tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:/xml/peatlands1 peatlands news from mongabay.com 2015-06-23T19:10:12Z tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15023 2015-06-23T19:04:00Z 2015-06-23T19:10:12Z Bunge: if you clear peatlands, we won't buy your palm oil Palm oil growers who plan to convert peatlands and rainforests for new plantations have been warned: one of the world's largest agribusiness companies is not interested in your palm oil. Rhett Butler 3.1882077 113.0389871 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15017 2015-06-23T05:30:00Z 2015-06-24T20:01:03Z Controversy emerges over alleged deforestation policy breach by APRIL supplier <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0622gfw_ahl_satellite150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Less than three weeks after APRIL unveiled a sustainability policy that is supposed to protect natural forests, an environmental group is alleging that one of the Indonesian forestry giant's subsidiaries is already breaching the commitment. But APRIL refuted the claim and says it continues to stand by the policy. Rhett Butler 3.556065 117.073839 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15015 2015-06-22T21:19:00Z 2015-06-23T19:11:02Z Bunge palm oil supplier plans to clear peatlands for plantations <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0622MIR10769_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>BLD Plantation Bhd, a Malaysian palm oil company, plans to clear some 14,000 hectares of peatlands in Sarawak, on the island of Borneo, potentially putting it in conflict with the deforestation-free sourcing policy established by American agribusiness giant Bunge, say campaigners who filed a grievance over the matter. Rhett Butler 3.1882078 113.0389869 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14954 2015-06-13T02:46:00Z 2015-06-13T02:54:56Z Rising seas, sinking peat to swamp Malaysian and Indonesian palm oil <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0612_MIRI3691_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>With global sea levels going up at a rate of about 9 millimeters per year, the livelihoods of many coastal people in the world look increasingly threatened, especially in those parts of the world with limited financial or technical means to adapt. A rate of a thumb-width of water per year may not sound like much, but the half to one meter higher water levels mean that many coastal people will have to abandon their homes and fields before the end of the century. Rhett Butler 2.069753 101.229649 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14898 2015-06-03T12:54:00Z 2015-06-23T14:17:06Z Pulp giant APRIL updates sustainability policy with Greenpeace's tentative approval <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_1389.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Indonesia's second-largest pulp and paper producer has announced a new sustainability policy it hopes will win it the good graces of NGOs like Greenpeace, which has campaigned with some success for a boycott of the company due to its destructive environmental practices. Unlike the previous policy, the new one protects carbon-rich peatlands and forests of high-carbon stock. Philip Jacobson 1.457106 101.523565 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14686 2015-04-25T09:17:00Z 2015-06-23T03:21:37Z Jokowi must strengthen Indonesia's forest moratorium, not just extend it: activists <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_1090.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Less than a month before the expiry of a moratorium on new licenses for land-based exploitation in primary forests and on peat, environmentalists are calling for the Indonesian president to not only prolong the policy but strengthen it too, hampered as they say it has been by chaotic implementation, weak enforcement, standards that don’t go far enough and, some suggest, a lack of political will to see it through. Philip Jacobson tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14599 2015-04-06T23:27:00Z 2015-04-07T01:55:11Z Who's to blame for forest loss in Borneo timber concession? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0406greenomics_bmh150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The apparent loss of some 4,000 hectares of forested peatland in Indonesian Borneo is raising questions on who bears responsibility for forest clearing in un-utilized concessions. On Monday, Greenomics-Indonesia issued a report revealing the loss of significant tracts of peat forest in a West Kalimantan concession held by PT Bumi Mekar Hijau (BMH), a plantation company whose operation in South Sumatra supplies Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) with woodpulp for its mills. Rhett Butler 1.410215 109.137487 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14596 2015-04-06T21:25:00Z 2015-04-06T21:39:38Z Restoration of artificial swamps could be a key to restoring rainforest health in Sumatra The term "artificial" has acquired negative connotations in recent years. However, a recent study in Sumatra's Harapan rainforest details not only the ecological benefits, but rather the necessity, of improving artificial wetlands found along waterways in this rainforest ecosystem. Brittany Stewart -2.233333 103.316667 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14550 2015-03-28T23:58:00Z 2015-03-29T01:01:27Z APRIL suspends contractor after environmentalists expose ongoing deforestation Asia Pacific Resources International Holdings Limited (APRIL) has suspended a contractor and a plantation manager after environmentalists exposed deforestation that violates the logging giant's sustainability policy. Rhett Butler 0.993471 102.401073 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14544 2015-03-27T14:39:00Z 2015-06-23T04:16:05Z Aceh unveils protected area in beleaguered Tripa peat swamp <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://www.mongabay.co.id/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/IMGP0462-99x75.