tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:/xml/plantations1 plantations news from mongabay.com 2015-07-04T12:38:00Z tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15082 2015-07-03T11:22:00Z 2015-07-04T12:38:00Z First Resources the latest palm oil giant to announce zero-deforestation commitment <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_5455.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Palm oil giant First Resources has committed to eliminate deforestation and rights abuses from its supply chain, making it the first palm producer operating primarily at the grower level to do so. The policy is the latest in a wave of sustainability commitments from corporations that produce, trade and use palm oil. To realize its new commitment, First Resources will have to resolve numerous land disputes its operations are involved in with local communities in Indonesia. Philip Jacobson -0.626800 116.030366 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15081 2015-07-03T11:04:00Z 2015-07-04T14:32:59Z Wilmar, Musim Mas supplier still destroying forest for oil palm in Indonesia's Leuser Ecosystem <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/indonesia/150/sumatra_0680.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A supplier of palm oil giants Wilmar and Musim Mas has continued to bulldoze valuable forest in Indonesia’s Leuser Ecosystem despite its most prominent customers’ zero-deforestation commitments and repeated exposés of its activities, according to a NGO report. Both Wilmar and Musim Mas have suspended their dealings with the company, Mopoli Raya. Philip Jacobson 4.293876 97.423365 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15040 2015-06-26T12:24:00Z 2015-06-26T12:36:08Z Illegal forest clearing spotted in Aceh's biggest peat swamp <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/dU3UVu78Sudu-lHiiFUxEVBq9y-3Y-kU-yKWru_6KtQ=w150-h93-no" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Encroachers have been clearing forest at three locations in Aceh's biggest peat swamp since February, the Rawa Singkil Wildlife Reserve, analysis of Landsat satellite imagery by environmental group Greenomics-Indonesia shows. The area is home to the densest population of critically endangered Sumatran orangutans in the Leuser Ecosystem. Philip Jacobson 2.312313 97.920790 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15037 2015-06-25T17:29:00Z 2015-06-25T17:52:57Z Do we need to move 'beyond certification' to save forests? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/sabah/150/sabah_1148.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Over the past two years dozens of companies have established 'zero-deforestation' or 'deforestation-free' policies for the commodities they source, trade, and produce. The pace of adoption has been staggeringly fast for a business that have been historically slow-moving relative to other industries. Some sectors, like the Indonesian palm oil industry and the Brazilian soy industry, even appear to be nearing a critical mass where the majority of international buyers and traders are now bound by such agreements. Rhett Butler 19.461253 104.367470 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/15018 2015-06-23T11:09:00Z 2015-06-23T13:35:05Z Indonesia to revive controversial sugarcane plan in Aru? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/A7Esc688zLMTzyj8D5BWuXzQvxaAzdqde9Xqfgkz4Tc=w150-h99-no" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Indonesian agriculture minister's recent comments that the Aru archipelago in the country's eastern waters will be one of three sites for a major new sugarcane initiative has sparked an outcry among civil society groups, as a similar controversial plan was shelved only last year after activists waged a long battle against it. Philip Jacobson -6.153026 134.499430 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/14999 2015-06-18T23:34:00Z 2015-06-19T03:34:59Z Palm oil giants to investigate company found razing Papuan rainforest Agribusiness giants Cargill and Golden Agri-Resources (GAR) are pledging to investigate a palm oil supplier after an Indonesian environmental group presented evidence of rainforest clearing in New Guinea. Rhett Butler 132.208966 -1.480129 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14966 2015-06-15T22:42:00Z 2015-06-18T01:01:42Z Consumers willing to pay sharp premium for wildlife-friendly palm oil, claims study Shoppers may be willing to pay a 15 to 56 percent premium for palm oil produced without the destruction endangered species' habitat, asserts a study published today in the <i>Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences</i>. Rhett Butler -0.164061 101.455089 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/14948 2015-06-12T08:21:00Z 2015-06-23T14:00:59Z Palm oil giant announces deforestation freeze amid NGO campaign <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/DkCK_BtGk99TIsU460hGedzBVazA_gKOv-m5eRAGUQw=w150-h100-no" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Palm oil giant Astra Agro Lestari has announced an immediate moratorium on land clearing, less than a month after the launch of an environmental campaign targeting one of its sister companies, the Mandarin Oriental hotel chain. The prohibition applies to Astra Agro's own plantations as well as to those of its suppliers. Astra Agro characterized the freeze as a major step toward bringing its operations into line with the standards of the Indonesia Palm Oil Pledge, a high-profile, joint sustainability commitment signed by palm giants Wilmar, Cargill, Golden Agri-Resources, Asian Agri and Musim Mas as well as the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce. Philip Jacobson -6.208987 106.916552 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14941 2015-06-11T12:22:00Z 2015-06-23T14:03:36Z Oil palm company accused of violating RSPO, IPOP standards in Indonesia <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/indonesia/150/kalimantan_0065.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The reputation of oil palm business group Sawit Sumbermas Sarana, a holding of one of Indonesia's richest men, has in recent days taken hits on multiple fronts, with a pair of NGOs separately accusing the firm of violating various sustainability commitments it is party to. The criticism highlights holes in both the Indonesia Palm Oil Pledge (IPOP), a high-profile sustainability pact to which palm giants Wilmar, Golden Agri-Resources, Musim Mas, Asian Agri and Cargill are signatories, and the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). Philip Jacobson -1.923790 111.204341 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14920 2015-06-08T09:29:00Z 2015-06-17T23:03:07Z In Sumatra, an oasis in a sea of oil palm <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/YoDK2jfNhYCkCQxVIL7HEVLKuj68gUZlT4vMbLFDISM=w150-h100-no" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Sumatra is estimated to have lost 85 percent of its forests in the past half century, primarily due to widespread conversion for oil palm and pulp plantations. In the village of Tangkahan, however, residents have managed to preserve their forests and create one of Indonesia's ecotourism hotspots. Philip Jacobson 3.666803 98.002513 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14913 2015-06-05T13:45:00Z 