tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:/xml/palm%20oil1 palm oil news from mongabay.com 2014-09-17T15:29:19Z tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13790 2014-09-17T09:47:00Z 2014-09-17T15:29:19Z Plantation companies agree to process to define zero deforestation commitments A group of palm oil and timber companies that have pledged to eliminate deforestation from their supply chains have agreed to establish a standard for determining what constitutes forest in terms of carbon storage. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13784 2014-09-16T18:03:00Z 2014-09-16T18:04:31Z From 'production' forests to protected forests, groups work to save Sumatran orangutan habitat. But will it be enough? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/i/indonesia/150/north_sumatra_0584.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The orangutan is native exclusively to the islands of Borneo and Sumatra — two regions that have seen the brunt of Indonesia's recent forest destruction due primarily to logging and plantation development. Although there are anywhere from 45,000 to 69,000 Bornean orangutans remaining in the wild, the Sumatran species numbers only about 7,300 according to a 2004 survey, and is dwindling further every year. Morgan Erickson-Davis 3.096116 97.700802 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13777 2014-09-12T18:31:00Z 2014-09-12T18:35:36Z Palm oil company continues to operate illegal plantation despite court ruling A palm oil company in Central Kalimantan continues to operate business as usual, despite a Supreme Court ruling confirming it has no legal permit to do so. Since 2009, PT Hati Prima Agro (HPA), a subsidiary of palm oil giant Bumitama Gunajaya Agro Group (BGA), has cleared over 7,000 ha of land in Central Kalimantan, even though their permits were revoked by the Ministry of Forestry in 2008. Rhett Butler -1.480243 112.530012 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13764 2014-09-10T18:27:00Z 2014-09-11T18:29:25Z Elephants pay the price for palm oil in Malaysian Borneo, impact may reach far beyond reported kills <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0810-borneo-elephants-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>More than a dozen elephant kills were reported in Sabah in 2013 alone, but it is unknown exactly how many have lost their lives in recent years as palm plantations encroach further and further into the rainforest. What is clear is that if the loss of their forest habitat continues to drive conflicts with humans at the rate it is now, Borneo elephants’ long-term survival may be in jeopardy. Morgan Erickson-Davis 6.180661 116.893646 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13763 2014-09-10T02:36:00Z 2014-09-10T02:55:11Z Malaysian palm oil chief misleads on deforestation One of Malaysia's top palm oil officials has once again misled the public on the state of forests in Malaysia. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13748 2014-09-05T21:03:00Z 2014-09-05T21:17:39Z Companies at risk of sourcing illegal palm oil despite zero deforestation commitments, finds investigation Major palm oil suppliers may be continuing to buy tainted palm oil despite high-profile commitments to eliminate deforestation from their supply chains, reports a new investigation published by Eyes on the Forest. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13728 2014-08-28T23:43:00Z 2014-08-28T23:52:38Z Indonesia's national airline to start using palm oil biofuel Indonesia's national airline, Garuda Indonesia, says it will start mixing palm oil-based biofuel with its jet fuel as part of an initiative to "reduce" carbon emissions, reports The Jakarta Post. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13723 2014-08-27T23:55:00Z 2014-09-03T00:20:53Z Meeting an Illegal Logger <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0827logger150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>'I make six times the amount of money logging as I would working my small plot of land or even working legally in a pulp and paper or palm oil plantation.' An illegal logger explains the economic conditions in South Sumatra. Mongabay Special Reporting Fellow Robert S. Eshelman interviews an illegal logger in Indonesia on the topic of cleaning up commodity supply chains. Tiffany Roufs -3.483145 104.340247 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13716 2014-08-26T19:35:00Z 2014-08-27T21:00:18Z What lies within, we may never know: deforestation threatening Sulawesi’s unique wildlife <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://www.mongabay.com/thumbnails/indonesia/sulawesi/sulawesi6483.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>For 10 million years the Indonesian island of Sulawesi has been disconnected from other landforms, almost inviting evolution to color outside the lines. Despite a growing population and limited space, Sulawesi has managed to provide a safe haven to hundreds of unique species as they evolved over millennia. But that haven may soon be lost to uncontrolled extraction of forest products from Sulawesi’s many pristine ecosystems. Morgan Erickson-Davis -2.460181 120.146481 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13694 2014-08-21T01:02:00Z 2014-08-21T02:10:16Z Indonesia's forests so damaged they burn whether or not there's drought <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_1070.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Air pollution caused by fires set for land-clearing on Sumatra has become a regularly occurrence in Southeast Asia. While these fires are often termed forest fires, the reality is much of the area that burns each year has already been deforested and today mostly consists of grass, scrub, and remnants of what was once forest. But the impacts are nonetheless very substantial, finds a new study published in the journal <i>Scientific Reports</i>. Rhett Butler 1.974402 100.630431 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13670 2014-08-14T23:59:00Z 2014-08-15T01:00:46Z ConAgra adopts greener palm oil policy U.S. food giant ConAgra has adopted a new sourcing policy that will exclude palm oil produced at the expense of rainforests and peatlands. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13669 2014-08-14T23:15:00Z 2014-08-14T23:20:56Z Elephant poaching soars as Sumatran forests turn into plantations <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0814-sum-elephants-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>There has been a spike in elephant deaths in Sumatra this year, and conversion of rainforest to plantations is one of the main causes. The number of Sumatran elephants poached in the province of Riau so far this year is staggering, with 22 reported kills in the first six months of 2014 compared to 14 for the entirety of 2013. Morgan Erickson-Davis 1.410429 101.647161 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13667 2014-08-14T18:52:00Z 2014-08-14T19:18:04Z Indonesia cracks down on illegal burning, investigates more suspect companies <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0814-burn-riau-rhett-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Every year, thousands of hectares of Indonesian forest are illegally burned by development companies. However, Indonesia’s Minister of Environment, Balthasar Kambuaya, is optimistic that legal charges over such fires can be completed – even though he has just three months left in office. Morgan Erickson-Davis 1.331012 101.394371 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13666 2014-08-14T04:41:00Z 2014-08-14T04:45:43Z Big palm oil companies move forward on carbon study <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/i/indonesia/150/aceh_0743.