PT. Indo Sawit Perkasa (PT. ISP) has once again been caught destroying critical lowland rainforests in the Singkil-Bengkung region of the Leuser Ecosystem, an area renowned as the ‘orangutan capital of the world.’ Satellite evidence shows that the company has destroyed a further 67 hectares of forests in violation of an instruction letter sent to all palm oil companies from the Governor of Aceh that prohibited the clearance of any forest areas inside existing concessions as a follow-up measure to the Ministry of Environment and Forestry instruction to enforce a moratorium on new palm oil licenses in the Leuser Ecosystem. (Circulation Letter No 522.12/2686-III)
Satellite image showing 67 hectares of recent clearance of intact forests in Leuser Ecosystem
Landsat images showing cleared forests in pink
In early 2017, PT ISP was profiled as one of the worst Conflict Palm Oil culprits due to the company’s reckless destruction of forests within the Singkil-Bengkung region, which provides critical habitat for Sumatran tigers and elephants in addition to the world’s highest concentration of orangutans. This recent clearance shows that the company has continued to clear forests despite instructions from the Governor of Aceh to cease all land clearance for palm oil, as well as commitments made by Golden Agri Resources (GAR), Wilmar and Musim Mas to prioritize efforts to deliver the protection of the Leuser Ecosystem and stop further clearance of lowland rainforests and peatlands in the Singkil-Bengkung region.
As a matter of urgency, GAR, Wilmar and Musim Mas must accelerate efforts to secure the protection of forests and peatlands in the Leuser Ecosystem from palm oil expansion and support efforts by government authorities to enforce a moratorium on forest clearance in the Leuser Ecosystem.