2015-06-17T23:03:37Z Coordinated protests hit Socfin plantations in four countries <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/_EUFQY3OgR8ypMVe1Sn4NN4MlKkVnJg3eiDExwfY3Tk=w150-h99-no" align="left"/></td></tr></table>French NGO ReAct is coordinating protest actions against the plantation operations of Socfin, a Belgian company with origins in the Belgian Congo. Yesterday, protesters gathered in Paris outside the headquarters of Bolloré, another conglomerate which holds a 39 percent stake in Socfin. Other demonstrations have been staged in three African countries and Cambodia in recent weeks. Philip Jacobson 48.881709 2.235829 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/14885 2015-06-01T21:59:00Z 2015-06-01T22:11:25Z PepsiCo, Walmart, investors call for stronger palm oil standard <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0601MIR10772150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Major global brands and a network of activist investors have joined together to call on the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) to adopt stronger criteria to eliminate deforestation from palm oil supply chains. The call, put out Monday in the form of a letter, says the world's leading palm oil certification standard "does not sufficiently address critical sustainability concerns in the palm oil supply chain". Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14880 2015-05-29T17:54:00Z 2015-05-29T17:55:01Z First-of-its-kind mapping technique sheds new light on tropical forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/sabah/150/sabah_3393.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Scientists at the Woods Hole Research Center in Massachusetts have developed vegetation height maps for the entire tropics at very fine spatial scales. These first-of its-kind high resolution maps can help researchers estimate forest cover, monitor biodiversity and wildlife habitats, and manage and monitor timber. Morgan Erickson-Davis 9.572850 106.235590 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14870 2015-05-28T12:59:00Z 2015-06-23T14:23:45Z GAR, Wilmar punish palm oil supplier for clearing rainforest in New Guinea <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/i/indonesia/150/aceh_0828.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Palm oil trader Golden Agri-Resources announced today that it would suspend purchases of crude palm oil from plantation developer Austindo Nusantara Jaya Agri, which was outed in an NGO report last week for the third time in the past year for clearing forest in Indonesia's West Papua province, in violation of Golden Agri's no-deforestation commitment. Wilmar has also frozen its dealings with the company, though Asian Agri and Musim Mas, which also buy from it, have given no indication they will do the same. Philip Jacobson -1.767753 132.428972 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14869 2015-05-28T05:23:00Z 2015-06-23T04:39:51Z Ghosts of problems past and present loom over Nigerian palm oil plans <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="//lh6.googleusercontent.com/-IdVHYSic8u0/VWamKTujWbI/AAAAAAAABqU/iK0YOW4i8dY/w150-h99-no/Daniel%252C%2Byouth%2Bleader%252C%2Bshows%2Bthe%2Balternative%2Bwater%2Bhole%2Bthe%2Bcommunity%2Bhad%2Bto%2Bdug%2Bbecause%2Bof%2Bthe%2Bpalmoil%2Bproject.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Palm oil giant Wilmar has set up shop in Nigeria in a big way, with plans to operate over 30,000 hectares in the country's Cross River State. Some say the project is little more than a land grab, has caused environmental damage and seen people turned off their land and lose their livelihoods in areas such as Ibiae and Biase. Philip Jacobson 4.966247 8.248914 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14864 2015-05-27T16:47:00Z 2015-05-27T20:16:32Z Greenpeace re-engages with APP after response to activist's killing Greenpeace is re-engaging with Asia Pulp &amp; Paper (APP) after the Indonesian forestry giant quickly responded to the killing of a community activist on one of its suppler plantations. Rhett Butler -1.209058 102.410036 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14858 2015-05-27T08:30:00Z 2015-06-23T14:46:13Z Can improved oil palm productivity and Indonesia's forestry moratorium go hand in hand? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/indonesia/150/sumatra_0739.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>An op-ed from Mongabay-Indonesia chief editor Ridzki R. Sigit, who calls for renewed efforts to boost smallholder productivity on Indonesia's oil palm plantations in the wake of the renewal of the country's moratorium on new concessions in primary forests and on peat. Philip Jacobson 1.344530 101.913580 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14848 2015-05-23T14:39:00Z 2015-06-18T02:11:35Z Palm oil activist murdered in Jakarta <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="//lh3.googleusercontent.com/-yOsxwSw-cVE/VWCRap0GchI/AAAAAAAABpI/QIdnNoO1xEQ/w150-h100-no/11099993_10152901494684862_3956272262438267001_n%2B%25282%2529.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>An Indonesian activist who opposed unbridled oil palm expansion was stabbed to death by a group of men before dawn this morning outside a nightclub in South Jakarta. Whether the attack was related to his activism or the spontaneous result of a barroom brawl is not yet clear. But Indonesian media are reporting that one of the assailants shouted that he was a soldier as he brandished the knife that killed Jopi Peranginangin, the 39-year-old head of campaigns for Sawit Watch, which strives for social and ecological justice in the palm oil industry. Philip Jacobson -6.266200 106.818030 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14833 2015-05-20T20:38:00Z 2015-06-18T16:28:56Z VICE’s 'Indonesia's Palm Bomb' presents a tragic view of palm oil driven deforestation from the frontlines <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0519mikegriffths150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>For the sixth episode of its third season, HBO’s Emmy-winning news series, VICE, focused its lens on Indonesia’s palm oil industry. The episode, entitled, 'Indonesia's Palm Bomb', follows VICE correspondent, Ben Anderson, as he investigates the environmental and social impact of widespread (and, at times, illegal) deforestation on wildlife and indigenous communities in Sumatra. Rhett Butler 0.753238 100.984464 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14832 2015-05-20T12:19:00Z 2015-06-23T14:51:38Z Sumatran tiger found dead in a pig trap <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="//lh5.googleusercontent.com/-kb6bJTAyWi4/VVx85A60csI/AAAAAAAABnU/ceD70NjuvZU/w150-h100-no/harimau-padang-evakuasi.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Authorities in the Indonesian province of West Sumatra buried the rotting carcass of a critically endangered female tiger that died after being ensnared by a pig trap on a rubber plantation earlier this month. The creature, a mother who was probably teaching her young to hunt, was found covered in wounds, its neck entangled in wire. Philip Jacobson -0.852865 100.525781 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14831 2015-05-20T10:04:00Z 2015-06-17T23:37:46Z Golden Agri takes another hit as sustainability guru suspends its membership <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/indonesia/150/kalteng_0079.