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20 Jul 2021

Indonesia & S. Korea: Palm oil giant Korindo to lose sustainability status amid allegations of environmental harm & rights abuses

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) announced that Korindo's trademark licenses with FSC will be terminated from October 2021, following allegations of environmental harm and rights abuses against local communities in Asia's largest remaining rainforests in the remote Indonesian province of Papua, Indonesia. A 2018 report by the FSC into the allegations against the Korean palm oil giant, which reportedly was never published amid legal threats from the company, found "evidence beyond reasonable doubt" that Korindo's palm oil operation destroyed 30,000 hectares of high conservation forest in breach of FSC regulations and that the company was, "on the balance of probability … supporting the violation of traditional and human rights for its own benefit." The Korindo group strongly denies starting any fires or involvement in any human rights violations, saying it is compliant with the law, and insisted they paid fair compensation to tribes concerned. Korindo groups chief sustainability officer said in a statement that the company was "very shocked by the FSC decision", and announced plans to reapply for the sustainability status as soon as possible.