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WEDNESDAY, MAY 13, 2015
THE BLOG OF THE RAINFOREST ACTION NETWORK

Bulldozers in the Leuser Ecosystem

A new report proves that a Conflict Palm Oil producer, which supplies palm oil to giants Musim Mas and Wilmar, has bulldozed forests that provide a critical corridor for elephants living in the lowland forests of the Leuser ecosystem in Sumatra, Indonesia.

This report shows that while both companies have committed to protect rainforests from palm oil expansion, they have so far failed to implement a moratorium to stop bulldozers destroying rainforests in their palm oil supply sheds.

The report, via Greenomics Indonesia, can be found here. Using spatial monitoring and field observation, the report presents evidence that supplier – PT Aloer Timur (Mopoli Raya Group) – is clearing land in the Leuser Ecosystem as of April 30, 2015. The forests that have been destroyed were important High Carbon Stock (HCS) forests located in one of the most important areas of lowland rainforest left on the planet. These forests provided critical habitat for endangered Sumatran elephants and tigers and also played a crucial role in mitigating landslides and regulating water suppliers for local communities.

According to USGS landsat images, the company, PT Aloer Timur, now has the opportunity to protect roughly 2,000 hectares of important forests in its plantation concession area. This case presents a real test for Musim Mas and Wilmar and their ability to implement the commitments they have made. It remains to be seen whether or not they will break the link between the palm oil products they sell to companies, including the Snack Food 20, and rainforest destruction.

Musim Mas and Wilmar have joined other traders, including Cargill, Golden-Agri Resources,and Asian Agri  in the Indonesia Palm Oil Pledge (IPOP), which works with key decision makers to find solutions which would eliminate deforestation, the destruction of carbon rich peatlands and human and workers rights abuses from palm oil development.

This latest report shows that it is crucial that the members of the Indonesia Palm Oil Pledge work to immediately halt the destruction of rainforests and carbon rich peatlands in their global supply chains, deliver long term protection for the Leuser Ecosystem, and invest in a diverse agricultural sector and alternative economic opportunities for local communities.

These palm oil traders need to hear from activists around the world. Please take a moment to send an email directly to the companies by clicking here. Your message demanding an immediate moratorium in the Leuser Ecosystem is needed now.

 

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