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The charity that Indonesia's Golden Agri-Resources has enlisted to devise and implement its zero-deforestation and community-engagement commitments suspended its cooperation with the palm oil giant yesterday, following breaches of the policies they had designed together. A few hours later, Golden Agri announced the resignation of its chief sustainability officer. Philip Jacobson 0.600217 112.076059 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14820 2015-05-19T05:02:00Z 2015-06-23T14:57:45Z Luxury hotel chain linked to destruction of rainforests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_0035.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Mandarin Oriental hotel chain has landed in environmentalists' crosshairs for the practices of its sister company Astra Agro Lestari, a rapidly expanding palm oil producer with fully developed plantations on an area larger than Singapore. The new She's Not a Fan campaign – a play off Mandarin's celebrity-fan endorsement drive – launched yesterday with a petition calling on Astra to stop destroying forests and elephant habitat. Multinational conglomerate Jardine Matheson owns both firms. Philip Jacobson tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14814 2015-05-17T14:47:00Z 2015-05-18T04:54:08Z Malaysian palm oil body encourages fiction over fact <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/sabah/150/sabah_1247.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In this commentary, David Dellatore, Program Manager at the Sumatran Orangutan Society, questions the value of the Malaysian Palm Oil Council's essay-writing contest which will pay contributors to conclude that palm oil is not a driver of deforestation Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14806 2015-05-14T20:01:00Z 2015-06-16T22:03:37Z Satellite images show deforestation on fringes of UNESCO World Heritage Site in Cameroon <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0514-thumb-greenpeace-chimp-cam.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In the push to become a middle-income country in the next two decades, Cameroon has courted investments in its vast natural resource wealth in the form of mining, logging and large-scale agriculture. But deforestation revealed by a recent Greenpeace Africa investigation highlights a lack of coordination in determining how to use the country’s land. Morgan Erickson-Davis 3.240989 12.391278 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14785 2015-05-12T05:00:00Z 2015-06-23T15:11:25Z Wilmar, Musim Mas supplier caught clearing elephant habitat for palm oil in Aceh <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="//lh3.googleusercontent.com/-i3BU3Oulgt4/VVGKBSA_L4I/AAAAAAAABl0/0toVHnTHPko/w150-h100-no/sumatra_9219%2B%25281%2529.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new report provides evidence that a supplier of palm oil giants Wilmar and Musim Mas is bulldozing valuable forests in Indonesia’s Leuser Ecosystem in violation of the companies’ zero-deforestation policies as well as the Indonesia Palm Oil Pledge (IPOP), a high-profile, joint sustainability pact that also includes Golden Agri-Resources, Asian Agri, Musim Mas and the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin). Philip Jacobson 4.520011 97.679989 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14764 2015-05-08T02:04:00Z 2015-05-08T03:26:01Z Palm oil certification body to establish stronger voluntary standard <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_1252.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Due to its widening impact on tropical forests yet high profit margins, palm oil is one of the most polarizing crops in the tropics. Scientists and environmentalists warn of the high ecological costs caused by converting peatlands and rainforests for oil palm plantation, but growers and food producers argue that as the highest-yielding oilseed, palm oil is a critical part of the solution to feeding a growing human population as well as a profitable form of land use in otherwise poor areas. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14748 2015-05-06T04:50:00Z 2015-06-23T16:08:14Z West Papua 'oil palm atlas' portrays industry's explosion in region <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/papua/150/papua_0347.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>There's a saying in the Indonesian palm oil industry: Sumatra is yesterday, Kalimantan is today, and Papua is tomorrow. Tomorrow might well have arrived. A new report sheds light on the industry's rapid expansion in Indonesia's Papua and West Papua provinces – and on the companies behind the plantation drive. The result is a portrayal of a frontier region's early encounters with a crop that has come to dominate the Sumatran and Bornean landscapes – a portrait made that much starker by the central government's foreign media blackout in the territory. Philip Jacobson -7.425468 139.725488 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14746 2015-05-05T19:37:00Z 2015-05-05T19:43:58Z Sarawak leader pledges no more logging, palm oil expansion Sarawak's leader has allegedly pledged to stop granting industrial timber and palm oil concessions in the Malaysian state's increasingly endangered rainforests, asserts the Bruno Manser Fund (BMF). Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14739 2015-05-04T19:43:00Z 2015-06-16T20:53:24Z Orangutan rescued amid sea of palm oil <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0504orangutan-rescue150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The rescue, which took place in early April, was conducted by the Orangutan Information Centre (OIC) in response to a report of an adult male orangutan isolated in an fragment forest surrounded by oil palm plantations. The orangutan was found to be in poor health, according to Krisna, OIC's Human Orangutan Conflict Response Unit field coordinator. Rhett Butler 4.101847 98.040986 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14720 2015-05-01T11:37:00Z 2015-06-23T00:22:04Z Palm giants ask Indonesian gov't to clear path toward sustainability <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/indonesia/150/sumatra_0742.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Executives from palm oil giants Wilmar, Cargill and Golden Agri Resources appeared at a green investment summit in Jakarta this week, providing a window into the nature of a high-profile, joint sustainability pact the companies have entered into together with Asian Agri, Musim Mas and the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The agreement, known as the Indonesia Palm Oil Pledge, has been lauded in some quarters for its potential to transform the sector and dismissed in others as mere lip service to protecting the environment. Philip Jacobson -0.602662 102.358526 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14681 2015-04-23T19:15:00Z 2015-06-10T18:31:55Z Officials: Sumatran rhino is extinct in the wild in Sabah <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0423_r_IMG_8536_Small.