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Seven palm oil giants have agreed to fund a study that will define what constitutes "High Carbon Stock" (HCS) forest, a move that will potentially determine the fate of ecosystems around the world as more companies commit to "zero-deforestation" policies based on the amount of carbon stored in vegetation. Rhett Butler -1.664195 112.930999 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13658 2014-08-13T12:22:00Z 2014-08-13T12:36:35Z Forgotten species: the exotic squirrel with a super tail <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0813.Central-Kalimantan,-Erik-Meijaard.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>With among the world's largest tails compared to body-size, the tufted ground squirrel just might be the most exotic squirrel species on the planet. Found only on the island of Borneo, this threatened species is also surrounded by wild tales, including the tenacity to take down a deer for dinner. New research explores the squirrel's monster tail and whether other tales about it may be true. Jeremy Hance 1.187729 114.549402 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13645 2014-08-11T14:30:00Z 2014-08-12T13:18:37Z Indonesia's children see ravaged environment in their future <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0811.children.4-Future.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A generation ago, Borneo was one of the wildest places on the planet. But decades of logging and oil palm plantations has changed the landscape of Borneo forever: in fact a recent study found that the island has lost 30 percent of its total forest cover since 1973. In the face of this large-scale environmental destruction, a new study finds that Indonesian Borneo's children have a pessimistic view of their future. Jeremy Hance -0.910536 114.307703 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13644 2014-08-11T04:23:00Z 2014-08-11T04:33:31Z Aceh's largest peat swamp at risk from palm oil Oil palm plantations and other developments are threatening Rawa Singkil Wildlife Preserve—Aceh's largest peat swamp, and home to the densest population of Sumatran orangutan in the Leuser Ecosystem. The lack of clear boundaries, and construction of roads bisecting the area has fostered encroachment by local and outside entrepreneurs, including some former local officials, reports Abu Hanifah Lubis, Program Manager of Yayasan Leuser Internasional (YLI). Rhett Butler 2.60355 97.807059 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13634 2014-08-06T00:57:00Z 2014-08-06T01:00:08Z Oil palm, mining prompts local govt in Borneo to declare water unsafe for drinking The Environment Ministry of Sintang Regency, West Kalimantan, Indonesia declared that the water in many rivers and lakes is unsuitable for consumption due to high levels of pollution. Rhett Butler 0.364606 111.641296 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13624 2014-08-04T20:13:00Z 2014-08-04T20:19:09Z Tin mining, palm oil plantations wreaking havoc on small Indonesian island <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0804-tarsier-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Belitung, a picturesque island off the east coast of Sumatra, has experienced an uptick in tourism recently due to its unspoiled white sand beaches and turquoise waters. But next to all of the beauty, an environmental tragedy is quietly unfolding: the island’s primary forests are being cut down at an alarming rate in favor of mining and palm oil plantations. Morgan Erickson-Davis -2.939268 107.975917 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13612 2014-07-30T23:11:00Z 2014-07-31T00:34:38Z Cargill to cut off suppliers who don't provide deforestation-free palm oil <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/sabah/150/sabah_2580.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Agricultural giant Cargill, America's largest palm oil importer, will no longer buy palm oil from sources associated with deforestation, conversion of peatlands, and social conflict. The policy follows similar commitments made by other major palm oil buyers, including Unilever and Nestle, and comes after years of campaigning led by the Rainforest Action Network. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13595 2014-07-29T02:18:00Z 2014-07-29T03:43:28Z Palm oil company clears rainforest in New Guinea <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/i/indonesia/150/aceh_1423.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>An Indonesian Stock Exchange-listed company whose commissioner is a member of The Nature Conservancy-Indonesia's board has been clearing dense rainforest in New Guinea, finds a new report from Greenomics-Indonesia. The report is based on analysis of data from Global Forest Watch, NASA satellites, Indonesia's Ministry of Forestry, and company documents. Rhett Butler -1.830972 132.477214 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13591 2014-07-28T19:23:00Z 2014-07-28T19:25:34Z Invasion of the oil palm: western Africa's native son returns, threatening great apes <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0728-lowland-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>As palm oil producers increasingly look to Africa’s tropical forests as suitable candidates for their next plantations, primate scientists are sounding the alarm about the destruction of ape habitat that can go hand in hand with oil palm expansion. A recent study sought to take those warnings a step further by quantifying the overlap in suitable oil palm land with current ape habitat. Morgan Erickson-Davis 4.693148 9.191509 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13587 2014-07-24T23:40:00Z 2014-07-25T04:12:22Z True stewards: new report says local communities key to saving forests, curbing global warming <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0724-commforest-thumb.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Deforestation is compromising forests around the world, destroying vital habitat and causing greenhouse gases emissions that are contributing to global warming. A new report released today finds a possible solution: protecting forests by empowering the local communities that live within them. Morgan Erickson-Davis -8.512761 -55.993002 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13584 2014-07-24T19:05:00Z 2014-07-25T15:32:26Z Desperate measures: researchers say radical approaches needed to beat extinctions <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0724-kakapo-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Today, in the midst of what has been termed the “Sixth Great Extinction” by many in the scientific community, humans are contributing to dizzying rates of species loss and ecosystem changes. A new analysis suggests the time may have come to start widely applying intensive, controversial methods currently used only as “last resort” strategies to save the word’s most imperiled species. Morgan Erickson-Davis -42.231945 146.383773 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13564 2014-07-21T17:08:00Z 2014-07-24T01:31:54Z Surprising habitat: camera traps reveal high mammal diversity in forest patches within oil palm plantations <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0721-orang-camtrap-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>After more than four and a half years of camera trap footage, the results are encouraging: 36 mammal species, of which more than half are legally protected, are prospering in this most surprising of spots: an oil palm plantation in the province of East Kalimantan in Indonesian Borneo. Morgan Erickson-Davis 1.946881 116.458530 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13554 2014-07-16T21:09:00Z 2014-08-10T18:23:18Z 30% of Borneo's rainforests destroyed since 1973 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/borneo-forest-cover-map150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>More than 30 percent of Borneo's rainforests have been destroyed over the past forty years due to fires, industrial logging, and the spread of plantations, finds a new study that provides the most comprehensive analysis of the island's forest cover to date. The research, published in the open-access journal PLOS ONE, shows that just over a quarter of Borneo's lowland forests remain intact. Rhett Butler 0.900842 114.803696 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13543 2014-07-15T20:03:00Z 2014-07-15T21:20:00Z The history of the contentious number behind zero deforestation commitments for palm oil <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/i/indonesia/150/north_sumatra_0163.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>It was just after lunch, Monday, November 8<sup>th</sup> 2010 when it all began. At the time, it was innocent enough; there were certainly no ill intentions. Yet, looking back, I now see it as <b><i>the</i></b> moment that kicked off the polarizing debate that today splits the palm oil industry and that drowns out much needed sensible discussion around how forest protection and palm oil expansion might go hand in hand. The debate, with all its spin and tension, has become the focus rather than that more important, bigger question. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13531 2014-07-11T20:45:00Z 2014-07-11T21:53:15Z New palm oil sustainability manifesto met with criticism from environmentalists <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/i/indonesia/150/aceh_0831.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>This week several palm oil giants announced new environmental criteria for palm oil production. The companies say the initiative goes beyond the industry-leading standard set by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), but two prominent environmental groups quickly disagreed, arguing the measure has substantial loopholes that will allow growers to continue destroying forests. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13511 2014-07-08T23:23:00Z 2014-07-09T01:27:10Z Despite el Nino threat, palm oil prices dive Despite concerns that the el Ni&ntilde;o weather phenomenon could reduce output, palm oil prices have fallen by more than a fifth since their most recent peak in March. Analysts are blaming competition from other edible oils amid record oilseed production. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13493 2014-07-04T16:45:00Z 2014-07-04T16:59:30Z Do Indonesians really want more big plantations? How to best use Indonesia’s land resources? This is one of the more crucial questions facing the Presidential candidates in Indonesia’s upcoming elections. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13475 2014-06-30T21:54:00Z 2014-06-30T22:57:56Z Oil palm plantations degrade local water quality relative to community forests Oil palm plantations are not only encroaching on forests, they are also degrading water quality, finds a new study published in the <i>Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences</i>. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13454 2014-06-25T23:04:00Z 2014-06-26T13:08:25Z Is Cameroon becoming the new Indonesia? Palm oil plantations accelerating deforestation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0625-cameroon-elephants-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The potential for new laws governing the use of forest resources this year in Cameroon promises an opportunity to stem the rapid loss of forest in the biologically diverse country. But the changes may ultimately not be what’s needed to save Cameroon’s forests. Morgan Erickson-Davis 3.750898 9.993512 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13431 2014-06-23T22:02:00Z 2014-06-23T22:11:01Z Wilmar to investigate palm oil company allegedly destroying orangutan forest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0623greenomicsgfw150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A Wilmar supplier is allegedly destroying orangutan habitat in Indonesian Borneo, potentially putting it in breach of the plantation giant's zero deforestation policy, reports Greenomics. According to analysis of satellite data by Greenomics, PT Sumatera Jaya Agro Lestari (SJAL) has cleared an area of forest that is classified as orangutan habitat. Rhett Butler -0.380742 110.379626 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13423 2014-06-23T13:33:00Z 2014-06-23T16:54:02Z Broken promises no more? Signs Sabah may finally uphold commitment on wildlife corridors <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/HUTAN-Marc-Ancrenaz6.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Five years ago an unlikely meeting was held in the Malaysian state of Sabah to discuss how to save wildlife amid worsening forest fragmentation. Although the meeting brought together longtime adversaries&#8212;conservationists and the palm oil industry&#8212;it appeared at the time to build new relationships and even point toward a way forward for Sabah's embattled forests. Jeremy Hance 5.531846 118.292569 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13420 2014-06-20T20:08:00Z 2014-06-20T20:12:43Z The palm oil diet: study finds displaced orangutans have little else to eat <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0620-orang-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In a recent study, researchers assessed how orangutans have adapted to living among oil palm plantations on Borneo. They found that while orangutans have adapted to the island’s human-transformed landscapes better than expected, oil palm plantations are unable to sustain orangutan populations in the long-term. Morgan Erickson-Davis 5.577829 118.213756 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13394 2014-06-16T18:04:00Z 2014-06-17T20:41:53Z Stolen fruit may spur better palm oil traceability Rising theft may improve traceability in Malaysia's palm oil industry. Rhett Butler 3.31122 113.435791 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13375 2014-06-12T20:07:00Z 2014-06-13T09:26:25Z Despite green pledge, Wilmar partner continues to destroy forest for palm oil <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0612greenomics150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Two palm oil companies partially owned by Wilmar are continuing to destroy rainforests in Indonesia despite a high profile zero deforestation pledge, alleges a new report published by Greenomics. Rhett Butler 0.757863 121.453317 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13359 2014-06-06T19:08:00Z 2014-06-06T19:09:12Z National doughnut chains contributing to rainforest destruction, says report Activists have leveraged National Doughnut Day to call to major chains on their palm oil sourcing policies. Forest Heroes and SumOfUs say some of America's largest doughnut companies are contributing to the destruction of tropical rainforests by purchasing palm oil with little regard for its origin. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13356 2014-06-06T17:24:00Z 2014-06-06T17:51:30Z Greenpeace rates companies' zero deforestation commitments Greenpeace has released a basic rating system to gauge the strength of companies' zero deforestation commitments related to palm oil sourcing. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13337 2014-06-04T05:40:00Z 2014-06-04T05:41:37Z RSPO plantations publicly mapped for the first time A global map of the world's Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certified oil palm plantations is available for the first time. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13334 2014-06-04T00:47:00Z 2014-06-04T00:50:32Z Philippines targets 8M ha for palm oil production The Philippines is proposing to convert 8 million hectares (20 million acres) of 'idle, denuded and unproductive lands' for oil palm plantations, reports the <i>Philippine Daily Inquirer</i>. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13299 2014-05-28T15:22:00Z 2014-05-28T15:51:00Z Greenpeace accuses controversial palm oil company and Cameroon government of illegal logging <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0528.bulldozers.herakles.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Greenpeace has just accused one of the world's most controversial oil palm companies, Herakles Farms, of colluding with top government officials to sell off illegally logged timber to China. According to a new report, an agreement between Cameroon's Minister of Forestry and Herkales Farms&#8212;through a shell company&#8212;could torpedo the country's agreement with the EU for better timber management. Jeremy Hance 5.063568 9.285140 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13295 2014-05-28T03:14:00Z 2014-05-28T21:54:17Z Indonesia's haze from forest fires kills 110,000 people per year <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/SUM_4110150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Haze caused by burning peat forests in Indonesia kills an average of 110,000 people per year and up to 300,000 during el Ni&ntilde;o events, while releasing hundreds of millions of tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, warns a new report from Greenpeace. Sumatra: Going up in smoke argues that peatland and forest protection are the best way to protect the region from the effects of haze. Rhett Butler 0.963662 102.038757 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13289 2014-05-27T17:36:00Z 2014-05-27T17:40:35Z Deutsche Bank dumps controversial palm oil company Deutsche Bank has sold its stake in Bumitama, an Indonesian palm company that has been embroiled in controversy over alleged destruction of rainforests and peatlands in Borneo, reports Friends of the Earth Europe. Rhett Butler 51.506646 -0.016869 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13286 2014-05-27T05:26:00Z 2014-05-27T05:31:44Z RSPO calls for greater collaboration on zero deforestation commitments The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) today called for greater collaboration between it and the leading implementer of zero deforestation policies, The Forest Trust (TFT). Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13282 2014-05-24T07:52:00Z 2014-05-24T08:06:12Z Malaysian palm oil giant loses PNG case, plantations declared illegal Papua New Guinea's National Court has declared two leases held by Malaysia-based Kuala Lumpur Kepong Berhad (KLK) null and void, and ordered the government to cancel the licenses to convert nearly 40,000 hectares of rainforest and community forest for oil palm plantations, reports the Rainforest Action Network (RAN). Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13277 2014-05-23T11:34:00Z 2014-05-23T13:37:04Z Indonesian activist: strong company commitments, media push government on forest issues <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0523SUM_4068150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Indonesia has become notorious for its high rate of forest loss, but there are nascent signs of progress. The central government has implemented a moratorium across some 14.5 million hectares of forest and peatlands, while a handful of Indonesian companies have adopted policies that establish social and environmental safeguards. Rhett Butler 0.810215 101.798923 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13271 2014-05-22T15:42:00Z 2014-06-25T15:48:50Z Zero-deforestation commitments pose acute challenges for commercial giants in the palm oil industry <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/sabah/150/sabah_4062.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The path to zero-deforestation appears to be paved with good intentions, but how successful are these companies in staying on that path? A controversial proposal to construct a refinery in the wildlife-rich Balikpapan Bay in Indonesian Borneo highlights the challenges faced by both palm oil companies and conservationists in the face of zero-deforestation commitments. Jeremy Hance -1.127826 116.779421 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13256 2014-05-21T01:52:00Z 2014-05-21T02:18:35Z PepsiCo announces zero deforestation commitment for palm oil <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0520pepsico150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The 450,000 tons of palm oil sourced annually by PepsiCo will be largely free of deforestation and peatlands conversion by 2016 under a policy announced last week by the food and drink giant. But some environmental activists are expressing reservations about the commitment, asserting that the safeguards are weaker than those set by other consumer products giants like Unilever and Nestle. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13222 2014-05-13T18:33:00Z 2014-05-13T18:36:30Z Ag giant ADM boosts greener palm oil Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) will join a growing list of companies committing to stricter standards for palm oil production as part of an effort to reduce environmental damage and social conflict associated with the crop. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13204 2014-05-10T13:52:00Z 2014-05-10T13:58:39Z Environmentalists lament light sentence in Tripa peatland destruction case Environmental groups blasted a 'lenient' sentence imposed on the director of a palm oil company that illegally destroyed an area of endangered peat forest in Indonesia's Aceh Province. Rhett Butler 4.144236 96.128629 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13203 2014-05-09T23:56:00Z 2014-05-09T23:57:35Z Obama: palm oil destroying Malaysia's rainforests President Obama elevated the issue of destruction of rainforests for palm oil production during his brief visit to Malaysia last week. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13189 2014-05-06T19:49:00Z 2014-05-06T20:03:57Z Almost 90 percent of Republic of the Congo's lowland forests open to logging <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0506.brnxz_482.