RAN Statement On The Final “High Carbon Stock: Science Study”

Rainforest Action Network Expresses Concerns That Implementation of The High Carbon Stock+ Study Will Lead To Further Expansion of Conflict Palm Oil  


CONTACT: Emma Rae Lierley, Emma@ran.org, 425.281.1989

San Francisco, CA – In response to the recent release of The High Carbon Stock: Science Study, Gemma Tillack, Agribusiness Campaign Director for Rainforest Action Network, commented:

“The final High Carbon Stock Study confirms our worst fears. If implemented, it will drive further expansion of the flawed, industrial concession palm oil plantation model, aggressively developed in Indonesia and Malaysia. This plantation model has led to the widespread destruction of forests, peatlands and the unacceptable pattern of land grabbing, social conflict, forced evictions and the exploitation of workers, including use of forced and child labor.

“If this model is replicated in new regions, such as in remote parts of Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Central and West Africa, it will lead to further deforestation and corporate take-over of community-owned lands, instead of supporting rights and community based models of truly responsible development.

“The devil remains in the details. The expansion of the large-scale concession palm oil model recommended in the study fails to set adequate safeguards to secure equitable and sustainable livelihoods or land rights for Indigenous Peoples and local communities, nor does it outline how it will address the exploitation of workers, especially migrant workers, which is rife in the sector. Given that the Sustainable Palm Oil Manifesto (SPOM) companies, such as Kuala Lumpur Kepong (KLK), have a litany of human rights abuses in their current operations, this is a grave omission.

“The so-called “High Carbon Stock+” model will allow further clearance of forests and peatlands and includes a dangerous loophole that allows companies to offset ongoing deforestation in palm oil concession areas through setting aside forests in other landholdings. Its proposal to use ‘offsets’ and a ‘carbon neutral approach’ in the implementation of No Deforestation commitments has been criticized by many NGOs since the release of the draft study earlier this year.

“It is clear that the “High Carbon Stock+” model for industrial palm oil expansion and the SPOM will not meet the expectations of a growing number of consumers who refuse to buy products that are driving the destruction of world’s last forests and violating the rights of communities and workers.”