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>There are no Sumatran rhinos left in the wild in the Malaysian state of Sabah, confirmed Masidi Manjun, the Tourism, Culture and Envi­ronment Minister, over the weekend. In 2008, conservationists estimated there were around 50 rhinos in the state. Five years later, it dropped that estimate to just ten. Now, it's admitted the awful truth: the wild rhino is very likely gone. Jeremy Hance 5.194121 117.002418 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14677 2015-04-22T23:48:00Z 2015-04-25T14:46:22Z Activists target Roger Federer as brand ambassador for bank linked to deforestation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0422federer_cs_brand_ambassador150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Environmentalists are asking tennis star Roger Federer to deliver a message to Credit Suisse over the banking giant's continued financing of a logging company linked to ongoing destruction of wildlife habitat in Indonesia. According to the Bruno Manser Fund two members of a rainforest community in Sumatra have written to Federer to ask for his help in persuading Credit Suisse to stop financing logging of peat forests. Rhett Butler 0.993473 102.401074 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14673 2015-04-22T16:38:00Z 2015-04-22T17:34:56Z Can shade-grown cocoa help conserve sloths? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0422.thumb.780px-Choloepus_hoffmanni_(Puerto_Viejo,_CR)_crop.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Tropical forests support the greatest diversity of species in the world, yet we are rapidly destroying them. Most deforestation in the tropics is due to agricultural development and livestock production, the two greatest causes of declines in terrestrial biodiversity. However, one strategy that has been gaining attention for its potential to preserve biodiversity is shade-grown agriculture. Jeremy Hance 10.651773 -83.855896 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14654 2015-04-18T15:53:00Z 2015-04-20T15:41:31Z Growing need for deforestation-free rubber as tire demand destroys native forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/laos/150/laos_0448.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Surging demand for natural rubber is decimating some of the world's most endangered forests, putting wildlife and critical ecosystem services at risk, warn scientists writing in the journal <i>Conservation Letters</i>. Reviewing a large body of published research, Eleanor Warren-Thomas of the University of East Anglia and colleagues detail the crop's expansion across across Southeast Asia in recent decades. Rhett Butler 20.888908 101.326675 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14648 2015-04-16T18:06:00Z 2015-06-16T21:53:36Z Court rules deforestation of Peruvian rainforest for chocolate was legal <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0416-thumb-iquitos-2.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A regional court in Loreto, Peru recently ruled that the clearing of more than 2,000 hectares of forest by Cacao del Peru Norte for a plantation to grow cacao, the raw material behind chocolate, was legal, reported the investigative news site OjoPúblico on April 9. The ruling rejects contentions brought by Forestry Department that the company should have sought approval to clear the trees. Morgan Erickson-Davis -3.981594 -73.054271 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14616 2015-04-09T23:59:00Z 2015-04-10T00:23:16Z Platform provides near-real time analysis of deforestation in non-Brazilian Amazon <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/graphics/0409uc150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new platform will provide critical near-real time information and analysis on emerging threats to forests in the non-Brazilian Amazon. Officially announced today, the Monitoring of the Andean Amazon Project (MAAP) in an initiative launched by the Amazon Conservation Association and Conservación Amazónica-ACCA. Rhett Butler -3.991457 -73.032384 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/14594 2015-04-06T17:21:00Z 2015-06-18T01:08:54Z Fighting fire with money: can finance protect Indonesia’s forests? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/indonesia-java/150/java_0551.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In previous articles, we have seen an overview of the problems with the Indonesian palm oil industry. Such problems are largely caused by rent-seeking politicians and businessmen, who are willing to sacrifice endangered wildlife, the health of their countrymen and long-term environmental stability in the pursuit of profit. These actors exert a significant influence on and within the Indonesian government. As a result, Indonesia remains conflicted between the opposing goals of conservation and economic growth. Rhett Butler -2.904811 112.032508 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14589 2015-04-03T23:11:00Z 2015-04-04T00:19:20Z KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut adopt zero deforestation policy for palm oil <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/sabah/150/sabah_0526.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Yum! Brands, the company that owns KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut, on Thursday announced a zero deforestation policy for its palm oil sourcing. The move came after aggressive campaigns by environmental groups that argued the chains weren't doing enough to ensure the palm oil they used to fry foods wasn't linked to human rights abuses, destruction of peatlands, and logging of rainforests. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14575 2015-04-02T06:22:00Z 2015-06-16T20:58:55Z Russia and Canada lead the world in forest loss in 2013 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0402loss150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Russia and Canada led the world in forest loss, accounting for nearly forty percent of the 18 million hectares of forest lost globally in 2013, reveals a new analysis based on high resolution satellite imagery. The research &#8212; released today on Global Forest Watch, a forest monitoring and research platform &#8212; was led by Matt Hansen of the University of Maryland and involved Google, World Resources Institute (WRI), and other institutions Rhett Butler 54.492706 126.115233 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14574 2015-04-01T23:59:00Z 2015-04-02T03:05:36Z Domino's, DairyQueen, Taco Bell, Burt's Bees score terribly on eliminating deforestation from supply chains <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0401aceh_1169_orange150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Despite a worldwide trend of companies establishing social and environmental safeguards for palm oil sourcing, some of America's best-known brands are still failing to adopt policies to eliminate deforestation from their supply chains, concludes a updated assessment from The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). Rhett Butler 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/14535 2015-03-25T18:41:00Z 2015-06-16T22:33:55Z Destruction of elephant, tiger, and orangutan habitat doubles <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/i/indonesia/150/north_sumatra_0257.