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Although the Republic of the Congo has opened up nearly 90 percent of its lowland forests to logging, the majority of the logging occurring in the country is still illegal, according to a new report from the Chatham House. In fact the UK policy institute finds that illegal logging in the Republic of the Congo may make up as much as 70-75 percent of the industry. Jeremy Hance 2.169665 17.210078 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13188 2014-05-06T18:56:00Z 2014-05-07T13:33:44Z Malaysian palm oil company stock drops after environmental complaint Genting Plantations Bhd's stock price fell by more than two percent after the palm oil company's membership in the Roundtable of Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) was suspended due to a complaint by the Borneo Rhino Alliance for failing to abide by the body's principles on establishing new plantations, reports The Edge Financial Daily. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13183 2014-05-05T18:09:00Z 2014-05-05T19:32:52Z Palm oil plan unlikely to help communities in Indonesian New Guinea Plans to rapidly expand palm oil production in Indonesian New Guinea are unlikely to boost livelihoods for local communities since most investors are outsiders and the bulk of workers will be migrants, argues a paper published in <i>Environment, Development and Sustainability</i>. Rhett Butler -8.004837 140.2561 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13162 2014-05-01T18:06:00Z 2014-05-01T18:14:54Z Johnson & Johnson commits to zero deforestation for palm oil <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/sabah/150/sabah_2200.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Personal care products giant Johnson & Johnson (J&J - NYSE:JNJ) today unveiled a comprehensive palm oil sourcing policy that eliminates deforestation and social conflict from its global palm oil supply chain. The policy applies to all palm oil and palm oil derivatives J&J uses. Rhett Butler 40.498022 -74.443007 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13158 2014-05-01T04:39:00Z 2014-05-02T03:17:39Z Commodity eco-certification skyrockets, but standards slip The volume of commodities produced under various social and environmental certification standards jumped 41 percent in 2012, far outpacing the 2 percent growth across conventional commodity markets, finds a comprehensive new assessment of the global certification market. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13146 2014-04-28T19:09:00Z 2014-04-28T19:12:44Z Indonesian activist wins Goldman Prize for fighting palm oil, deforestation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0428_RudiPutra_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>An Indonesian has won the world's most prestigious award for environmental activism for his efforts to fight illegal logging, forest encroachment for palm oil production, and a policy that would open up vast swathes of an endangered ecosystem for mining and industrial plantations. Rhett Butler 4.143722 97.032409 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13138 2014-04-26T21:07:00Z 2014-05-28T01:05:57Z SPECIAL REPORT: Palm oil, politics, and land use in Sumatra (Part II) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0426-elephantsthumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Although the province of Jambi is considered a "late bloomer" in terms of palm oil industry development, its rate of expansion is far from slow. Located along the eastern coast of central Sumatra, the province started to manage oil palm plantations in 1993-94. Now, palm oil is one of Jambi’s primary commodities, and plantation development is displacing growing numbers of local people and wildlife. Morgan Erickson-Davis -1.607397 103.465931 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13134 2014-04-25T01:58:00Z 2014-04-26T00:31:29Z Despite campaign, Girl Scout cookies still aren't deforestation free, say scout activists <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0425Madi-and-Rhiannon150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Despite a high-profile campaign that caused one of the world's largest food companies to adopt a comprehensive zero deforestation policy, Girl Scout cookies still aren't necessarily free of rainforest destruction and social conflict, say the two girl scouts who launched the protest seven years ago. Rhett Butler 37.644243 -77.575988 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13127 2014-04-24T16:16:00Z 2014-05-28T01:06:20Z Special Report: Palm oil, politics, and land use in Indonesian Borneo (Part I) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0424-orangthumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>As one of the world’s largest palm oil producers, Indonesia is often at the receiving end of criticism and protests by activists, and even by its own people. Its poor forest and land management practices, which have been going on for decades, have degraded both its landscapes and its reputation. Morgan Erickson-Davis -0.998415 110.770106 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13093 2014-04-17T04:14:00Z 2014-04-17T18:06:28Z Malaysia at risk of falling behind in push for more sustainable palm oil <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/sabah/150/sabah_2201.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Malaysian state should play a more active role in supporting the transition toward less environmentally destructive palm oil production, says a coalition of Malaysian NGO's. In a statement issued Sunday, the Malaysian Palm Oil NGO Coalition (MPONGOC) urged Malaysian banks, palm oil associations, and other government-backed institutions to commit to 'improving social and environmental standards in the palm oil industry'. Rhett Butler 2.814114 114.496336 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13069 2014-04-10T23:56:00Z 2014-04-11T02:14:47Z Forests in Indonesia's concession areas being rapidly destroyed <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0410-indonesia-forest-cover150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Forest clearing within areas zoned for timber, logging, oil palm, and mining accounted for nearly 45 percent of deforestation in Indonesia between 2000 and 2010, finds a new study that examined forest loss within industrial concessions. Rhett Butler -0.615223 114.322014 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13067 2014-04-10T19:00:00Z 2014-04-11T13:15:51Z A new face for palm oil? How a small co-op is changing the industry in Honduras <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0403-tanya-locals-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Expanding oil palm plantations are among the top reasons for deforestation globally, along with cattle ranching, timber, and soy. However, a small palm oil production outfit recently became the first cooperative in the world to achieve Rainforest Alliance certification for sustainable growth of African palms, employing a number of innovations to ensure the prosperity of both forests and local communities. Morgan Erickson-Davis 15.444187 -87.588480 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13065 2014-04-09T23:58:00Z 2014-04-10T05:30:41Z Cargill commits to zero deforestation, but environmentalists have questions <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/sabah/150/sabah_1847.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>After years of criticism from environmental groups, Cargill says it will establish policies to eliminate deforestation, peatlands conversion, and social conflict from its palm oil supply chain. But activists aren't yet sure what to make of the agribusiness giant's pledge. On Tuesday Cargill released a letter it sent to the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), a body that sets eco-certification standards, in response to a Greenpeace Report linking it to deforestation. Rhett Butler 3.844511 103.339071 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13060 2014-04-08T19:55:00Z 2014-04-08T22:47:43Z Procter & Gamble, Cargill pledge to cut deforestation linked to palm oil <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_0093.