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>As Indonesia's Supreme Court prepares to rule on an appeal from oil palm developer Kallista Alam, ordered to pay Rp366 billion in fines and reparations for cut-and-burning forest in the Tripa peat swamp region, the Aceh government has established a protected zone in the company's former concession, the culmination of a months-long program to rehabilitate the area. Philip Jacobson 3.930239 96.400381 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14541 2015-03-26T23:39:00Z 2015-03-27T02:52:11Z APRIL violates sustainability policy by clearing peat forest after Jan cut-off <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0326rapp_greenomics150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>New data shows Asia Pacific Resources International Holdings Limited (APRIL) is continuing to destroy rainforests on deep peat despite a high profile pledge to clean up its operations. Today Greenomics-Indonesia released an analysis of two NASA Landsat images confirming that APRIL's subsidiary PT Riau Andalan Pulp Paper (RAPP) has cleared significant tracts of peat forest on Pulau Pedang island off Sumatra's coast since January 2015. Rhett Butler 0.993470 102.401072 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14540 2015-03-26T19:21:00Z 2015-06-18T01:11:22Z Why palm oil expanded, and what keeps it growing <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0326pdxn150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Today, oil palm is Indonesia’s most important cash crop. In 2014, Indonesia produced 33.5 million tons of palm oil, generating $18.9 billion in export revenue. This makes palm oil Indonesia’s third most valuable export, behind only coal and petroleum gas. However, the rise of Indonesian palm oil is only a relatively recent phenomenon. The chart below shows the remarkable growth that the industry has displayed over the past 30 years. Rhett Butler -2.705168 114.378027 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14470 2015-03-10T18:00:00Z 2015-03-10T18:01:49Z Vicious circle: scientists warn peat fires, global warming may intensify each other <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_1363.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new study published recently in Nature Geoscience warns of the consequences of increased smoldering fires as peatlands are drained to make land for agriculture, or dry up due to climate change. Morgan Erickson-Davis 0.641515 102.328314 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14436 2015-02-26T19:25:00Z 2015-02-27T05:37:03Z Jokowi's environmental commitments in Indonesia <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/indonesia-java/150/java_0456.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Last fall Indonesia elected its first president with no ties to the established political order or the military. Joko Widodo's election was widely heralded by reformers who hoped the politician's capable management in his stints as mayor of the town of Solo and metropolis of Jakarta could transform Indonesia's chronically underperforming bureaucracy, potentially ushering in a new era of improved human rights, better environmental stewardship, reduced corruption, and healthier economic growth. Rhett Butler -6.659257 106.131028 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14421 2015-02-24T23:59:00Z 2015-02-25T00:53:03Z Santander Bank cuts off APRIL due to deforestation Banking giant Santander says it will not extend further financing to Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL) due to evidence that the Singapore-based pulp and paper company is continuing to destroy rainforests in Indonesia. The move comes after Greenpeace launched a global campaign against the bank. Rhett Butler 1.013991 102.330548 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14394 2015-02-18T18:25:00Z 2015-02-18T18:26:54Z Chinese banks funding rainforest destruction in Indonesia While Santander Bank has made headlines in recent days for financing an Indonesian forestry giant's ongoing clearance of carbon-dense forests in Sumatra, Chinese banks among the largest funders of the company, reveals analysis conducted by BankTrack.org. Rhett Butler 1.013997 102.330555 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14369 2015-02-11T02:33:00Z 2015-02-11T02:35:57Z Banco Santander targeted over deforestation link Greenpeace has opened a new front in its campaign against a controversial Indonesian logging company by targeting one of its major financiers: Banco Santander. Rhett Butler 1.013995 102.330545 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14356 2015-02-05T20:31:00Z 2015-02-07T23:33:04Z Forestry giant's zero deforestation commitment put to test <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_1448.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>An independent audit of the world’s largest pulp and paper producer found that the company had achieved a wide range of results in meeting promises to end deforestation and resolve conflicts with forest communities. In 2013 Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) announced its Forest Conservation Policy (FCP), which included a pledge to end deforestation among its suppliers, improve communication and conflict resolution with forest communities, protecting peatlands, and sourcing fiber only from responsible suppliers. Rhett Butler 0.645332 101.490370 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14334 2015-02-03T18:28:00Z 2015-02-03T18:33:49Z Despite green promise, Indonesian forestry giant continues to destroy forests A year after it pledged a dramatic shift in how it operates in Indonesia's fast dwindling native habitats, Asia Pacific Resources International Ltd (APRIL) continues to destroy forests and peatlands in Sumatra, allege environmentalists. Rhett Butler 1.188157 102.29334 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14281 2015-01-20T00:15:00Z 2015-01-20T19:22:22Z Indonesia's moratorium not enough to achieve emissions reduction target <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_1186.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>When Indonesia's former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono declared a moratorium in May 2012 on the issuance of new permits for logging in primary forests and on peat lands, it was widely hailed as an important, albeit far too limited, step in clamping down on the country's levels of deforestation. Rhett Butler 0.726830 121.278234 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14245 2015-01-08T21:50:00Z 2015-01-12T20:12:56Z Indonesia to weaken peatlands protection to support plantations <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_0154.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Indonesian Ministry of the Environment and Forestry has announced it will further hobble its peatlands protection law to allow plantations to continue operating on a business as usual basis. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14214 2015-01-05T15:38:00Z 2015-01-05T15:56:55Z Featured video: new documentary highlights 'Sumatra Burning' A new half-hour documentary investigate the impact of the palm oil industry in Indonesia, including burning forests and peatlands as well as haze spreading across Indonesian borders. Entitled Sumatra Burning, the documentary explores palm oil production on the island of Sumatra, which is experiencing some of the highest deforestation rates on the planet. Jeremy Hance 0.394984 101.370236 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14169 2014-12-17T23:26:00Z 2014-12-18T17:36:13Z Amazonian peatlands store mega carbon Peatlands in the Peruvian Amazon store ten times the amount of carbon as undisturbed rainforest in adjacent areas, making them critical in the battle to fight climate change, finds a new study published in <i>Environmental Research Letters</i>. Rhett Butler -4.750255 -74.68802 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14159 2014-12-16T05:40:00Z 2014-12-16T05:47:25Z Palm oil facilitates large-scale illegal logging in Indonesia <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/indonesia/150/kalteng_0072.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Development of oil palm plantations is providing cover for large-scale illegal logging in Indonesian Borneo, driving destruction of some of the island's most biodiverse forests and undermining efforts to reform the country's forestry sector, alleges a new report published by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA). Rhett Butler -1.476897 113.648916 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14125 2014-12-05T18:55:00Z 2014-12-05T19:00:08Z Indonesia sets reference level for cutting deforestation The Indonesian government has established reference levels for measuring reductions in emissions from deforestation and forest and peatland degradation, reports <i>Antara</i>. Rhett Butler 1.966167 100.523186 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14096 2014-12-01T23:12:00Z 2014-12-02T06:17:59Z Pulp and paper giant violating its sustainability policy Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRRIL) is violating its own sustainability policy by continuing to source fiber produced via the destruction peatlands on the island of Pulau Padang in Riau, Sumatra, argues a new report published by a coalition of Indonesian environmental groups. Rhett Butler 1.014277 102.330627 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14091 2014-11-30T03:12:00Z 2014-12-01T03:15:53Z Indonesia to audit licenses of palm oil companies that clear peatlands <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_1373.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>New Indonesian president Joko Widodo has ordered the Ministry of Environment and Forestry to review licenses for companies that have converted peatlands for oil palm plantations, reports <i>Antara</i>. Jokowi, as the president is popularly known, announced the move after a visit last week to Sungai Tohor, a community in Riau that has been particularly affected by peatlands degradation and haze caused by fires set for land clearing. Rhett Butler 0.861708 102.920555 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13932 2014-10-21T18:31:00Z 2014-11-06T17:55:47Z 'No forests, no cash': palm oil giants commit to sustainability, but will they follow through? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/i/indonesia/150/north_sumatra_0473.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Four of Indonesia’s largest palm oil producers signed a landmark commitment in New York in September to further implement sustainable practices across one of the country’s largest commercial sectors. Then-President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and the Indonesia Chamber of Commerce (KADIN) witnessed the undertaking, which is hoped to expand the country’s palm oil industry while making it more environmentally friendly. Morgan Erickson-Davis 0.060740 101.624061 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13919 2014-10-17T18:55:00Z 2014-10-21T14:54:03Z Push to undermine Indonesia's new president could stymie environmental progress, say NGOs <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/indonesia-java/150/java_0500.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table> concerted push by political elites to undermine Indonesia's president before he even takes office could stymie progress on social and environmental issues in the country, say Indonesian civil society groups. On July 9, former Surakarta (Solo) and Jakarta mayor Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo beat ex-general Prabowo Subianto in Indonesia's presidential election by 8.4 million votes. Yet despite the wide margin, Jokowi has been stung by a series of political setbacks that will hinder his ability to govern once he assumes office Monday. Rhett Butler -0.582265 114.409904 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13909 2014-10-14T20:20:00Z 2014-10-14T20:33:19Z Plantation companies in Sumatra failing to meet fire prevention standards An inter-agency audit of 17 plantation and timber concessions in Riau Province, Indonesia, found that every company is failing to meet fire prevention and control standards. In addition, several companies are working in prohibited areas, including peatlands with depths over 3 meters. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13907 2014-10-14T20:11:00Z 2014-10-16T18:58:39Z Rogue palm oil company appeals deforestation case to Indonesia's supreme court Oil palm company PT. Kallista Alam has filed an appeal with the Supreme Court continuing the closely-watched legal battle set to redefine Indonesia's commitment to environmental justice. Lawyers for the company filed the new appeal on October 6, claiming the initial case is invalid because it failed to include all relevant parties as defendants—including the governor of Aceh, who issued the concession permit in 2011. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13876 2014-10-05T22:37:00Z 2014-10-09T02:17:26Z Report rates palm oil companies on sustainability commitments <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/i/indonesia/150/aceh_0913.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new report published Forest Heroes, an advocacy campaign pushing for an end to deforestation, ranks global palm oil companies on their sustainability commitments. The Green Tigers, authored by Glen Hurowitz, reviews the recent history of environmental policies in the palm oil sector, beginning with the formation of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) in 2004 through the wave of comprehensive zero deforestation commitments in 2013-2014. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13861 2014-10-02T15:23:00Z 2014-10-03T04:05:48Z Despite high deforestation, Indonesia making progress on forests, says Norwegian official <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1002-stig-traavik150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Despite having a deforestation rate that now outpaces that of the Brazilian Amazon, Indonesia is beginning to undertake critical reforms necessary to curb destruction of its carbon-dense rainforests and peatlands, says a top Norwegian official. Speaking with mongabay.com in Jakarta on Monday, Stig Traavik, Norway's ambassador to Indonesia, drew parallels between recent developments in Indonesia and initiatives launched in Brazil a decade ago, when deforestation was nearly five times higher than it is today. Rhett Butler 5.252333 95.678852 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13851 2014-09-30T23:40:00Z 2014-10-01T02:50:35Z High Court denies appeal by palm oil company that cleared protected peat forest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/i/indonesia/150/north_sumatra_0435.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Furthering Indonesia's renewed commitment to environmental justice, the High Court of Banda Aceh denied an appeal by PT. Kallista Alam, the oil palm company found guilty of destroying over 1,000 hectares of protected peat forest in Gunung Leuser ecosystem. The Court upheld the previous ruling, which fined the company 366 billion rupiah ($30 million) in penalties and restoration fees. Rhett Butler 4.143465 96.128556 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13810 2014-09-20T12:46:00Z 2014-09-24T09:25:04Z Palm oil giants announce deforestation moratorium -- effective immediately <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/i/indonesia/150/aceh_0913.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Five of the world's largest palm oil producers have announced an immediate moratorium on palm oil sourced via clearance of potential high carbon stock forests. On Friday, Asian Agri, IOI Corporation Berhad, Kuala Lumpur Kepong (KLK) Berhad, Musim Mas Group and Sime Darby Plantation said they will suspend forest clearing until they have completed a year-along study that aims to establish a threshold for defining what constitutes high carbon stock (HCS) forest. Rhett Butler 3.114409 101.573087 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13809 2014-09-19T22:49:00Z 2014-09-20T12:53:25Z After 12 years, Indonesia finally ratifies transboundary haze agreement <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/12/0920gfwfires150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Indonesia ended 12 years of stalling this week, becoming the last ASEAN nation to ratify an agreement on transboundary haze. As smoke from more than 1,200 fires in Sumatra and Kalimantan pushed air pollution in neighboring Singapore to 'unhealthy' levels, the Indonesian House of Representatives ratified the 2002 ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution (AATHP). Rhett Butler 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/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/13651 2014-08-12T01:18:00Z 2014-08-12T03:08:13Z Half of Riau's oil palm plantations are illegal Half of the oil palm plantations in Sumatra's Riau Province are illegal, said Indonesia's top forestry official. Rhett Butler 0.065918 101.5874 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/13637 2014-08-07T02:33:00Z 2014-08-07T02:39:49Z Singapore to fine domestic, foreign companies for causing haze Singapore's parliament has approved a controversial measure that could penalize companies &#8212; both foreign and domestic &#8212; that are responsible for causing haze overseas, reports Reuters. Rhett Butler 1.288982 103.850518 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13631 2014-08-05T19:17:00Z 2015-03-03T19:18:55Z Yellow spots, orange stripes: vivid new frog species discovered in Malaysia <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0805-new-frog-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Scientists have identified a new species of frog on the Malay Peninsula. The newly named <i>Hylorana centropeninsularis</i> was discovered in a swamp and genetic analyses revealed that it is evolutionarily distinct from its stream-dwelling cousins. Morgan Erickson-Davis 4.348802 102.729721 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13574 2014-07-22T23:03:00Z 2014-07-23T08:41:17Z NASA: Sumatra fires in the rise The number of fires burning in Sumatra's Riau Province doubled on Sunday, raising concerns that dry conditions could unleash an especially severe haze this dry season in Indonesia. Rhett Butler 1.911267 101.598415 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13573 2014-07-22T21:37:00Z 2014-07-22T22:20:26Z 'A high price to pay': new Indonesian peatland regulation may do more harm than good <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0722-peat-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Government Regulation on Peatland Ecosystem Protection and Management, initially drafted by the Ministry of Forestry in 2013, is getting mixed acceptance from civil society. On one hand, the regulation would offer more protection to the country’s vast peatland areas. However, on the other, some NGOs have slammed the draft as a potential source of new conflicts for local people. Morgan Erickson-Davis 0.712921 102.020697 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13562 2014-07-20T23:00:00Z 2014-07-20T23:10:07Z What is peat swamp, and why should I care? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/sabah/150/sabah_3792.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Long considered an unproductive hindrance to growth and development, peat swamp forests in Southeast Asia have been systematically cleared, drained and burned away to make room plantations and construction. Now, as alternating cycles of fires and flood create larger development problems, while greenhouse gas emissions skyrocket, it is time to take a closer look at peat, and understand why clearing it is a very bad idea. Rhett Butler 0.20874 103.390732 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/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/13465 2014-06-29T23:04:00Z 2014-07-04T17:33:22Z Despite moratorium, Indonesia now has world's highest deforestation rate <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/ANNUAL-primary-forest-loss-indonesia150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Despite a high-level pledge to combat deforestation and a nationwide moratorium on new logging and plantation concessions, deforestation has continued to rise in Indonesia, according to a new study published in <i>Nature Climate Change</i>. Annual forest loss in the southeast Asian nation is now the highest in the world, exceeding even Brazil. Rhett Butler -4.127285 104.840697 