tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:/xml/rspo1 rspo news from mongabay.com 2014-08-14T04:45:43Z 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/13595 2014-07-29T02:18:00Z 2014-07-29T03:43:28Z Palm oil company clears rainforest in New Guinea <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/i/indonesia/150/aceh_1423.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>An Indonesian Stock Exchange-listed company whose commissioner is a member of The Nature Conservancy-Indonesia's board has been clearing dense rainforest in New Guinea, finds a new report from Greenomics-Indonesia. The report is based on analysis of data from Global Forest Watch, NASA satellites, Indonesia's Ministry of Forestry, and company documents. Rhett Butler -1.830972 132.477214 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/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/13356 2014-06-06T17:24:00Z 2014-06-06T17:51:30Z Greenpeace rates companies' zero deforestation commitments Greenpeace has released a basic rating system to gauge the strength of companies' zero deforestation commitments related to palm oil sourcing. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13337 2014-06-04T05:40:00Z 2014-06-04T05:41:37Z RSPO plantations publicly mapped for the first time A global map of the world's Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certified oil palm plantations is available for the first time. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13286 2014-05-27T05:26:00Z 2014-05-27T05:31:44Z RSPO calls for greater collaboration on zero deforestation commitments The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) today called for greater collaboration between it and the leading implementer of zero deforestation policies, The Forest Trust (TFT). Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13188 2014-05-06T18:56:00Z 2014-05-07T13:33:44Z Malaysian palm oil company stock drops after environmental complaint Genting Plantations Bhd's stock price fell by more than two percent after the palm oil company's membership in the Roundtable of Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) was suspended due to a complaint by the Borneo Rhino Alliance for failing to abide by the body's principles on establishing new plantations, reports The Edge Financial Daily. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13162 2014-05-01T18:06:00Z 2014-05-01T18:14:54Z Johnson & Johnson commits to zero deforestation for palm oil <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/sabah/150/sabah_2200.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Personal care products giant Johnson & Johnson (J&J - NYSE:JNJ) today unveiled a comprehensive palm oil sourcing policy that eliminates deforestation and social conflict from its global palm oil supply chain. The policy applies to all palm oil and palm oil derivatives J&J uses. Rhett Butler 40.498022 -74.443007 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13158 2014-05-01T04:39:00Z 2014-05-02T03:17:39Z Commodity eco-certification skyrockets, but standards slip The volume of commodities produced under various social and environmental certification standards jumped 41 percent in 2012, far outpacing the 2 percent growth across conventional commodity markets, finds a comprehensive new assessment of the global certification market. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13134 2014-04-25T01:58:00Z 2014-04-26T00:31:29Z Despite campaign, Girl Scout cookies still aren't deforestation free, say scout activists <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0425Madi-and-Rhiannon150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Despite a high-profile campaign that caused one of the world's largest food companies to adopt a comprehensive zero deforestation policy, Girl Scout cookies still aren't necessarily free of rainforest destruction and social conflict, say the two girl scouts who launched the protest seven years ago. Rhett Butler 37.644243 -77.575988 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13093 2014-04-17T04:14:00Z 2014-04-17T18:06:28Z Malaysia at risk of falling behind in push for more sustainable palm oil <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/sabah/150/sabah_2201.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Malaysian state should play a more active role in supporting the transition toward less environmentally destructive palm oil production, says a coalition of Malaysian NGO's. In a statement issued Sunday, the Malaysian Palm Oil NGO Coalition (MPONGOC) urged Malaysian banks, palm oil associations, and other government-backed institutions to commit to 'improving social and environmental standards in the palm oil industry'. Rhett Butler 2.814114 114.496336 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12953 2014-03-19T22:00:00Z 2014-03-20T13:54:23Z Indian food giant to source deforestation-free palm oil Orkla, a Nordic conglomerate that owns MTR Foods, one of India's major food companies, has established a zero deforestation policy for the palm oil it sources, reports Greenpeace. Rhett Butler 59.918678 10.684759 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12919 2014-03-12T20:20:00Z 2014-03-12T20:32:14Z Progressive palm oil group opens door to companies, NGO's adopting zero deforestation policies The Palm Oil Innovation Group (POIG), an alliance formed last year, has opened its doors to new members who commit to social and environmental safeguards that go beyond the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) eco-certification standard. Rhett Butler 2.443717 99.902008 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12879 2014-03-05T23:50:00Z 2014-03-06T00:10:21Z Fast food companies are laggards on palm oil sourcing safeguards <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0305Palm-Oil-2-6-14-150px.