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17 Jan 2017

Vaidehi Shah, Eco-Business

Indonesia: Korindo declares forest clearing ban & sustainability assessments on its palm oil concessions in wake of NGO pressure

“Korindo declares forest clearing ban in wake of NGO pressure”

Four months after international campaigners accused Korean-Indonesian conglomerate Korindo of destroying large swathes of Indonesia’s last remaining forests, the company has promised to stop clearing land on its palm oil concessions until it has conducted sustainability assessments. 

The firm announced in early December that two of its subsidiaries, PT Papua Agro Lestari (PT PAL) and  PT Gelora Mandiri Membangun (PT GMM) would not develop new land until High Carbon Stock (HCS) and High Conservation Value (HCV) studies had been carried out. 

This is in addition to a November moratorium by Korindo subsidiary PT Tunas Sawaerma Group that would protect about 44,600 ha of forest in its concessions...

Deborah Lapidus, campaign director, Mighty, said in a blog post that “this is a very welcome development that, if implemented, buys time for the 75,000 hectares of forests remaining in Korindo’s palm oil concessions.”…

Through field investigations…groups documented widespread environmental and human rights violations, and claimed that despite Korindo’s unethical practices, palm oil giants such as Wilmar, Musim Mas and IOI were continuing to buy palm oil from the conglomerate. 

Their report sparked a government investigation into Korindo’s activities, and also prompted firms such as Wilmar and Musim Mas to terminate their commercial relationships with the company…