Palm Oil Giant to Forgo Development of New Guinea Rainforest

7 November 2013

Palm oil giant Golden-Agri Resources (GAR) will forgo development of an oil palm plantation in an area of rainforest in Indonesian New Guinea in order to comply with its forest conservation policy.

The decision by GAR — which is the parent company for PT SMART, one of Indonesia's largest private palm oil companies — was disclosed in a report on its high carbon stock pilot project, which is a key component of the company's forest conservation policy (FCP). GAR made the commitment in 2011 after a damaging campaign by Greenpeace cost it dozens of corporate customers who were concerned about allegations of forest and peatland destruction for new oil palm plantations.

The high carbon stock assessment is being conducted by The Forest Trust, the NGO that is charged with helping GAR develop and implement the FCP. The report notes that while GAR has the legal right to develop the concession — roughly three-quarters of which is forested — it will implement the FCP and not convert high carbon stock (HCS) or high conservation value (HCV) forest.

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