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13450 2014-06-26T04:45:00Z 2014-06-26T13:17:27Z Despite early headwinds, Indonesia's biggest REDD+ project moves forward in Borneo <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0625-rimba-ryra-deforestation150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Just over a year ago, the Indonesian government officially approved the country's first REDD+ forest carbon conservation project: Rimba Raya, which aims to protect more than 64,000 hectares of peat forest in Central Kalimantan. The approval came after years of delays from the Ministry of Forestry and a substantial reduction in the project's concession area. But InfiniteEarth, the firm behind the project, pressed on. Now a year later, Rimba Raya's is not only still in business, but is scaling up its operations. Rhett Butler -3.262548 112.030914 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13439 2014-06-24T18:10:00Z 2014-06-24T18:12:27Z Indonesian presidential candidates ignore environmental concerns as haze returns New data from NASA and the World Resources Institute (WRI) show that peat fires are again burning in Sumatra, yet both leading presidential contenders are ignoring the issue of climate change, says a top official. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13404 2014-06-17T23:32:00Z 2014-06-17T23:40:13Z Indonesian logger: cleared peat forest doesn't have high conservation value An Indonesian logging company says that clearing of peat forest on an island off Sumatra is 'in line with its Sustainable Forest Management Policy' because the area wasn't found to be of high conservation value. In a letter responding to concerns raised by environmental groups, Asia Pacific Resources International Holdings Limited (APRIL) said its forest policy applies to all its concessions, including the Pulau Padang concession where Greenpeace documented deep peat clearance last month. Rhett Butler 0.990437 102.320083 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13383 2014-06-13T20:05:00Z 2014-06-13T20:09:21Z 'Borne by the rest of the world': deforestation has global impact, reduces food security <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0613-indo-deforestation-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Research indicates that areas with more forest cover tend to have superior food resilience compared to areas with less. In addition, the loss of forest cover to deforestation has long-term impacts not only locally, but also globally. These topics were discussed by international experts during the 2020 Conference on Building Resilience for Food and Nutrition Security, held last month in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Morgan Erickson-Davis -2.717664 104.415375 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13360 2014-06-06T21:38:00Z 2014-06-06T22:01:00Z APRIL's forest policy failing to stop rainforest destruction, say green groups Asia Pacific Resources International Holdings Limited's forest policy allows the Singapore-based pulp and paper giant to continue destroying rainforests and peatlands for industrial plantations, argues a letter published by an international coalition of environmental groups. Rhett Butler 1.035405 102.331282 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13357 2014-06-06T17:41:00Z 2014-06-06T17:49:03Z Another year of fires, another year of inaction With a 70% chance of an El Niño this year, Indonesia could soon be facing the ire of its nearest neighbors yet again as the dry season approaches with the ever present threat of vegetation fires. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13328 2014-06-03T03:08:00Z 2014-07-08T21:40:21Z Logger continues to destroy Indonesian rainforest despite green promises (Photos) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0602GP0STOE8U150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Indonesian logging giant Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL) is continuing to destroy endangered rainforests on Sumatra despite a high profile commitment to clean up its operations, reveal aerial photos captured by Greenpeace last month. Rhett Butler 1.188155 102.293331 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13306 2014-05-29T01:50:00Z 2014-05-29T03:58:56Z Singapore: companies must accept responsibility in addressing haze crisis Corporations will have to step up as better stewards of the environment if Southeast Asia's haze crisis is to be addressed, said Singaporean officials during a meeting held last week to discuss regional sustainability efforts. Rhett Butler 1.306364 103.832854 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/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/13275 2014-05-23T01:29:00Z 2014-05-23T01:41:36Z WWF accuses APRIL of breaking sustainability commitment by logging rainforest in Borneo Environmental group WWF has accused Singapore-based pulp and paper giant Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL) of breaking its recent conservation commitment by destroying rainforest in Indonesian Borneo. APRIL has denied the charges. Rhett Butler 3.554199 117.074726 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13224 2014-05-14T00:45:00Z 2014-05-14T01:13:27Z NASA data: 1997 all over again for Indonesia? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0513-nasa-el-nino-1997-2014_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The latest data from NASA shows that conditions developing in the tropical Pacific are eerily similar to those in 1997, when El Ni&ntilde;o wreaked havoc across Indonesia, spurring a severe drought that exacerbated massive peatland and forest fires which spread choking haze across much of South and Southeast Asia. Rhett Butler -1.142502 -97.396545 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/13142 2014-04-28T03:41:00Z 2014-04-28T18:07:23Z APP commits to conserve, restore 1M ha of Indonesian forest; WWF pledges support <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_1382.