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The rate of forest loss in Indonesia's Leuser Ecosystem &#8212; the only place on Earth where rhinos, orangutans, tigers, and elephants live in the same habitat &#8212; has more than doubled due to logging, encroachment, and conversion to industrial plantations, warn conservationists. In a statement issued Tuesday, the Sumatran Orangutan Society reported that 80,316 hectares of forest were lost between 2008 and 2013, a sharp increase from the 30,830 hectares cleared between 2002 and 2008. Rhett Butler 3.786964 97.242060 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14518 2015-03-20T19:12:00Z 2015-03-27T19:07:29Z Seeing the trees but not the forest (commentary) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/sabah/150/sabah_1148.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Understanding forest dynamics is necessary for the sound management of forests, for both production and conservation. This includes an understanding of the extent of forest area, information about what the forest contains and how the forest resource is managed. Forest monitoring provides this information. Rhett Butler 8.783012 -2.582475 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14511 2015-03-19T15:22:00Z 2015-03-19T15:38:03Z Riau misses deadline on 'village forest' project as zoning deadlock continues <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_1041.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A pair of local communities' five-year slog to establish village forest management areas in Riau is the latest victim of a deadlock over the Indonesian province's proposed zoning plan, whose long delay has been further exacerbated by the governor's arrest in a bribery case. Rhett Butler 0.587034 102.991596 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14509 2015-03-19T01:12:00Z 2015-06-18T16:32:17Z Who's funding palm oil? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0319sabah_0587x150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Palm oil may be the single most important crop that you never heard of. A vegetable fat that resembles reddish butter at room temperature, palm oil is derived from the fruit of the oil palm tree. Both nutritious and highly versatile, palm oil is now an important component of products ranging from biofuels and food to soaps and cosmetics. Estimates indicate that as much as 50 percent of the products used by the average Western consumer every day contain palm oil or its derivatives. Rhett Butler -1.687367 112.950424 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14508 2015-03-18T22:52:00Z 2015-06-23T04:21:59Z Indonesia's small islands being rapidly damaged by industrial activities <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0318Kendawangan150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Intense exploitation of Indonesia's natural resources is taking a special toll on the country's small islands, with many subject to an outpouring of mining concessions that cover huge swaths of their tiny areas, often to the chagrin of local populations. Philip Jacobson -2.728779 110.100523 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14500 2015-03-16T23:28:00Z 2015-06-18T16:33:28Z Declining palm oil prices: Good news and bad news for smallholders <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/cr/150/costa_rica_aerial_0210.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Declining crop prices usually spell bad news for farmers, and poor smallholders in particular. The drop in the price of palm oil from a recent high of US$860 per metric ton in March 2014 to below US$640 in March 2015 (and far below 2010-2012 prices which exceeded US$1000) heralds a shift in perceptions of oil palm from an economic boon to poverty-stricken smallholders, to a liability that ties small-scale farmers to a less profitable commodity. Rhett Butler 1.733095 -78.794792 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14495 2015-03-14T01:58:00Z 2015-03-14T03:02:37Z Proposed law could decimate Indonesia's remaining forests A seemingly well-intended law that aims to turn forests over to traditional users could instead lead to large-scale destruction of Indonesia's native ecosystems, warns a prominent conservation biologist. Rhett Butler 0.430953 110.737270 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14472 2015-03-10T18:49:00Z 2015-03-10T18:54:12Z Palm oil giant buys PNG firm noted for environmental practices Malaysian palm oil giant Sime Darby Plantation Bhd has completed its acquisition New Britain Palm Oil Ltd, a Papua New Guinea-based grower lauded by environmentalists for its green policies. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14463 2015-03-06T17:55:00Z 2015-03-06T18:04:06Z East Kalimantan reaffirms moratorium on new mining, logging concessions The governor of East Kalimantan, Indonesia, has reaffirmed his commitment to a 2013 moratorium on mining, logging, and plantation permits. The policy, which was originally outlined in a letter to the province's regents and mayors will be elevated to a higher status, he said. Rhett Butler -0.480325 117.072723 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14458 2015-03-05T19:17:00Z 2015-03-05T19:31:40Z Palm oil certification body purges membership <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/i/indonesia/150/aceh_0828.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) has purged membership of a number of companies and organizations that have failed to comply with reporting requirements. The move could be a sign that the certification body is getting more serious about enforcing its standards, says WWF, one of the founders of the initiative. Rhett Butler 5.255841 118.976907 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14447 2015-03-02T20:42:00Z 2015-03-03T03:01:31Z Police investigate villager's murder in pulp and paper concession <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_5031.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Indonesian police are investigating the brutal killing of a villager in Jambi at the hands of security guards contracted by Wira Karya Sakti (WKS), a plantation company owned by forestry giant Asia Pulp &amp; Paper (APP). APP quickly condemned the murder and said it is cooperating with the investigation. Rhett Butler -1.376393 102.692304 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14442 2015-02-27T19:36:00Z 2015-04-04T20:17:15Z Weak sustainability policy presents financial risk for Malaysian palm oil giant, says report Malaysian palm oil producer Kuala Lumpur Kepong's failure to adopt a robust zero deforestation policy puts its financial performance at risk, asserts a new analysis published by Chain Reaction Research, a project involving several environmental consultancies. Rhett Butler -2.757833 108.139253 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14415 2015-02-23T23:35:00Z 2015-06-18T16:35:54Z New Guinea rainforest being leveled for palm oil, revealing gaps in zero deforestation pacts <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0223ANJ_RSPO_WILMAR-POLICY_2FEB2015_BY_GREENOMICS150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>An Indonesian palm oil firm is destroying rainforests in New Guinea despite high profile zero deforestation pledges from its customers, finds research by Greenomics-Indonesia. Landsat imagery acquired and analyzed by Greenomics shows that Austindo Nusantara Jaya Agri (ANJ) is clearing high carbon stock forests in the southern part of West Papua's Bird's Head Peninsula in Indonesian New Guinea. Rhett Butler -1.807874 132.433094 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14390 2015-02-17T23:38:00Z 2015-06-18T16:40:32Z Indonesia to squander fuel savings on biofuel subsidies that may drive deforestation, say groups <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/africa/150/congo_0021.