Conservation news

Palm oil co suspends forest conversion to comply with Wilmar’s zero deforestation policy

  • A Malaysian palm oil company has suspended forest clearing on a small portion of its holdings to comply with Wilmar’s zero deforestation policy.
  • Jaya Tiasa Holdings Bhd, a publicly-listed Malaysian company with nearly 70,000 hectares of plantations in Sarawak, said it will not plant 280 hectares — about a square mile #&8212; due to Wilmar’s policy.
  • Wilmar’s policy bars suppliers from converting forests and peatlands for oil palm plantations after December 2015.

A Malaysian palm oil company has suspended forest clearing on a small portion of its holdings to comply with Wilmar’s zero deforestation policy, reports The Edge Financial Daily.

Jaya Tiasa Holdings Bhd, a publicly-listed Malaysian company with nearly 70,000 hectares of plantations in Sarawak, said it will not plant 280 hectares — about a square mile #&8212; due to Wilmar’s policy, which bars its suppliers from converting forests and peatlands for oil palm plantations after December 2015.

Malaysia-based AmInvestment Bank said the decision wouldn’t have a material impact on the company because Wilmar’s policy has already been factored into its prospects.

Wilmar established its zero deforestation policy in 2013 after years of pressure from environmental campaigners and some of the world’s biggest multinational consumer products companies. Controversial at the time, zero deforestation polices have now gone mainstream among major palm oil producers and traders.

Palm oil production has been one of the biggest drivers of forest and peatlands destruction in Malaysia and Indonesia over the past 30 years.

An oil palm plantation in Sarawak in 2015. This concession belongs to Sarawak Oil Palms Bhd, not Jaya Tiasa Holdings Bhd. Photo by Rhett A. Butler.