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Asia Pulp &amp; Paper (APP), Indonesia's largest pulp and paper company and a long-time target of environmental campaigners, has committed to protect and restore a million hectares of forest across Indonesia. The pledge, which represents an area equivalent to the total plantation area from which it sourced pulp in 2013, was immediately welcomed by WWF, which until today has remained one of APP's staunchest critics. Rhett Butler 0.071068 102.396301 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12956 2014-03-20T05:14:00Z 2015-02-16T04:39:48Z 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/12940 2014-03-17T17:58:00Z 2015-02-16T04:44:33Z 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/12937 2014-03-15T23:42:00Z 2014-03-16T01:55:45Z Logging giant suspends operations to fend off plantations from fires <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0315NASA150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Indonesian Pulp &amp; paper giant Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL) says it has suspended operations at a concession in Riau Province in order to shift staff toward fighting back fires that threaten its plantations. In a statement issued Friday, APRIL said its plantations on Pulau Padang, a peat island off the coast of Sumatra, are at risk due to fires illegally set outside its concessions. Rhett Butler 1.145935 102.3032 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12935 2014-03-14T20:53:00Z 2014-03-15T00:19:35Z Indonesia's proposed peat law too weak to protect peatlands, stop haze, says Greenpeace A new regulation aiming to protect peatlands is likely to fall short of its goals, failing to stop peat degradation, emissions, and fires that are driving the current haze crisis in Southeast Asia, asserts a new analysis from Greenpeace. Rhett Butler 1.646349 101.686599 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/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/12860 2014-03-02T21:13:00Z 2015-02-14T14:37:50Z 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/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/12726 2014-02-05T05:09:00Z 2015-01-17T05:38:31Z 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 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12646 2014-01-17T02:53:00Z 2015-01-13T05:53:01Z Land conflicts complicate effort to spare forests from palm oil in Borneo <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0117-warning-dilarang150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A widely-heralded effort to spare carbon-dense rainforests and peatlands from palm oil development in Indonesian Borneo is facing new criticism after an investigation by rights groups found evidence of unresolved conflicts over community land. The report, published Friday by the Forest Peoples Program and TUK-Indonesia, looked at a carbon conservation pilot project run by Golden Agri Resources (GAR), a Singapore-based agribusiness giant that is one of Indonesia's largest palm oil producers. Rhett Butler 0.718899 112.26918 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12618 2014-01-09T19:47:00Z 2014-01-10T07:24:50Z In precedent-setting case, palm oil company fined $30M for destroying orangutan forest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0109sumatra_0085_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In a precedent-setting case, an Indonesian court has found a palm oil company guilty of violating environmental laws and ordered it to pay $30 million in fines and reparations for clearing an area of protected peat forest that is a stronghold for endangered orangutans in Indonesia's Aceh Province. In a ruling handed down Wednesday, the Meulaboh district court concluded that PT Kallista Alam illegally cleared and burned forest within the the protected Tripa peat swamp in northwestern Sumatra. Rhett Butler 3.862885 96.60964 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12579 2013-12-26T23:48:00Z 2014-01-08T22:33:36Z Rainforest news review for 2013 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/sabah/150/sabah_aerial_1827.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>2013 was full of major developments in efforts to understand and protect the world's tropical rainforests. The following is a review of some of the major tropical forest-related news stories for the year. As a review, this post will not cover everything that transpired during 2013 in the world of tropical forests. Please feel free to highlight anything this post missed via the comments section at the bottom. Also please note that this review focuses only on tropical forests. Rhett Butler -3.118576 -60.076675 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12561 2013-12-22T10:10:00Z 2013-12-27T15:09:10Z Unraveling the secrets of one of the world's most mysterious big cats <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1226sundaleopard150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Sunda clouded leopard has always been shrouded in mystery. Only declared a separate species from its mainland cousin, the Borneo clouded leopard, in 2006, the IUCN lists the cat as Endangered. The distinction between the Borneo clouded leopard (<i>Neofelis nebulas</i>) and the Sunda clouded leopard (<i>Neofelis diardi</i>) was made by ground-breaking molecular coding technologies and anatomy studies of the two species. Although it is Borneo's largest predator, very little is known about the Sunda leopard. As a medium-sized, well-camouflaged and mostly nocturnal animal, the leopard has evaded researchers since its discovery eight years ago. Tiffany Roufs 5.238657 118.325043 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12558 2013-12-20T18:45:00Z 2014-02-20T19:14:40Z Indonesia appoints head of REDD+ agency to implement forest conservation plan <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/indonesia/150/kalteng_0691.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Indonesia has selected the first chief of its new REDD+ agency: Heru Prasetyo, an administrator and former private sector management consultant, reports Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's office. Prasetyo will take up the challenging task of implementing Indonesia's REDD+ program, which aims to steer the Southeast Asian nation away from business-as-usual management of its fast dwindling forests. The REDD+ program is part of the broader government plan to cut Indonesia's greenhouse has emissions by at least 26 percent from a projected 2020 baseline. Rhett Butler 4.072494 97.556877 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12542 2013-12-18T23:32:00Z 2014-02-20T19:15:17Z Ongoing deforestation reported in Borneo concession held by APP supplier <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1218westapp150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Up to 1,400 hectares of forest have been cleared in a concession belonging to an Asia Pulp &amp; Paper (APP) supplier in Borneo, potentially putting the company in breach of the forestry giant's zero deforestation commitment, reports a coalition of local NGO's. In a report released Tuesday, Relawan Pemantau Hutan Kalimantan (RPHK), a coalition of NGO's in part supported by WWF-Indonesia, said that blocks of natural forest have been cleared in a concession belonging to PT Daya Tani Kalbar (DTK), an APP supplier. The clearing has taken place since APP's moratorium went into effect February 1, 2013. Rhett Butler -0.760352 109.814773 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12470 2013-12-02T00:44:00Z 2013-12-02T01:05:30Z Palm oil company Bumitama under fire for clearing rainforest, endangering orangutans <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1201buritama.