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Fast food companies are lagging behind other consumer products companies in efforts to establish policies that favor deforestation-free and conflict-free palm oil, finds a new assessment published by the Union of Concerned Scientists, an advocacy group. The report, titled 'Donuts, Deodorant, Deforestation: Scoring America's Top Brands on Their Palm Oil Commitments', looked at palm oil sourcing policies of 30 of the largest fast food, personal care, and packaged food corporations in the United States. It found leadership by a handful of firms. Rhett Butler 5.270794 117.69545 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12782 2014-02-17T17:42:00Z 2014-02-17T22:48:42Z Wilmar refutes Sarawak govt's claims on palm oil ban Palm oil giant Wilmar has refuted a claim that it will stop buying crude palm oil from the Malaysian state of Sarawak due to its new 'no deforestation' policy. Rhett Butler 3.139145 113.182815 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12779 2014-02-14T22:32:00Z 2014-02-14T23:24:52Z In Girl Scouts vs. Kellogg’s over palm oil, rainforests and orangutans win After a campaign waged by two charismatic Girl Scouts over questionably-sourced palm oil used in Girl Scout Cookies, Kellogg Company today announced a policy that will move it toward deforestation-free palm oil. Rhett Butler 42.321128 -85.184407 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12764 2014-02-12T02:44:00Z 2014-02-12T03:07:50Z Despite falling palm oil price, premium for 'sustainable' product rises <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0212RI0_6610150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Despite a sharp drop in the price of palm oil since 2011, premiums for certificates representing palm oil produced under the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) standard have risen due to increased demand for greener palm kernel oil (CPKO), reveals data released by GreenPalm. Rhett Butler 0.146255 102.255195 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/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/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/12411 2013-11-19T19:07:00Z 2013-11-19T19:18:09Z Palm oil workers stage massive protest at sustainability meeting in Indonesia <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/malaysia/150/borneo_4707.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Protesters from 10 Indonesian labor unions and four NGOs descended on the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RPSO) meetings in Medan last Tuesday, urging the industry body to take serious steps to end what they claim is rampant abuse of workers on RSPO-certified plantations. Rhett Butler 3.589353 98.672803 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12367 2013-11-12T23:48:00Z 2013-11-17T16:15:46Z Aiming to avoid deforestation, Unilever to trace all palm oil it sources <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1112-deforestation-for-palmoil150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In a move that represents a significant development for efforts to reduce the environmental impact of palm oil, consumer products giant Unilever today announced it will be able to trace all of the palm oil it sources by the end of 2014. Implementing a traceability system means that by the end of next year, Unilever will able to pinpoint the origin of its palm oil back to the plantations that produce the fresh fruit bunches that are milled into the widely-used vegetable oil. Rhett Butler 51.914269 4.502267 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/12355 2013-11-11T23:00:00Z 2014-02-20T19:21:12Z HBSC financing deforestation for palm oil in Borneo <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1111-eia-palm-oil150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>HSBC, the world's third largest bank, continues to lend to companies linked to deforestation despite a policy explicitly prohibiting such practices, alleges a new report from the London-based Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA). The report, published last week, looks at two Indonesian palm oil companies that recently received finance from HSBC: Bumitama Agri and Triputra Agro Persada. Rhett Butler 51.506646 -0.016869 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12323 2013-11-07T14:41:00Z 2013-11-08T00:07:13Z Palm oil companies ignoring community rights, new study shows <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/sabah/150/sabah_aerial_0022.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Some of the largest palm oil companies are clearing forests and peatlands without seeking consent of local communities, leading to a spate of unresolved conflicts in plantation concessions around the world, warns a coalition of NGOs and researchers. Members of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) are violating the rights of local communities in tropical forests and failing to live up to social and environmental commitments, the coalition said in a report released on Thursday. Rhett Butler 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/12195 2013-10-14T13:46:00Z 2013-10-14T13:54:14Z Video depicting conversation between deaf girl, orangutan highlights palm oil risks Environmental activists have released an emotive video that aims to raise awareness about the impact of converting rainforests into palm oil plantations. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12025 2013-09-06T04:24:00Z 2013-09-06T04:30:31Z Malaysia to launch palm oil certification scheme to compete with RSPO Malaysia will launch its own certification standard for palm oil produced by local firms by 2014, reports Reuters. The initiative aims to differentiate Malaysian palm oil from that produced in other countries, while offering a less stringent alternative to the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, the sector's leading certification body. Rhett Butler 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/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/11665 2013-06-28T17:47:00Z 2013-07-05T17:00:44Z World's biggest companies lay out path toward zero-deforestation commodities With a backdrop of fires raging across oil palm and timber plantations in Sumatra, business and political leaders convened in Indonesia to discuss a path forward for producing deforestation-free commodities by 2020. Rhett Butler -6.201312 106.833 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 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11411 2013-05-13T02:20:00Z 2013-05-16T00:39:14Z Palm oil company violated RSPO standards, evicted from sustainability body The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) has evicted Indonesian palm oil giant Dutapalma Nusantara for violating key principles for sustainability. Rhett Butler -0.582266 102.632562 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11309 2013-04-26T18:55:00Z 2013-05-02T04:46:35Z Probe confirms Singapore-based palm oil company engaged in land-grabbing in Borneo An independent investigation has shown that First Resources Ltd, a palm oil plantation company and member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), failed to obtain proper consent from local communities before clearing rainforests for plantations in Indonesian Borneo, an Indonesian indigenous rights group reported last week. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11305 2013-04-25T18:48:00Z 2013-04-25T19:07:40Z Environmentalists unhappy with new palm oil standard <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/sabah/150/sabah_0737.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Environmentalists are unhappy with Thursday's approval of new criteria for the world's leading palm oil certification standard. After members of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) in a special assembly approved the body's new 'principles and criteria' (P&Cs) for palm oil certification, several groups voiced concern that the rules won't protect against conversion of carbon-dense rainforests and peatlands for oil palm plantations. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11301 2013-04-25T04:04:00Z 2013-04-26T18:34:05Z Indonesian palm oil giant clearing peat forest despite its RSPO membership, alleges Greenpeace A major Indonesian palm oil producer continues to clear rainforests in Sumatra despite being a prominent member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), casting doubts on the body's effectiveness in limiting deforestation, alleges a new report from Greenpeace. Rhett Butler -0.582265 102.632561 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11290 2013-04-23T17:57:00Z 2013-04-24T01:11:12Z RSPO failing to meet sustainability objectives for palm oil production, says WWF An initiative that aims to improve the social and environmental performance of palm oil production is faltering in its mission by failing to establish strong performance standards on greenhouse gas emissions and pesticide use, argues a new statement issued by WWF, the initiative's biggest green supporter. Rhett Butler 3.1496 101.717089 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11274 2013-04-19T05:07:00Z 2013-07-12T03:21:00Z Indonesian palm oil industry would support land swaps to protect forest, while expanding production <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/indonesia/150/kalteng_0072.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Indonesian palm oil companies would support land swaps as a means to reduce carbon emissions from deforestation while simultaneously expanding production, representatives from the country's largest association of palm oil producers told mongabay.com in an interview last month. Rhett Butler -1.907149 113.557434 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11175 2013-04-07T23:16:00Z 2013-04-08T16:46:07Z Nordic energy giant launches 'no deforestation' policy Neste Oil, a Finnish energy giant, has announced a new 'no deforestation' policy for sourcing palm oil. The company, which is one of the world's largest buyers of palm oil, had faced criticism from environmentalists for purchasing palm oil potentially linked to rainforest and peatland destruction in southeast Asia. Rhett Butler 60.177038 24.838715 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11122 2013-03-26T21:24:00Z 2013-03-26T21:56:32Z Cargill to boost investment in Indonesian oil palm plantations Cargill plans to 'aggressively' expand its palm oil holdings in Sulawesi, Indonesian Borneo, and Sumatra, reports <i>The Wall Street Journal</i>. Rhett Butler -2.59892 104.110737 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11008 2013-03-07T20:41:00Z 2013-03-07T23:48:16Z Dunkin' Donuts to adopt palm oil policy Doughnut and coffeehouse giant Dunkin' Donuts has agreed to source 100 percent of its palm oil under the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), though the company has yet to set a date for the move, reports the New York State Comptroller's office. Rhett Butler 42.207382 -71.130016 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10947 2013-02-28T23:41:00Z 2013-03-01T06:54:58Z Malaysian NGOs boldly demand forest conservation action in Borneo <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/sabah/150/sabah_1245.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In an unusually bold statement catalyzed by the deaths of 14 rare elephants, six Malaysian NGOs today called on the Sabah state government to pursue 'a more conservation focused agenda' in managing the state's forests. The demand comes shortly after the death of 14 endangered pygmy elephants &#8212; thought poisoned by an oil palm plantation developer &#8212; thrust Sabah's environmental problems into the international spotlight. Rhett Butler 4.840575 116.742096 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10943 2013-02-28T18:53:00Z 2013-02-28T19:04:27Z Guide for filing complaints on rule-breaking by palm oil companies published Over the past 25 years palm oil production has emerged as one of the biggest drivers of deforestation and peatlands degradation in Southeast Asia. And there are fears that expansion in West and Central Africa could soon make palm oil a major cause of forest conversion on that continent. Rhett Butler 5.894725 8.574829 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10914 2013-02-21T17:54:00Z 2013-02-21T18:15:41Z Controversial palm oil project concession in Cameroon is 89 percent 'dense natural forest' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/GP04BXC.greenpeace.herkales.river.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Satellite mapping and aerial surveys have revealed that a controversial palm oil concession in Cameroon is almost entirely covered by "dense natural forest," according to a new report by Greenpeace. The activist group alleges that the concession, owned by Herakles Farms, is under 89 percent forest cover. The U.S.-based corporation intends to build a 70,000 hectare palm oil plantation in a region surrounded by four protected areas, including Korup National Park, but has faced stiff criticism from numerous environmental groups as well as conflict with locals. Jeremy Hance 5.253017 9.054737 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10724 2013-01-18T21:50:00Z 2013-01-18T22:53:55Z Palm oil sustainability initiative must rule out deforestation, says group The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) must implement standards that protect forests and account for greenhouse gas emissions to remain credible, said an environmental group ahead of a that will determine the body's 'Principles and Criteria' for the next five years. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10600 2012-12-20T17:37:00Z 2012-12-20T17:39:15Z RSPO rules against palm oil company in controversial deforestation case The body that sets social and environmental criteria for greener palm oil production has taken action against a palm oil accused of clearing community forest in Indonesian Borneo, reports the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA). Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10576 2012-12-14T02:43:00Z 2012-12-23T22:19:26Z Cutting through the rhetoric on palm oil production <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/sabah/150/sabah_0028.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Palm oil is widely acknowledged as one of the most important drivers of deforestation and forest diminishment in Southeast Asia. Conversion of forests and peatlands for oil palm plantations is both a substantial source of greenhouse gas emissions and a major threat to biodiversity &#8212; one study called palm oil the 'single most immediate threat to the greatest number of species'. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10480 2012-11-29T14:45:00Z 2012-12-23T22:06:29Z Complaint filed with palm oil body over orangutan rescue case <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/12/1129orangresc.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Conservationists have filed a complaint against an Indonesian palm oil company for allegedly clearing an area of forest that contained orangutans. Earlier this month, the Sumatran Orangutan Society (SOS) filed a complaint against PT Sisirau for allegedly breaching the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil's rules on sparing high conservation value forest. PT Sisirau is a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), a multistakeholder body that sets criteria for more environmentally responsible palm oil production. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10462 2012-11-28T17:42:00Z 2012-12-23T22:05:51Z E.U. OKs biofuels produced from certified palm oil <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/12/1128palmfruit150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The European Commission has approved palm oil-based biodiesel for the renewable fuels standard provided it is certified under the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), a body that sets social and environmental criteria for palm oil production. The move, which could dramatically boost sales of palm oil in Europe, was sharply criticized by environmental activists, who said that without stronger safeguards, increased palm oil production could increase deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10454 2012-11-26T21:20:00Z 2012-11-27T02:25:40Z Photos reveal destruction of Cameroon rainforest for palm oil <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/12/GP04BXU.greenpeace.herkales.clearing.1.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Newly released photos by Greenpeace show the dramatic destruction of tropical forest in Cameroon for an oil palm plantation operated by SG Sustainable Oils Cameroon (SGSOC), a subsidiary of the U.S. company Herakles Farm. The agriculture company is planning to convert 73,000 hectares to palm oil plantations on the edge of several protected areas, but has faced considerable opposition from environmentalists and some local communities. In addition to the aerial photos, Greenpeace alleges that ongoing forest clearing by Herakles is illegal since the companies 99-year lease has yet to be fully approved by the Cameroonian government. Jeremy Hance 5.253017 9.054737 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10357 2012-11-02T18:08:00Z 2012-11-02T21:17:24Z China, India should cut tariff on eco-certified palm oil to boost demand, says RSPO official <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/12/1102rspolevy150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>China and India, the world's largest palm oil buyers, should reduce or eliminate an import tariff on eco-certified palm oil to boost demand for less-damaging production of the widely-used oilseed, said the President of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) during the body's tenth annual meeting in Singapore. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10235 2012-10-04T20:18:00Z 2012-10-04T20:27:36Z Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil hits 10 year mark <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/malaysia/150/borneo_4666.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) is holding its tenth annual meeting later this month. The initiative, which aims to improve the social and environmental performance of palm oil production through a certification standard, has advanced considerably during that time, moving from an idea to a reality: RSPO-certified palm oil now accounts for 12 percent of global palm oil production. Yet the RSPO is not without controversy. Some palm oil companies say its criteria are too costly to adopt and are therefore discriminatory, while environmental critics argue its bar for "sustainable" palm oil is too low and the loopholes allow producers to claim membership even if they aren't actually producing certified palm oil across all their holdings. Nonetheless the RSPO has support from many of the world's largest palm oil producers, traders, and consumers as well as the biggest NGOs. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10096 2012-09-05T19:15:00Z 2012-09-06T12:59:38Z Palm oil company in Cameroon drops bid for eco-certification of controversial plantation Herakles Farm, a U.S.-based agricultural developer, will no longer seek eco-certification of its 70,000-hectare oil palm plantation in Cameroon, reports the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). The move comes amid criticism from environmental groups that Herakles is converting high conservation value rainforest for the plantation. Rhett Butler 5.069058 9.096268 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9553 2012-05-23T14:22:00Z 2012-05-23T14:34:12Z Palm oil giant to produce 100% segregated, RSPO-certified palm oil 100 percent of New Britain Palm Oil Limited's palm oil will be eco-certified, segregated, and fully traceable by the end of the year, reports the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9438 2012-04-25T20:56:00Z 2012-04-25T21:53:52Z In sustainability push, Unilever aims to build palm oil processing plant in Indonesia <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/malaysia/150/borneo_2804.