Indonesian law bars palm oil companies from protecting forests

24 October 2014

A law passed by the Indonesian government last month makes it even more difficult for palm oil companies to conserve tracts of wildlife-rich and carbon-dense forests within their concessions, potentially undermining these producers' commitments to phase deforestation out of their supply chains, warns a new report published by Greenomics, an Indonesian environmental group.

The report focuses on the zero deforestation policy established in 2011 by Golden-Agri Resources (GAR), Indonesia s largest palm oil producer. It looks at how well that commitment is being implemented for a pilot project across eight concessions in West and Central Kalimantan, provinces in Indonesian Borneo.

Based on analysis of satellite imagery and government data, the study finds that GAR is effectively protecting high carbon stock (HCS) areas in seven of those concessions, all located in West Kalimantan. These ares amount to some 25,000 hectares (ha) of a total concession area of nearly 116,000 ha.

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