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Bumitama Agri, an Indonesian palm oil producer, is breaking the law by clearing forests and developing plantations without the proper licenses, a coalition of NGOs said in a report released on Nov. 21. The groups have called on financiers to either force Bumitama to shape up or cut ties with the company and with global palm oil traders such as Wilmar and IOI that do business with Bumitama. Rhett Butler -1.562826 110.326589 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12438 2013-11-22T20:14:00Z 2014-02-20T19:19:27Z Greenpeace photos expose palm oil giant's deforestation in Indonesia <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1122GP04Z5C150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A series of photos released this week by Greenpeace shows that an Indonesian palm oil company is continuing to clear orangutan habitat in Borneo despite a pledge to stop destroying the forest. Flyovers of a concession owned by PT Andalan Sukses Makmur, a subsidiary of Bumitama Agri Ltd, show excavators clearing peat forests and digging drainage canals just outside Tanjung Puting National Park in Central Kalimantan. Tanjung Puting is famous for its population of orangutans that have been intensely studied by Birute Galdikas, a noted researcher and conservationist. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12380 2013-11-14T14:05:00Z 2013-11-14T14:32:41Z Rent-a-mob disrupts court proceedings against Indonesian palm oil company <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1114tripa150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A mob of 150 palm oil workers has disrupted court proceedings against Kalista Alam, an Indonesian palm oil company accused of illegally converting blocks of protected peat forests for an oil palm plantation in Aceh, Sumatra. The Kalista Alam case is widely seen as a test of Indonesia's commitment to forestry sector reform. Rhett Butler 3.832055 96.617789 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12366 2013-11-12T22:19:00Z 2013-11-15T07:29:43Z 3.5 million ha of Indonesian and Malaysian forest converted for palm oil in 20 years <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1112-oilpalm-forest-malaysia150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Some 3.5 million hectares (8.7 million acres) of forest in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Papua New Guinea was converted for oil palm plantations between 1990 and 2010, finds a comprehensive set of assessments released by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). The research, conducted by an international team of scientists from a range of institutions, is presented in a series of seven academic papers that estimate change in land use and greenhouse gas emissions from oil palm expansion in the three countries, review the social and environmental impacts of palm oil production, forecast potential growth in the sector across the region, and detail methods for measuring emissions and carbon stocks of plantations establishing on peatlands. Rhett Butler -1.711553 103.395569 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12277 2013-10-29T19:54:00Z 2013-10-31T20:47:48Z Greenpeace: APP making 'encouraging' progress on zero deforestation commitment <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/indonesia/150/aceh_0342.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Asia Pulp &amp; Paper (APP), an Indonesian forestry giant once notorious for destroying rainforests and peatlands, is making 'encouraging' progress in phasing forest destruction out of its supply chain, reports a new assessment from Greenpeace, which until recently was one of APP's fiercest critics. The review, released today, evaluates APP's progress on its Forest Conservation Policy</a>, which commits the company to exclude fiber sourced from logging of natural forests and conversion of peatlands, and requires it to obtain Free, Prior Informed Consent from local communities in developing new plantations. Rhett Butler 0.074158 102.740965 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12223 2013-10-22T17:34:00Z 2013-10-22T17:50:06Z Palm oil giant profiting off tiger habitat destruction, alleges Greenpeace The world's largest palm oil trader is continuing to traffic in palm oil linked to deforestation and illegal peatlands conversion, alleges a new report from Greenpeace. Rhett Butler -0.741556 102.265806 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12218 2013-10-21T16:47:00Z 2013-10-21T17:49:46Z The palm oil debate: can the world's most productive oilseed be less damaging to the environment? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/sabah/150/sabah_1227.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>On Thursday, 17 October 2013 Mongabay.com and the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) co-hosted a discussion on environmental issues related to palm oil. The discussion involved representatives from WWF, Greenpeace and the RSPO. Mongabay.com Founder Rhett A. Butler served as the moderator. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12211 2013-10-16T23:15:00Z 2013-10-16T23:19:39Z June fires concentrated in peatlands, burned 1,500 sq km in Sumatra Fires that sent a choking haze across Singapore and Malaysia in June burned some 1,500 square kilometers in Riau Province and were predominantly concentrated on peatlands, reports the World Resources Institute (WRI). Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12064 2013-09-11T21:35:00Z 2013-10-29T18:44:33Z In transparency push, APP self-reports breach of its deforestation moratorium In what may be an unprecedented move in the Indonesian forestry sector, Asia Pulp &amp; Paper (APP) has announced two breaches of its moratorium on natural forest clearance. In a report published Wednesday, APP said an audit of its operations by The Forest Trust, the NGO charged with implementing the forestry giant's forest conservation policy, turned up two incidents of forest clearance that has taken place since the logging ban took effect in February 2013. Rhett Butler 0.076895 102.963467 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12003 2013-09-03T12:53:00Z 2013-09-03T13:18:45Z Palm oil now biggest cause of deforestation in Indonesia <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/0903GP04NJD_press150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Conversion of forests for palm oil production now appears to be the single largest driver of deforestation in Indonesia, accounting for roughly a quarter of forest loss between 2009 and 2011, asserts a new Greenpeace report that accuses the sector's main certification standard of failing to stop forest destruction. The report, titled Certifying Destruction, uses satellite imagery, government concession data, field investigations, and third party analysis to conclude that several recent and current members of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) &#8212; the industry's chief eco-certification body &#8212; are continuing to buy or trade palm oil produced via the conversion of rainforests and carbon-dense peatlands in the Southeast Asian nation. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11808 2013-07-23T05:57:00Z 2013-07-23T06:01:42Z Fires burning again in Sumatra, triggering haze alerts in Malaysia Deforested areas and degraded peatlands are again burning on the island of Sumatra, triggering haze alerts in nearby Malaysia, despite last week's commitment by regional authorities to address the ongoing fire problem in Indonesia. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11793 2013-07-19T05:54:00Z 2013-07-19T13:50:49Z Developer of Indonesia's first REDD+ project confirms status of forest conservation initiative Infinite Earth, the developer behind Indonesia's first approved REDD+ project, has refuted an NGO's claims that the project has not been approved by the Indonesian government. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11779 2013-07-16T22:37:00Z 2013-07-16T23:15:03Z Palm oil body, Greenpeace spar over Indonesia fire blame Greenpeace and the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), a body that sets criteria for greener palm oil production, are caught up in a row over the origin of fires that cast a pall over Sumatra, Singapore, and Malaysia last month. The dispute started when media outlets, based on independent analysis of satellite data, identified several members of the RSPO as possible culprits in the fires in Riau Province. Greenpeace said the findings indicated that the RSPO is failing to hold its members accountable for burning. The activist group also criticized the RSPO for not expressly prohibiting deforestation and conversion of peatlands. Rhett Butler 0.120163 103.670715 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11757 2013-07-10T16:57:00Z 2013-07-10T21:24:10Z Haze fires concentrated in deforested peatlands, not forest areas, confirms satellite analysis <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/0710riau-burnscars150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new mapping tool based on NASA satellite data confirms that the majority of fires that drove the recent haze over Sumatra and Malaysia were concentrated in deforested peatlands and scrub, rather than natural forest areas. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11711 2013-07-03T13:16:00Z 2013-07-05T17:15:07Z Australia terminates landmark REDD+ project in Borneo Australia is ending its major forest restoration project in Indonesian Borneo, reports the <i>Sydney Morning Herald</i>. Rhett Butler -1.872835 114.408646 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11657 2013-06-27T15:45:00Z 2013-07-05T17:01:51Z Indonesia to spend $10M on cloud-seeding scheme to slow haze The Indonesian government will spend 100 billion rupiah &#8212; $10 million &#8212; on a cloud-seeding scheme to reduce the haze plaguing Sumatra, Singapore, and Malaysia. Rhett Butler 1.559864 101.589663 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11655 2013-06-26T23:57:00Z 2013-07-05T17:02:33Z Cause of haze? Up to 87% of recent deforestation in fire zone due to palm oil, timber <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/0626-RIAU-DEFORESTATION-FATE150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>New analysis of land cover in Riau Province reveals the outsized role industrial plantations play in driving deforestation and associated haze. The analysis, conducted by Eyes on the Forest, finds that up to 56% of deforestation in Riau between 2007 and 2012 can be linked to timber plantations for pulp and paper production. The figure for oil palm plantations may be as high as 31%. Rhett Butler 1.286666 102.058639 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11651 2013-06-26T15:37:00Z 2013-07-05T17:03:06Z Wind, not big increase in forest fires, driving haze in Singapore Wind patterns, rather than a sharp increase in fires, is to blame for the record setting air pollution affecting Singapore and Malaysia, finds new analysis by the World Resources Institute (WRI). Rhett Butler 1.462396 101.770248 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11640 2013-06-24T23:41:00Z 2013-07-05T17:11:59Z Palm oil companies linked to haze see share prices drop Three firms linked to fires in Sumatra saw their share prices decline since the haze crisis worsened a week ago. Rhett Butler 1.268817 103.852844 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11637 2013-06-24T17:25:00Z 2013-06-25T12:25:22Z Greenpeace releases dramatic pictures of haze and fires in Indonesia (photos) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/0624gp-haze-02a150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Greenpeace has released a series of photos from the front lines of the peat fires that are casting a pall of haze and triggering health warnings across Singapore and Malaysia. The images were taken by Getty photographer Ulet Infansasti in Sumatra, where the fires are burning. Analysis of NASA hotspot data has revealed that the majority of fires are occurring within plantation concessions operated by palm oil and timber companies. Rhett Butler 1.133363 100.800069 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11636 2013-06-24T16:44:00Z 2013-07-16T22:50:26Z 5 RSPO companies linked to haze <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/0624gp-haze-01a150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Five members of the Roundtable and Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) will be asked to submit digital maps of their plantations after media reports linked them to fires in Sumatra that are driving the haze across Singapore and Malaysia. The RSPO has given the companies &#8212; PT Jatim Jaya Perkasa, Tabung Haji Plantations, Sinar Mas, Kuala Lumpur Kepong, and Sime Darby &#8212; 48 hours to submit maps of their plantations in Sumatra and Kalimantan so the eco-certification body can compare them to fire hotspot data from NASA and NOAA. Rhett Butler 1.996361 100.738678