by burning is illegal and banned as an acceptable practice in Indonesia, the laws are rarely, if ever, enforced. Please sign this petition to demand that Indonesia President SBY order an immediate halt to all destruction in Tripa — to stop the land clearing and fires burning in critical orangutan habitat and to immediately block the canals that continue to destroy Tripa at this very moment.

Setting the Record Straight: Cargill and Tripa Forest Controversy

[caption id="attachment_18967" align="alignleft" width="231" caption="Will Cargill Act in the Interest of Orangutans and Adopt Safeguards?"]Will Cargill Act in the Interest of Orangutans and Adopt Safeguards?[/caption] Although there are no major fires still tearing through the Tripa peat forest in Sumatra — the densest remaining Sumatran orangutan habitat in the world — updates from our allies on the ground tell us that Tripa is still gravely at risk. With one or two small fires still breaking out each day, combined with ongoing active forest clearing for palm oil plantations, the critically endangered orangutans depending on this forest for survival remain in danger. Despite the international spotlight on Tripa since late March, there is still active clearing and building of more drainage canals going deep into primary forest. I wish I could say that some of the largest players in the palm oil industry, such as Cargill, are doing everything in their power to ensure that controversial palm oil coming from these types of tragedies isn't ending up in their supply chain (and our pantries), but that is definitely not the case. RAN’s report, Truth and Consequences: Palm Oil Plantations Push Unique Orangutan Population to Brink of Extinction, points out that Cargill has no safeguards on its global palm oil supply chain, and that without such safeguards Cargill cannot ensure it is not contributing to egregious violations like the one underway in the Tripa peat forest of Indonesia. Although Cargill is still misleading the public by releasing statements like the one from last week, titled, "Cargill Refutes Rainforest Action Network claims about Tripa Forest," the bottom line remains: Cargill traffics a whopping 25% of the world's palm oil and Cargill cannot ensure it is not trading palm oil from Tripa or parent companies profiting from the destruction of Tripa because it has no safeguards whatsoever in place to prevent it. RAN released an official response to Cargill's misleading claims last week with the following key points:
  • Cargill claims that it "does not import Indonesian palm oil to the United States." This is pure obfuscation. By Cargill’s own estimate, nearly 90 percent of the world’s palm oil is sourced from Indonesia and Malaysia, and the company traffics 25 percent of the world's palm oil. Cargill’s claim that it does not ship any Indonesian palm oil into the U.S. is misleading and insincere, as a percentage of Indonesia’s palm oil is refined in Malaysia before being shipped to the US.
  • Cargill also claims that it is not associated with the devastating fires raging throughout the Tripa rainforest of Indonesia. Cargill is hiding behind a shell game of shifting company ownership and complicated trade relationships between a web of subsidiary suppliers. However, the fact is that Cargill has a history of trading with at least one company that has profited from the destruction of the priceless Tripa rainforest.Trade data held by Rainforest Action Network shows that Cargill shipped at least 4,000 tons of crude palm oil produced by Astra Agro Lestari from the island of Sumatra in 2009. Astra Agro Lestari produced and exported palm oil from Tripa until at least 2010. According to Bloomberg, Astra Agro Lestari also sells millions of dollars of palm oil a year to industry giants Wilmar and Sinar Mas — two major suppliers of palm oil to Cargill. With a lack of supply chain transparency and no safeguards to prevent it, Cargill cannot in good faith claim never to have sold palm oil connected to the destruction of the endangered Tripa forest.
  • Cargill has an enormous influence to exercise on the global palm oil market. The only way Cargill can guarantee it is not contributing to the devastation underway in Indonesia is if it adopts explicit environmental, social and transparency safeguards to prevent it, which does not mean relying on a third party like the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). It does mean taking responsibility for the practices of its suppliers. Cargill as a company has not articulated its values for its supply chain, meaning it does not publicly position itself against common abuses associated with palm oil production like slave labor and deforestation.Cargill has stated an intention to phase RSPO-certified oil into its global supply chain by 2020. However, the RSPO has at best a very spotty track record of enforcing its own rules to prevent tragedies like the one underway in Tripa. At the rate of destruction occurring today, 2020 is too little, too late for the forests, people and wildlife of Southeast Asia.
Just last week, Unilever, the world’s largest buyer of palm oil, announced a commitment to buy all of its palm oil, including its palm kernel oil, from traceable sources by 2020. Cargill’s modest commitments explicitly exclude palm kernel oil, an important commodity in the US market. Cargill also has no commitment to traceability, a crucial element for achieving transparency and accountability. Cargill is showing an alarming failure to deliver on its time-bound commitments, including to secure RSPO certification for all of its palm oil plantations by the end of 2010, and completion of a survey and review of the practices of its palm oil suppliers by early 2011.

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