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Instead of wisely investing the windfall generated by cutting petrol subsidies, Indonesia is poised to squander funds by increasing subsidies for biofuel production that could exacerbate social conflict and drive deforestation, warn environmental groups. Rhett Butler -1.639488 103.493185 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14376 2015-02-13T00:06:00Z 2015-02-13T16:42:42Z 'Sustainable' cacao company allegedly defies government's call to halt plantation development <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0212gfw-cacao150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A company aiming to be the world’s largest producer of sustainable cacao, the bean used to make chocolate, appears to have ignored orders from the Peruvian government to cease operations for failing to provide justification for having razed what scientists say was more than 2,000 hectares of old-growth Amazonian rainforest. Rhett Butler -3.973468 -73.079946 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14367 2015-02-11T00:54:00Z 2015-02-11T02:02:35Z Ranking the best and worst companies in terms of deforestation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_1186.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>While a number of high profile companies have adopted policies designed to exclude deforestation from their commodity supply chains, such commitments remain outside the norm, indicating that most companies still lack forest-friendly safeguards, finds a comprehensive survey conducted by the Global Canopy Programme. The assessment ranks 250 companies, 50 jurisdictions, 150 banks and investors, and 50 'powerbrokers' by the extent and scope of their souring policies for six 'forest risk commodities': soy palm oil, beef, leather, timber, pulp and paper. Rhett Butler -12.137512 -57.060600 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14361 2015-02-06T18:41:00Z 2015-02-06T18:58:01Z Scientists warn investors on cacao company's forest destruction in Peru A prominent group of scientists have sounded the alarm over forest clearing by a cacao company in the Peruvian Amazon. Rhett Butler -3.985407 -73.020396 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/14355 2015-02-05T19:59:00Z 2015-02-06T05:19:47Z Pulpwood company may be denying Sumatran community rights to their land <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0205-2-thumb-authors-with-comm-leaders.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>For over a decade, a conflict has been brewing between the local community of Senyerang in Sumatra, Indonesia, and a major pulpwood plantation company, Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), according to NGOs operating in the area. In 2004, Indonesia’s Ministry of Forestry awarded a license to APP’s subsidiary, PT Wira Karya Sakti (WKS), to clear the village forests for acacia plantations to generate paper pulp. Morgan Erickson-Davis -0.850476 103.057980 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14337 2015-02-03T19:02:00Z 2015-02-03T23:10:03Z Palm oil major makes deforestation-free commitment IOI Corporation officially committed to what its subsidiary, palm oil trader IOI Loders Croklaan, pledged last November: it will no longer source palm oil linked to deforestation and human rights abuses. Rhett Butler 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/14326 2015-01-30T17:48:00Z 2015-02-02T19:57:27Z After 10 years vying for protection, Kalimantan community granted legal rights to community forest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0130-thumb-Jernih-Setulang-2.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Perseverance, respect for their ancestors, and a knowledge that the clearing of the forest will result in environmental disaster for them have all helped the community remain solidified in their resistance. Instead of selling out, they created a Tana' Ulen, or community forest. Morgan Erickson-Davis 3.424825 116.429937 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14324 2015-01-29T20:08:00Z 2015-01-29T20:13:17Z When is a forest a forest? How definitions affect monitoring <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/colombia/150/colombia_4621.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>What exactly is a forest? With forest definitions differing from country to country, and primary forests, secondary forests, and even tree plantations all perceived collectively as "tree cover" by satellite data, how does one accurately keep tabs on land changes? Morgan Erickson-Davis 5.5768616 117.3028865 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14319 2015-01-28T22:41:00Z 2015-01-29T20:11:54Z Radical transparency: tracking deforestation through satellite imagery <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0128-thumb-indo-clearing-butler.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Floating softly through the vacuum of space, the Landsat 7 satellite has faithfully provided imaging of the entirety of earth’s surface, every 16 days, since 1999. Now a series of technological developments has made this silent spectator a dominant force in tracking forests worldwide. Morgan Erickson-Davis 1.621516 100.049201 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14294 2015-01-22T14:22:00Z 2015-01-22T14:36:41Z Palm oil giant launches online platform to support zero deforestation push <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0122KencanaAgri150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Wilmar, the world's largest palm oil company, has unveiled a tool it says will help eliminate deforestation from its global supply chain. The tool is an online dashboard that maps the company's supply chain, including the names of locations of its refineries and supplier mills. Rhett Butler 0.729198 121.270847 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14284 2015-01-20T21:59:00Z 2015-02-13T00:08:32Z Company chops down rainforest to produce 'sustainable' chocolate <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0120cacao150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A cacao grower with roots in Southeast Asia’s palm oil industry has set up shop in the Peruvian Amazon. The CEO of United Cacao has told the international press that he wants to change the industry for the better, but a cadre of scientists and conservation groups charge that United Cacao has quietly cut down more than 2,000 hectares of rainforest. Morgan Erickson-Davis -3.988978 -73.048351 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/14280 2015-01-19T22:55:00Z 2015-01-22T22:56:21Z High deforestation rates in Malaysian states hit by flooding <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0119kemaman150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Five states hard hit by flooding last month in Malaysia had high rates of forest loss in recent years, bolstering assertions that environmental degradation may have worsened