Greenpeace believes that palm oil can be produced responsibly. Palm oil production has been part of the livelihoods of local communities in Asia and Africa for decades, and can contribute both to economic development, while protecting forests and other ecosystems.
An example of this is the Dosan village on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Palm oil producers, like the members of the Palm Oil Innovation Group, have shown that there is a business case for palm oil production that does not lead to forest destruction or violate the rights of local communities.
Greenpeace envisions palm oil production by local communities and industrial players that protects forests, and follows responsible agricultural practices while contributing to economic development and respecting the social, economic and cultural rights of local communities.
Wilmar International, the world’s largest palm oil trader, announced a No Deforestation Policy in December 2013 in response to pressure from Greenpeace, NGOs and consumers around the world. The policy has the potential to be a landmark win for the world’s forests and the people that depend on them for their livelihoods.
Wilmar International accounts for more than a third of global trade of palm oil, which means this policy – if implemented – could transform the industry. But while this policy is great news for forests and tigers, its success will be judged by Wilmar’s actions to implement and enforce it.
Greenpeace now challenges other palm oil traders and consumer companies to follow Wilmar’s path and ensure their palm oil is free from forest destruction.
Pulp and Paper
Asia Pulp & Paper’s (APP) Forest Conservation Policy sets a model for the pulp and paper industry. In February 2013 Greenpeace suspended active campaigning against APP following the announcement of its Forest Conservation Policy includes an immediate moratorium on all further forest clearance by all of its Indonesian suppliers while independent assessments are conducted to establish areas for protection.
If we are to turn the tide of forest destruction in Indonesia, we need many more companies to make commitments to end their role in deforestation. And we have to ensure that those companies that do make such commitments deliver on them.
Greenpeace calls for permanent and full protection of forest and peatland, including a review concessions permits, governance and law enforcement, as well as the implementation of a responsible and just land-use planning system.
In May 2011, Indonesia introduced a two-year moratorium on permits for new concessions in primary forests and peatlands. While this moratorium was a welcome step in terms of the signals it sent, in practice most of the primary forests that it covers are already legally protected; the remainder are largely inaccessible and not under immediate threat of development.
More work needs to be done to harmonise spatial planning, develop sectoral policies and maps, as well as provide stronger law enforcement and mechanisms for resolving social conflicts.