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Procter &amp; Gamble (P&amp;G) and Cargill today announced new measures to cut deforestation from their palm oil supply chains. P&amp;G (NYSE:PG), a consumer products giant that owns brands like Head & Shoulders and Oil of Olay, pledged to establish traceability of palm oil to supplier mills by the end of 2015. The policy commits it to eliminate deforestation from its supply chain by 2020. Rhett Butler 44.952066 -93.476831 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13059 2014-04-08T19:48:00Z 2014-04-08T20:25:55Z Featured video: Showtime releases first episode of major new climate change series online <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/ford.orangutan.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Although Showtime's landmark new climate change series doesn't premiere until Sunday, the network has released an edited version of the first episode of Years of Living Dangerously to the public (see below). The nine-part documentary series is being billed as a "groundbreaking" exploration into the many ways that climate change is already wreaking havoc on the lives of people around the world. Jeremy Hance 0.010477 101.530569 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13024 2014-04-03T04:49:00Z 2014-04-03T05:00:44Z Malaysian palm oil giant tied to social conflict, deforestation, says report <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/sabah/150/sabah_1832.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Unlike other palm oil giants that have recently made strong commitments to eliminating deforestation and social conflict from their supply chains, Malaysia-based Kuala Lumpur Kepong (KLK) continues to source palm oil associated with forest destruction and community conflict, argues a new report published by the Rainforest Action Network (RAN). Rhett Butler -9.409097 149.120078 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12985 2014-03-25T23:59:00Z 2014-03-26T18:10:12Z Grocery giant commits to zero-deforestation policy for palm oil sourcing Safeway has become the latest company to establish a policy that excludes deforestation-linked palm oil from its products. Rhett Butler 2.825773 114.489799 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12976 2014-03-24T17:52:00Z 2014-03-24T18:04:47Z General Mills, Colgate-Palmolive announce deforestation-free policies for palm oil sourcing <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/sabah/150/sabah_0587.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Two consumer products giants have joined the wave of companies committing to deforestation-free palm oil. On Monday General Mills and Colgate-Palmolive both announced palm oil policies that go beyond standards set by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), the industry's main certification body. The policies include provisions to protect wildlife-rich rainforests and carbon-dense peatlands, while respecting the rights of local communities. Rhett Butler 39.275163 -84.349585 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12956 2014-03-20T05:14:00Z 2014-03-20T05:52:08Z Community's push to clear forest for plantation challenges efforts to conserve in Indonesia <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0320SGP150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In the swampy peatlands of Basilam Baru in Sumatra's Riau Province a conflict between a community and a woodpulp company is illustrating some of the intractable challenges of conserving forests and addressing deforestation in Indonesia. On first glance the story seems depressingly familiar. One actor wants to preserve the forest, which serves as critical habitat for endangered Sumatran tigers and clouded leopards. The other wants to clear it for a plantation. Rhett Butler 2.008027 101.173729 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12954 2014-03-19T23:04:00Z 2014-03-20T05:29:04Z Photos: Forests, peatlands, plantations, and deforestation in Riau <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_1232.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Indonesia's Riau Province on the island of Sumatra has experienced rapid deforestation since the early 1990's, with primary forest cover plummeting by 85 percent in twenty years. Most of this forest loss has been driven by plantation development for timber, woodpulp, and palm oil production. Rhett Butler 1.391694 101.758018 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12953 2014-03-19T22:00:00Z 2014-03-20T13:54:23Z Indian food giant to source deforestation-free palm oil Orkla, a Nordic conglomerate that owns MTR Foods, one of India's major food companies, has established a zero deforestation policy for the palm oil it sources, reports Greenpeace. Rhett Butler 59.918678 10.684759 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12940 2014-03-17T17:58:00Z 2014-08-08T06:01:52Z Will zero deforestation commitments save Indonesia's forests? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_1088.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Skirting the Malacca Strait near the Indonesian city of Dumai the air is thick with haze from peat fires burning below. As the sky clears, a landscape of sharply-cut geometric shapes becomes apparent. What was once carbon-dense peat forests and rainforests are today massive oil palm and wood pulp plantations. Rhett Butler 1.417092 101.795096 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12932 2014-03-13T23:33:00Z 2014-03-14T02:35:31Z Sumatra on fire: burning spikes in Indonesia Fires in Sumatra's Riau province have spiked to levels unseen since last June, finds new analysis from the World Resources Institute (WRI) that reveals widespread burning within concessions managed by pulpwood, palm oil, and logging companies. Rhett Butler 1.320466 102.022888 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12923 2014-03-13T13:56:00Z 2014-03-13T14:01:17Z Indonesia politician gets 14 years in jail for illegal permits, forest corruption <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_0945.