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Unilever is in talks to build a $130 million palm oil processing mill in Indonesia as part of its commitment to use more environmentally-friendly palm oil in its products, reports <i>The Wall Street Journal</i>. The mill, which would be located in Sumatra, would produce about 10 percent of Unilever's annual consumption of palm oil, which is produced from fruit from the oil palm tree. Unilever is the world's largest single consumer of palm oil, using 1.36 million tons a year for beauty and food products, including Dove soap, Ben & Jerry's ice cream, and Vasoline. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9389 2012-04-11T21:47:00Z 2012-04-12T17:45:15Z Green groups may call for boycott of Indonesian palm oil over forest destruction in Sumatra Environmental groups are escalating their battle over an area of peat forest in Tripa, Sumatra that has been granted for oil palm plantations. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9370 2012-04-06T04:39:00Z 2012-04-06T05:17:16Z Certified palm oil profitable for companies, finds study A new study suggests shifting to certified palm oil production increases profitability despite higher production costs. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9340 2012-04-01T15:31:00Z 2012-04-02T20:36:59Z Our success in transforming commodity markets will determine nature's fate <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/brazil/150/brazil_0327.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The success of governments and big corporations in eliminating environmental degradation from the products we consume will play a critical role in determining the fate of the world's remaining wild places, said a group of experts speaking at a panel during the Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9216 2012-03-08T06:27:00Z 2012-03-08T06:30:08Z RSPO-certified palm oil production jumps, generates $21M in premiums for producers Production and sales of palm oil certified under the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) reached record volume in 2011, reports a new analysis published by the multistakeholder body. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9037 2012-01-31T21:53:00Z 2012-02-01T00:05:34Z Belgium to source only RSPO-certified palm oil by 2015 Belgium will source only palm oil certified under the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) by 2015 under a pledge by an alliance of major processors, manufacturers, and industry associations, reports the RSPO. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8899 2011-12-28T18:08:00Z 2011-12-28T18:44:01Z The year in review for rainforests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/colombia/150/colombia_3765.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>2011 was designated as "Year of the Forests" by the United Nations. While there was relatively little progress on intergovernmental forest protection programs during the year, a lot happened elsewhere. Below is a look at some of the biggest tropical forest-related news stories for 2011. We at mongabay readily acknowledge there were a number of important temperate and boreal forest developments, including Britain's decision not to privatize its forests and the severe drought in Texas, but this article will cover only tropical forest news. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8871 2011-12-19T20:52:00Z 2011-12-19T22:48:55Z Will 'sustainable' palm oil sell in China? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/11/1219palmoilimports150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Owing to the high yield of the African oil palm tree, palm oil is today the cheapest commercial source of edible oil. But oil palm expansion in recent decades has at times had high indirect costs, including destruction of biologically diverse rainforests and further marginalization of forest-dependent people, especially in southeast Asia. Concerns over the environmental and social impact of palm oil production in the spurred a group of palm oil producers, processors, and buyers to team up with conservation groups to form the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) in 2004. But a big question looms over all certification efforts: will the world's largest importers of palm oil &#8212; India and China &#8212; buy it? Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8736 2011-11-24T16:30:00Z 2011-11-24T17:07:59Z Cargill should do more to end use of problematic palm oil, says RAN As part of our coverage of the 9th Annual Roundtable Meeting on Sustainable Palm Oil currently underway in Kota Kinabalu in Sabah, Malaysia, mongabay.com is interviewing participants and attendees. In the following interview, mongabay.com speaks with the delegation from the Rainforest Action Network (RAN), an advocacy group which has been critical of some Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) members for what is sees as ongoing social and environmental problems. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8719 2011-11-21T06:45:00Z 2011-11-21T17:28:15Z Palm oil giant misled the public on violent conflict with local communities Palm oil giant Wilmar Corp misled the public over a conflict between local communities and one of its subsidiaries in Sumatra, according to a new report published by the Forest Peoples Programme (FPP). Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8576 2011-10-20T18:30:00Z 2011-10-20T22:20:44Z McDonald's joins sustainable palm oil initiative McDonald's Corp. has officially joined the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), a body that sets criteria for improving the social and environmental performance of palm oil production. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8489 2011-10-02T18:43:00Z 2011-10-02T18:53:21Z After protracted campaign, Girl Scouts pledges to cut out some palm oil <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/0321thin_mints.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Girl Scouts USA has announced that it will lessen palm oil in its ubiquitous cookies by using alternatives when possible and cutting overall usage. The organization also committed to purchasing GreenPalm certificates for all of its palm oil in order to financially support more environmentally sustainable palm oil, even if the palm oil in the cookies is not. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8414 2011-09-21T16:32:00Z 2011-09-21T18:33:26Z Europe should lift duty on RSPO-certified palm oil to encourage use, says Dutch group To encourage uptake of palm oil that is less damaging to the environment, the European Union (EU) should lift the import duty on palm oil certified under Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), said a Dutch industry group. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8240 2011-08-02T23:55:00Z 2011-08-03T01:40:28Z Malaysian government to launch RSPO rival for palm oil certification The Malaysian government is developing its own certification system for palm oil production, potentially creating another rival to the certification system run by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), reports Malaysia's <i>Business Times</i>. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8146 2011-07-12T21:34:00Z 2011-07-13T18:51:21Z Cargill adopts 'greener' palm oil policy Agribusiness giant Cargill will ensure all palm oil supplied to customers in Europe, United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand is certified under the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), an environmental standard, or originated from smallholder growers by 2015, according to a statement issued by the company. Cargill says it will extend the commitment to 100 percent of its products and customers globally – including China and India, the largest consumers of palm oil – by 2020. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8124 2011-07-08T17:39:00Z 2011-07-08T21:17:58Z Europe to require listing of palm oil on product labels Members of the European Parliament have voted in favor of listing specific vegetable oils &#8212; including palm oil &#8212; on product labels, reports the Clear Labels, Not Forests initiative which pushed for the measure. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8074 2011-06-27T21:58:00Z 2011-06-27T21:59:36Z Australia's Senate passes palm oil labeling bill Just days after being rejected by the the Senate Community Affairs Committee, Australia's Senate passed the Amended Truth in Labeling - Palm Oil Bill. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8061 2011-06-24T00:34:00Z 2011-07-14T03:15:58Z Alleged moratorium breach becomes test for RSPO An alleged breach of Indonesia's new moratorium on primary forest and peatlands conversion may prove a test for the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), an eco-certification initiative. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8013 2011-06-14T13:40:00Z 2011-06-16T22:16:59Z Could palm oil help save the Amazon? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/11/0614-oil-palm-vs-forest150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>For years now, environmentalists have become accustomed to associating palm oil with large-scale destruction of rainforests across Malaysia and Indonesia. Campaigners have linked palm oil-containing products like Girl Scout cookies and soap products to smoldering peatlands and dead orangutans. Now with Brazil announcing plans to dramatically scale-up palm oil production in the Amazon, could the same fate befall Earth's largest rainforest? With this potential there is a frenzy of activity in the Brazilian palm oil sector. Yet there is a conspicuous lack of hand wringing by environmentalists in the Amazon. The reason: done right, oil palm could emerge as a key component in the effort to save the Amazon rainforest. Responsible production there could even force changes in other parts of the world. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7989 2011-06-08T19:46:00Z 2011-06-08T22:10:30Z Dutch buy first 'responsible' soy sourced from the Amazon The Dutch food and feed industry has bought the first soy produced under the principles of the Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS), a body that aims to bring more socially and environmentally sustainable soy to market. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7826 2011-05-04T18:17:00Z 2011-05-04T22:30:51Z Girls Scouts censors Facebook page after coming under criticism for product linked to rainforest loss <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/11/0321thin_mints150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Girls Scouts USA has censored its Facebook page after receiving comments criticizing the organization, according to Rainforest Action Network (RAN). RAN along with Change.org and two Girl Scout activists, Rhiannon Tomtishen and Madison Vorva, declared today a social media day of activism against the Girl Scouts for using palm oil in their popular cookies. The oil has been linked to rainforest destruction in Indonesia and Malaysia. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7769 2011-04-21T14:00:00Z 2011-04-21T17:07:22Z RSPO: Labeling palm oil as an ingredient is fine, provided other oils are labeled too The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), a body that sets criteria for social and environmental certification of palm oil, weighed in on the debate on Australia's proposal to require listing of palm oil as an ingredient on package labels. At the same time the RSPO announced its own labeling initiative to distinguish products that use RSPO-certified palm oil from those that do not. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7746 2011-04-15T05:10:00Z 2011-04-15T05:41:37Z Avon commits to greener palm oil The beauty products giant Avon will purchase enough GreenPalm certificates to meet 100 percent of its palm oil use. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7704 2011-04-06T17:35:00Z 2011-04-06T19:03:51Z Malaysian palm oil giant in fight with forest people gets rebuke from RSPO A Malaysian palm oil company facing criticism for a land use dispute with forest people in Borneo has been suspended from the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), an eco-certification body. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7633 2011-03-24T17:56:00Z 2011-03-25T04:06:33Z Pro-deforestation group criticizes palm oil giant for sustainability pact World Growth International, a group that advocates on behalf of industrial forestry interests, has criticized Golden Agri Resources (GAR), Indonesia's largest palm oil producer, for signing a forest policy that aims to protect high conservation value and high carbon stock forest and requires free, prior informed consent (FPIC) in working with communities potentially affected by oil palm development. In a newsletter published March 10, World Growth International claimed that GAR's agreement "could severely hamper the company's growth" by limiting where it can establish new plantations and says that negotiating with multiple stakeholders "will delay and complicate any investment by the company." World Growth International concludes by implying that GAR may renege on its commitment. But Peter Heng, Managing Director, Communications and Sustainability at GAR, disagreed with World Growth International's assessment. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7616 2011-03-21T21:36:00Z 2011-03-21T22:30:40Z Palm oil company gives up land contested by local communities as part of sustainability pledge <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/11/0321thin_mints150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>An Indonesia palm oil company has relinquished part of its plantation concession to communities that traditionally use the land as part of its commitment to sustainability principles under the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), reports the Forest Peoples Programme. The move is a response to a new procedure that could reduce conflict between palm oil developers and forest-dependent communities. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7593 2011-03-15T20:42:00Z 2011-03-15T20:52:52Z Coalition calls on Europe to label palm oil on food products Do you have the right to know whether the chocolate bar you're munching on includes palm oil, which is blamed for vast deforestation in Malaysia and Indonesia? How about that frozen pizza? According to a coalition of environmental and conservation groups it's time for food manufacturers to add palm oil to the label in Europe, instead of currently being listed as simply, and erroneously (palm kernels are fruits), 'vegetable oil'. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7555 2011-03-11T00:07:00Z 2011-03-12T16:09:08Z McDonald's launches new sourcing policy for palm oil, paper, beef to reduce global environmental impact <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/11/0312mcd150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>McDonald's announced a far-reaching sourcing policy that could significantly reduce the fast-food giant's impact on the environment, including global forests. Yesterday McDonald's unveiled its Sustainable Land Management Commitment, a policy that requires its suppliers to use 'agricultural raw materials for the company's food and packaging that originate from sustainably-managed land'. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7539 2011-03-08T06:55:00Z 2011-03-08T07:00:21Z Kellogg switches to 'greener' palm oil Kellogg Company will support greener palm oil production through the purchase of 'sustainable' palm oil certificates until it can obtain a segregated, sustainable supply, said the food giant in a statement. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7414 2011-02-09T05:38:00Z 2011-02-09T21:06:34Z Breakthrough? Controversial palm oil company signs rainforest pact <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/indonesia/150/sumatra_0845.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>One of the world's highest profile and most controversial palm oil companies, Golden Agri-Resources Limited (GAR), has signed an agreement committing it to protect tropical forests and peatlands in Indonesia. The deal&#8212;signed with The Forest Trust, an environmental group that works with companies to improve their supply chains&#8212;could have significant ramifications for how palm oil is produced in the country, which is the world's largest producer of palm oil. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7344 2011-01-26T02:25:00Z 2013-09-01T14:59:17Z Greening the world with palm oil? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/11/0126borneo_2813-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The commercial shows a typical office setting. A worker sits drearily at a desk, shredding papers and watching minutes tick by on the clock. When his break comes, he takes out a Nestle KitKat bar. As he tears into the package, the viewer, but not the office worker, notices something is amiss—what should be chocolate has been replaced by the dark hairy finger of an orangutan. With the jarring crunch of teeth breaking through bone, the worker bites into the 'bar'. Drops of blood fall on the keyboard and run down his face. His officemates stare, horrified. The advertisement cuts to a solitary tree standing amid a deforested landscape. A chainsaw whines. The message: Palm oil—an ingredient in many Nestle products—is killing orangutans by destroying their habitat, the rainforests of Borneo and Sumatra. Rhett Butler -2.33395 114.491909 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7275 2011-01-10T00:09:00Z 2011-01-10T15:00:19Z Sales of RSPO-certified palm oil surge 225% Sales of palm oil certified under the leading sustainability standard surged 225 percent in 2010, suggesting growing consumer interest in more responsibly-sourced palm oil. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7242 2011-01-02T23:47:00Z 2011-01-03T01:02:49Z Converting palm oil companies from forest destroyers into forest protectors <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/11/0103borneo150_2804.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In efforts to save the world's remaining rainforests great hopes have been pinned on "degraded lands" &#8212; deforested lands that are presently sitting idle in tropical countries. Optimists say shifting agriculture to such lands will help humanity produce enough food to meet growing demand without sacrificing forests and biodiversity and exacerbating social conflict. But to date, degraded lands remain an enigma, especially in Indonesia, where deforestation continues at a rapid pace. Degraded lands are often misclassified by various Indonesian ministries&#8212;land in a far-off province may be listed as "wasteland" by Jakarta, but in reality is blanked by verdant forest that sequesters carbon, houses wildlife, and affords communities with food, water, and other essentials. Granting logging and plantation concessions on these lands can result in conflict and environmental degradation. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7196 2010-12-19T02:53:00Z 2010-12-19T07:54:00Z Lack of price premium for certified palm oil endangers sustainability initiative The palm oil industry's sustainability initiative is making considerable progress toward improving its environmental performance, but needs to do more to accelerate the adoption of responsible practices, argue researchers writing in mongabay.com's open access journal <i>Tropical Conservation Science</i>. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7051 2010-11-12T18:38:00Z 2012-01-19T05:37:30Z RSPO to recognize secondary forests as conservation priority The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), a body that sets environmental standards for palm oil production, has passed a resolution to reconfirm that secondary and degraded forests can classified as High Conservation Value (HCV) areas. The designation could increase the area of forest conserved within oil palm plantations provided it has high conservation significance, such as serving as habitat for endangered species like orangutans, Sumatran tigers, and rhinos. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7030 2010-11-10T17:25:00Z 2011-01-09T23:57:19Z Indonesia to launch rival palm oil certification standard <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/malaysia/150/borneo_4666.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Indonesian government is moving closer to launching its own certification system to ensure less damaging palm oil production, reports the <i>Jakarta Post</i>. The scheme would rival the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, a multi-stakeholder body that has been developing criteria since 2004 and began shipping certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO) in 2008. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7024 2010-11-09T06:12:00Z 2010-11-10T21:37:45Z U.S. companies should help drive push toward sustainable palm oil <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/malaysia/150/borneo_2804.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>U.S. companies should take a leadership role in helping ensure that palm oil production is sustainable and does not come at the cost of forests, climate, and communities, argues a new report published ahead of the annual meeting of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). The report, published by the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), says that while the U.S. is only a minor consumer of palm oil, its demand for the vegetable oil is fast rising, increasing four-fold since 2006. Palm oil, which is among the cheapest of vegetables owing to its high yield, is now found in up to 50 percent of packaged retail food products. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7021 2010-11-08T19:20:00Z 2010-11-09T05:39:49Z Eco-friendly palm oil conference opens The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), a body that has devised certification criteria to improve the social and environmental performance of palm oil, opens its annual meeting tomorrow in Jakarta. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7004 2010-11-04T22:24:00Z 2010-11-04T22:38:31Z Dutch to use only certified palm oil by 2015 The Netherlands has committed to only using palm oil certified under the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) by 2015, providing a huge boost for the certification standard which aims to improve the social and environmental performance of the world's most productive oil crop. The pledge makes the Netherlands the first country to commit itself to using only sustainable palm oil. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6971 2010-10-30T01:31:00Z 2010-10-30T15:51:21Z Embattled palm oil company seeks redemption from certification body Golden Agri-Resources (GAR) and its subsidiaries, Indonesia-based PT Sinar Mas Agro Resources & Technology (SMART) and PT Ivo Mas Tunggal, had submitted plans for coming into compliance with the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, a certification body for "greener" palm oil, reports Dow Jones. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6864 2010-10-05T19:51:00Z 2010-10-05T19:56:31Z Compliance with national law not enough to meet int'l market demands A UK-based cosmetics firm is severing ties with its palm oil supplier after a story in <i>The Observer</i> reported the Colombia-based company sought the eviction of peasant farmer families to develop a new oil palm plantation, reports the Guardian. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6846 2010-10-01T14:48:00Z 2010-10-01T15:24:54Z Australia may require labeling of products containing palm oil An Australian senator introduced a legislation that would require manufacturers to specify whether palm oil has been used in their food products, reports the Australian Associated Press</a>. Presently food labeling laws in Australia allow companies to list palm oil as a generic "vegetable oil" on packaging even though it comes from a palm tree. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6804 2010-09-23T17:28:00Z 2010-09-23T17:51:48Z Eco-friendly palm oil initiative censures company linked to deforestation The Roundtable On Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), a body the sets standards for eco-friendly palm oil production, on Thursday said Indonesian palm oil producer Sinar Mas Agro Resources and Technology (SMART) breached its sustainability criteria and faces expulsion, reports AFP. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6665 2010-08-27T17:56:00Z 2010-08-27T18:37:45Z Cargill to engage Indonesian supplier after audit confirms forest destruction Cargill will engage one of its major palm oil suppliers after an independent audit confirmed that the Indonesian company has been destroying rainforests and peatlands in Borneo to establish oil palm plantations. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6661 2010-08-26T23:32:00Z 2010-08-27T18:35:31Z Cargill backtracks on sustainability push for palm oil, says activist group Cargill has not suspended its relationship with a palm oil company recently exposed for misleading investors and buyers on its environmental transgressions, reports the Rainforest Action Network (RAN), an activist group campaigning against environmentally-damaging forms of palm oil production. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6644 2010-08-19T19:01:00Z 2010-08-27T18:35:54Z Fraud allegations against Indonesian palm oil giant widen, tarnishing auditors and sustainable palm oil initiative <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/10/0818gp150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Sinar Mas, an Indonesian conglomerate whose holdings include Asia Pulp and Paper, a paper products brand, and PT Smart, a palm oil producer, was sharply rebuked Wednesday over a recent report where it claimed not to have engaged in destruction of forests and peatlands. At least one of its companies, Golden Agri Resources, may now face an investigation for deliberately misleading shareholders in its corporate filings. Rhett Butler