the disaster. According to satellite data from researchers led by the University of Maryland's Matt Hansen and displayed on Global Forest Watch, the states of Johor, Kelantan, Pahang, Perak, and Terengganu each lost more than 10 percent of their forest cover between 2001 and 2012. Loss was greatest in areas with dense tree cover. Rhett Butler 4.270459 103.178102 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14273 2015-01-18T23:13:00Z 2015-01-19T01:31:35Z Facing legacy of deforestation and corruption, Sarawak may cease granting new logging concessions Sarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem says his government may stop granting new logging concessions, reports Malaysian state media. Rhett Butler 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/14217 2015-01-06T05:06:00Z 2015-01-06T05:13:48Z Half of Indonesia's deforestation occurs outside concession areas <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0106-indonesia-forest-loss-concession150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Roughly half of Indonesia's natural forest loss occurs outside officially designated concession areas, concludes a new assessment that also finds higher deforestation rates in places with worse forest governance scores. The report, released last month by Forest Watch Indonesia, is based on analysis of satellite data spanning the archipelago. Unlike assessments by the Ministry of Forestry, the data includes areas outside the 'forest estate'. Rhett Butler 0.749575 121.290790 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14211 2014-12-30T21:52:00Z 2014-12-30T23:06:24Z Activists call out 'one of the worst actors in pulp and paper' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1230-thumb-sumatra_2281.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The owner of the only mill in Indonesia equipped to produce dissolving pulp, Toba Pulp Lestari (TPL), is being held out as emblematic of the risks the industry’s massive recent growth pose to endangered forests. Morgan Erickson-Davis 2.437708 99.271847 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14208 2014-12-30T19:40:00Z 2015-01-10T02:17:03Z 2014: the year in rainforests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/YIR-sabah_sepilok_0390_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>2014 could be classified as 'The Year of the Zero Deforestation Commitment'. During 2014, nearly two dozen major companies, ranging from palm oil producers to fast food chains to toothpaste makers, established policies to exclude palm oil sourced at the expense of rainforests and peatlands. Rhett Butler 2.864823 17.489353 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14187 2014-12-23T06:53:00Z 2015-01-12T20:18:25Z Child labor and palm oil in Indonesia <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1223Bimo1-siswa-kelas-3-SMP-di-Asahan-ini-terpaksa-membantu-ayahnya-menjadi-pengangkut-buah-sawit-Ayat-S-Karokaro150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Meet Bimo Kencana Arief. At 13 years old, this Indonesian middle school student is not spending his afternoons doing homework, helping around the house, or getting into trouble with the neighborhood children. Instead, Bimo is working up a sweat, hauling heavy oil palm fruits from the trees to a waiting truck. If he moves quickly, he can help his father earn up to $2 between 3:00 pm and dark. Rhett Butler 2.953174 99.500841 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14186 2014-12-22T23:26:00Z 2014-12-23T00:46:32Z Greenpeace: zero deforestation pioneer makes progress, but still has work to do <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1222gar150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Half a decade ago, Golden-Agri Resources (GAR) was losing customers right and left in the midst of a Greenpeace campaign that blamed the Singapore-based palm oil giant for destroying forests in Indonesia. Then in February 2011, GAR surprised the world when it announced it would no longer clear rainforests or peatlands for new plantations. The company also committed to resolving social conflicts and respecting the right of local communities to reject plantation development on their traditional lands. Observers thought it could be mark the beginning a transformation in how palm oil was produced. Rhett Butler -1.890421 112.528001 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/14138 2014-12-10T18:36:00Z 2014-12-11T15:15:53Z Huge swath of forest in Indonesian Borneo slated for clearing by 'sustainable' company <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1210-thumb-kalbar_2018.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A major wood fiber concession has moved ahead on developing a sizable chunk of forest in one of Indonesia’s most vulnerable provinces before a formal conservation assessment of the land could be completed, Greenomics Indonesia reports. Morgan Erickson-Davis -0.796927 110.001526 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14118 2014-12-05T06:40:00Z 2014-12-05T19:11:59Z A landmark year for forests (commentary) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1205-kellogg-palm-oil-rally150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>About one year ago today, I was pretty down. It was Thanksgiving night, and the Forest Heroes campaign, which I chair, had been running a big global campaign to persuade Wilmar International, Asia’s largest agribusiness company, to eliminate deforestation and human rights abuse throughout its enormous supply chain. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14117 2014-12-05T04:56:00Z 2014-12-05T05:10:34Z Tradeoff: Sabah banks on palm oil to boost forest protection <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/sabah/150/sabah_1413.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Last month Sabah set aside an additional 203,000 hectares of protected forest reserves, boosting the Malaysian state's extent of protected areas to 21 percent of its land mass. But instead of accolades, Sabah forestry leaders were criticized for how they went about securing those reserves: allowing thousands of hectares of deforested land within an officially designated forestry area to be converted for oil palm plantations Rhett Butler 4.471707 117.439298 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14114 2014-12-04T19:42:00Z 2014-12-04T19:46:55Z Musim Mas says its palm oil will be deforestation-free <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/sabah/150/sabah_2207.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Singapore-based Musim Mas has established a new sustainability policy that it says will eliminate deforestation, peatlands conversion, and social conflict from its palm oil supply chain. The company, which operates plantations in Sumatra and Indonesian Borneo, has been under pressure from environmentalists to join a growing number of palm oil producers and traders that have made zero deforestation pledges. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14102 2014-12-02T23:12:00Z 2014-12-02T23:51:18Z Embattled palm oil giant announces sustainability policy, but fails to win over critics Malaysian palm oil giant Kuala Lumpur Kepong (KLK) has joined a growing list of companies committing to zero deforestation for commodity production. Rhett Butler 0.755443 101.186556 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/14073 2014-11-26T06:42:00Z 2014-11-26T06:51:12Z APP boosting timber productivity to support zero deforestation policy <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_0939.