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The former governor of Indonesia’s Riau province has been sentenced to 14 years in prison and ordered to pay almost $90,000 in fines for illegally issuing logging permits in Riau and bribes linked to construction projects for sports facilities. On Wednesday, the anti-corruption court in Pekanbaru found former Riau Governor Rusli Zainal guilty of embezzlement relating to the illegal issuance of logging permits in the central Sumatran province, which has seen huge areas of forest lost to palm oil and pulp and paper companies in recent years. Rhett Butler 0.141449 102.689795 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12919 2014-03-12T20:20:00Z 2014-03-12T20:32:14Z Progressive palm oil group opens door to companies, NGO's adopting zero deforestation policies The Palm Oil Innovation Group (POIG), an alliance formed last year, has opened its doors to new members who commit to social and environmental safeguards that go beyond the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) eco-certification standard. Rhett Butler 2.443717 99.902008 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12908 2014-03-10T23:33:00Z 2014-03-11T04:59:36Z Photos: Greenpeace stages protest in rainforest destroyed for palm oil <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0310mpg150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>On Monday, Greenpeace activists in Indonesia staged a dramatic protest in an area of rainforest freshly cleared for a new oil palm plantation in Central Kalimantan. The demonstration came under the group's campaign to push consumer products giant Proctor &amp; Gamble (P&amp;G) to strengthen its palm oil sourcing policy to include a zero deforestation commitment like those signed recently by Nestle, Neste Oil, and Kellogg's, among others. Rhett Butler -0.749109 114.740156 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12906 2014-03-10T17:49:00Z 2014-03-11T00:20:41Z Snickers, Twix to be deforestation-free <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/031020140310PG--Aerial03_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Mars, Inc., the maker of M&amp;M's, Snickers, Twix, and a variety of other food products, has committed to a zero deforestation policy for the palm oil it sources, reports Greenpeace. The policy pledges Mars to only using palm oil produced legally and without conversion of high conservation value areas, peatlands, or high carbon stock areas like tropical rainforests. Rhett Butler -0.810901 114.75621 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12891 2014-03-07T14:06:00Z 2014-03-08T07:51:29Z Next big idea in forest conservation? Privatizing conservation management <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0307.Sabah-2013-(6).150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Is it possible to equitably divide the planet’s resources between human and non-human societies? Can we ensure prosperity and rights both to people and to the ecosystems on which they rely? In the island archipelago of Indonesia, these questions become more pressing as the unique ecosystems of this global biodiversity hotspot continue to rapidly vanish in the wake of land conversion (mostly due to palm oil, poor forest management and corruption. For 22 years, Dr. Erik Meijaard has worked in Indonesia. Now, from his home office in the capitol city, Jakarta, he runs the terrestrial branch of an independent conservation consultancy, People and Nature Consulting International (PNCI). Jeremy Hance -0.785983 112.680982 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12888 2014-03-06T19:23:00Z 2014-03-16T14:28:05Z Peatlands biosphere reserve facing severe encroachment in Sumatra An important reserve that contains a block of fast-dwindling lowland swamp forest in Riau Province is facing an onslaught of encroachment for illegal oil palm plantations, worsening choking haze in the region, reports Mongabay-Indonesia. Rhett Butler 1.180110 101.694468 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12887 2014-03-06T18:23:00Z 2014-03-06T19:32:20Z Clash with palm oil company leaves one indigenous community member dead in Sumatra <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0306asiaticpersada150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A member of the Suku Anak Dalam indigenous community was killed and five others were injured during a clash with security forces on an oil palm concession owned by PT Asiatic Persada in Sumatra, reports Mongabay-Indonesia. The incident occurred Wednesday evening in Bungku, Jambi. Rhett Butler -1.969727 103.326066 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12881 2014-03-06T14:11:00Z 2014-03-06T14:26:18Z Dietary diversity: key to defending tropical ecosystems A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) points to the homogenization of global diets over the past fifty years. It shows that worldwide production of traditional staples such as millet, rye, sorghum, yams and cassava have been in decline. Instead, the world's population increasingly relies on a relatively small number of 'megacrops' like wheat, corn and soy, raising serious concerns for global food security, human nutrition, and the genetic diversity of crops. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12879 2014-03-05T23:50:00Z 2014-03-06T00:10:21Z Fast food companies are laggards on palm oil sourcing safeguards <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0305Palm-Oil-2-6-14-150px.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Fast food companies are lagging behind other consumer products companies in efforts to establish policies that favor deforestation-free and conflict-free palm oil, finds a new assessment published by the Union of Concerned Scientists, an advocacy group. The report, titled 'Donuts, Deodorant, Deforestation: Scoring America's Top Brands on Their Palm Oil Commitments', looked at palm oil sourcing policies of 30 of the largest fast food, personal care, and packaged food corporations in the United States. It found leadership by a handful of firms. Rhett Butler 5.270794 117.69545 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12874 2014-03-05T01:17:00Z 2014-03-05T01:18:59Z Pakistan to launch palm oil industry with Malaysia's help The government of Pakistan is in negotiations with the Federal Land Development Authority of Malaysia to establish industrial oil palm plantations in Sindh and Balochistan. Rhett Butler 25.403585 63.321762 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12873 2014-03-04T23:51:00Z 2014-03-05T23:57:29Z Greenpeace stunt targets Procter & Gamble’s Cincinnati headquarters over palm oil Several Greenpeace activists were arrested after they scaled Procter & Gamble's headquarters in a demonstration against the company's use of palm oil linked to deforestation in Indonesia. Rhett Butler 39.10319 -84.505251 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12864 2014-03-03T19:27:00Z 2014-03-06T00:10:58Z After GAR expands policy, over 50% of world's palm oil bound by zero deforestation commitments <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/sabah/150/sabah_2590.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Over half the world's palm oil traded internationally is now bound by zero deforestation commitments after Singapore-based Golden-Agri Resources (GAR) extended its forest conservation policy across all palm oil it produces, sources and trades. In a filing posted Friday Singapore Stock Exchange, GAR announced its breakthrough forest conservation policy now applies to all the palm oil it trades. Rhett Butler 1.276433 103.794319 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12860 2014-03-02T21:13:00Z 2014-03-02T22:05:46Z Can palm oil move past its bad reputation? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0303RI1_0093a150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Indonesia’s palm oil industry has gained a notorious reputation in recent years. Palm oil companies are routinely accused of clearing primary forests, destroying the habitats of endangered species, releasing massive amounts of carbon by draining peat swamps and fueling land conflicts with local communities. In the face of this widespread criticism, some palm oil companies are exploring ways to clean up their operations by implementing innovative programs to minimize harm to the environment and ensure local communities benefit from palm oil investments, according to a new study. Rhett Butler -0.048065 102.042968 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12859 2014-03-01T17:01:00Z 2014-03-06T00:11:05Z NASA photo reveals ongoing haze problem in Sumatra A new satellite image released by NASA highlights Indonesia's ongoing problem with haze caused by land-clearing fires set across carbon-dense peatlands on the island of Sumatra. Rhett Butler 1.752046 101.242919 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12851 2014-02-28T17:20:00Z 2014-02-28T17:37:21Z Palm oil plantations allegedly poison seven Critically Endangered elephants in Sumatra Wildlife officials suspect foul play in the deaths of seven Sumatran elephants on the outskirts of Tesso Nilo National Park. Officials stumbled on the corpses of one female elephant, five young males, and one male calf in mid-February. Although the males had their tusks hacked off, the officials suspect the elephant were poisoned in revenge for disturbing illegal palm oil plantations inside the park. Jeremy Hance -0.252685 101.712685 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12839 2014-02-27T14:43:00Z 2014-02-27T14:52:14Z Palm oil's climate impact worse than thought due to methane emissions Methane leaks from palm oil wastewater significantly increases the climate impact of palm oil production beyond emissions from land clearance, fire, and peatlands drainage, reports a new study published in <i>Nature Climate Change</i>. The research, led by Philip. G. Taylor of the University of Colorado, finds that annual methane emissions from palm oil wastewater effluent amount to the equivalent of 115 million tons carbon dioxide in Malaysia and Indonesia alone, or roughly 15 percent of total emissions from peat oxidation and land use change in the two countries. Rhett Butler 2.010086 103.809013 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12828 2014-02-26T06:24:00Z 2014-02-26T19:17:46Z Procter & Gamble's palm oil suppliers linked to deforestation (photos) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/GP0STO8KS150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A year-long investigation by Greenpeace has found companies that supply Procter & Gamble (P&G) (NYSE:PG) with palm oil are engaged in clearing of rainforests and peatlands in Indonesia, suggesting that Head &amp; Shoulders shampoo and other consumer products made by the company may be linked to forest destruction. Rhett Butler -1.930482 112.439146 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12822 2014-02-25T01:58:00Z 2014-02-25T02:01:37Z Borneo monkeys lose a tenth of their habitat in a decade Four species of langurs monkeys that are endemic to Borneo lost more than a tenth of their habitat in just ten years, finds a study published in the journal <i>Biodiversity and Conservation</i>. Rhett Butler -2.163792 114.064495 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12820 2014-02-24T22:29:00Z 2014-02-25T00:17:26Z New forest map for Sarawak reveals large-scale deforestation, encroachment on indigenous territories <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0224-sarawak-land-use-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new online platform released by the Bruno Manser Fund reveals large-scale destruction of Sarawak's rainforests, peatlands, and traditional lands. Drawing from a variety of sources, the Sarawak Geoportal includes data on logging concessions, oil palm plantations, existing and proposed dams, historical forest cover, the extent of indigenous cultivated areas, election results, and area where there are current native customary rights (NCR) disputes. Rhett Butler 4.186181 115.146117 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12815 2014-02-23T00:08:00Z 2014-02-24T23:58:07Z If Indonesia can't protect its orangutans, why doesn't it just 'sell' them? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/indonesia/150/kalteng_0922.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>It is obvious that at the moment Indonesia neither has the political commitment nor ability to safeguard its dwindling populations of orangutans. Despite its Presidentially supported Action Plan to stabilize all remaining wild populations by 2017, orangutan habitats in Sumatra and Borneo are disappearing as rapidly as ever. Rhett Butler 0.727825 111.834898 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12806 2014-02-21T17:42:00Z 2014-03-04T16:41:26Z Traditional palm knowledge at risk of becoming lost forever <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0212palm150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The humid tropical forests of northwestern South America boast over 140 different palm species (Arecaceae), yet the people who dwell underneath these green canopies and the knowledge they posses remain relatively unknown to modern science. But Rodrigo Cámara-Leret of the Autonomous University of Madrid and his team of researchers are working to change that by documenting and preserving the traditional knowledge of palms before it is forgotten and lost forever. Tiffany Roufs -0.679449 -74.330289 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12791 2014-02-20T14:36:00Z 2014-02-20T19:00:30Z Revolutionary Google-backed system unlocks power of 'big data' to save forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0220wri01_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>World Resources Institute (WRI) today announced the release of a tool that promises to revolutionize forest monitoring. The platform, called Global Forest Watch and developed over several years with more than 40 partners, draws from a rich array of big data related to the word's forests and translates it into interactive maps and charts that reveal trends in deforestation, forest recovery, and industrial forestry expansion. Global Forest Watch is the first tool to monitors global forests on a monthly basis, allowing authorities and conservationists to potentially take action against deforestation as it is occurring. Rhett Butler 38.899016 -77.008048 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12782 2014-02-17T17:42:00Z 2014-02-17T22:48:42Z Wilmar refutes Sarawak govt's claims on palm oil ban Palm oil giant Wilmar has refuted a claim that it will stop buying crude palm oil from the Malaysian state of Sarawak due to its new 'no deforestation' policy. Rhett Butler 3.139145 113.182815 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12764 2014-02-12T02:44:00Z 2014-02-12T03:07:50Z Despite falling palm oil price, premium for 'sustainable' product rises <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0212RI0_6610150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Despite a sharp drop in the price of palm oil since 2011, premiums for certificates representing palm oil produced under the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) standard have risen due to increased demand for greener palm kernel oil (CPKO), reveals data released by GreenPalm. Rhett Butler 0.146255 102.255195 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12726 2014-02-05T05:09:00Z 2014-02-07T10:20:58Z Peatland plantations drive steep GHG emissions in Indonesia's Riau Province <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0205RI0_8670150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Versatile is the best way to describe the reddish brown fruit born from oil palm trees. Both the flesh and seed of the fruit is used in many applications including cooking, cosmetics, and biofuel. In addition, the fruit is composed of 50 percent oil, making it a highly efficient product that requires less land than other oil producing crops. Rhett Butler 0.267791 102.200904