5 palm oil giants announce deforestation moratorium, effective immediately

20 September 2014

Five of the world's largest palm oil producers have announced an immediate moratorium on palm oil sourced via clearance of potential high carbon stock forests.

On Friday, Asian Agri, IOI Corporation Berhad, Kuala Lumpur Kepong (KLK) Berhad, Musim Mas Group and Sime Darby Plantation said they will suspend forest clearing until they have completed a year-long study that aims to establish a threshold for defining what constitutes high carbon stock (HCS) forest.

The move comes after intense campaigning by environmentalists pushed dozens of major palm oil buyers to establish zero deforestation sourcing policies for palm oil, which is one of the top drivers of forest conversion in Malaysia and Indonesia. At the time of the announcement, several major palm oil producers and traders — including Golden Agri-Resources, Wilmar, and Cargill — had already established zero deforestation commitments based on a definition of 35 tons of carbon per hectare, effectively barring conversion of old-growth forests, secondary rainforests, and peatlands.

Read more from Mongabay