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Asia Pulp &amp; Paper (APP) appears to have enough plantation fiber to operate existing mills as well as supply a new mill under construction in South Sumatra without having to pulp natural forests, argues a new report that also finds the forestry giant is successfully improving yields to support its zero deforestation commitment. Rhett Butler 0.154868 102.100183 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14058 2014-11-21T21:09:00Z 2014-11-21T21:10:22Z IKEA commits to zero deforestation palm oil Home products giant IKEA has made a time-bound commitment for eliminating palm oil linked to deforestation and human rights abuses from its supply chain. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14057 2014-11-21T17:57:00Z 2014-11-21T18:03:21Z Indonesia's anti-corruption agency questions former Minster of Forestry Indonesia's Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) questioned the former Minister of Forestry about his role in altering zoning to facilitate oil palm expansion into public lands. The case centers around Riau Governor Annas Maamun, who allegedly accepted bribes to convert an area's status from 'production forest' into 'non-forested land'. Rhett Butler 0.494379 101.500969 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14055 2014-11-20T23:36:00Z 2014-11-24T03:28:29Z Ranking the world's best - and worst - palm oil companies in terms of sustainability <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1120-opp-out150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new initiative ranks the world's 25 largest publicly listed palm oil companies in terms of transparency around the environmental performance of their operations. The project, called Sustainable Palm Oil Transparency Toolkit, was developed by The Zoological Society of London (ZSL). Rhett Butler 1.309319 109.666107 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14033 2014-11-17T20:21:00Z 2014-11-17T20:30:02Z Cargill to use drones to monitor zero deforestation commitment <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/i/indonesia/150/aceh_1160.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Cargill will use Unmanned Aerial vehicles (UAVs) and 'solar-powered, satellite-connected remote sensor networks' to monitor compliance with its new zero deforestation policy for palm oil, reports the agribusiness giant in its first progress report on its recent forest commitments. Rhett Butler -2.619326 104.297912 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14023 2014-11-14T23:35:00Z 2014-11-15T04:18:47Z UN to promote RSPO-certified palm oil as conservation solution The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has signed an agreement with the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) to promote eco-certified palm oil as part of the broader effort to conserve biodiversity. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14017 2014-11-13T20:08:00Z 2014-11-13T23:15:22Z Over 60% of world's traded palm oil now bound by zero deforestation commitments <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1113-i-love-tigers-not-palm-oil150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Over sixty percent of palm oil traded internationally is now bound by zero deforestation policies after IOI Loders Croklaan committed to excluding forest destruction from its supply chain, says Forest Heroes, a campaign that aims to reduce the environmental impact of palm oil production. IOI Loders Croklaan's parent corporation IOI Group has been aggressively targeted by environmentalists for its links to deforestation and controversies over conflicts with local communities. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14008 2014-11-12T01:40:00Z 2014-11-25T23:30:22Z Only place where rhinos, tigers, elephants, and orangutans coexist is under threat <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1111-gfw-leuser-ecosystem150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A forest that is the only place where rhinos, tigers, elephants, and orangutans coexist is under threat from planned infrastructure, mining, logging, and plantation projects, warns a new report from the Rainforest Action Network. The report looks at one of the last vestiges of wilderness on the island of Sumatra, which for the past three decades has been heavily ravaged by logging, fires, and conversion to industrial timber and oil palm plantations. This area, known as the Leuser Ecosystem, is today a battleground between business-as-usual interests seeking to mine its forests and a collection of conservationists, local communities, and a collection of companies seeking to steward its resources. Rhett Butler 4.15057 97.86737 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14007 2014-11-11T20:17:00Z 2014-11-25T23:29:58Z ‘Militarized occupation’: local communities pay the price for palm oil <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1111-thumb-cannon-mill.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>There’s little doubt that the use of palm oil is expanding rapidly throughout the world, and with it the need for millions of hectares of land to grow oil palm trees. The results can be devastating for local communities who depend on the agriculture and forests that these lands support. A recent report catalogs the issues that arise with oil palm expansion. Morgan Erickson-Davis -9.610027 149.331889 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13994 2014-11-10T04:27:00Z 2014-11-10T04:37:10Z Will merging competing ministries help save Indonesia's forests? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1109-sumatra_0543_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Newly elected Indonesian president Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo announced on October 26th that the Ministry of Forests and the Ministry of Environment would be combined and that Siti Nurbaya would become Forests and Environment Minister. The move was part of Jokowi’s appointment of 34 cabinet level positions, ranging from Foreign Minister to Religious Affairs Minister. Rhett Butler -6.224606 106.817101 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13979 2014-11-05T01:13:00Z 2014-11-12T03:23:48Z Book detailing corruption allegations against Malaysian ruler moves forward A book alleging massive corruption by Sarawak's long-time ruler, Abdul Taib bin Mahmud, is being released despite apparent legal threats against the book's publisher and author. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13970 2014-11-03T17:17:00Z 2014-11-10T04:37:28Z Indonesian government's concession policy prioritizes companies over forest communities <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_5260.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A report by the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) analyzes 100 conflicts around the world in the mining, oil and gas, logging and agricultural sectors and examines how and why they come about. The report focuses on several emerging economies, including Brazil, Colombia, Liberia, Peru, and Indonesia. Rhett Butler -7.975598 140.364711