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No Deforestation. No Peat. No Exploitation

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An aerial view of deforestation at Indonesia’s Sumatra island, August 5, 2010. Photo: Beawiharta

Zero deforestation in Indonesia: Pledges, politics and palm oil

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Corporations and government share the goal of sustainable economic development but each faces its own challenges – so which rules should apply?

“No Deforestation. No Peat. No Exploitation”: The pledges echoing throughout the palm oil sector, as major consumer goods manufacturers and retailers seek to remove deforestation from supply chains, sound simple enough. But the commitments are highly complex, and major palm oil corporate groups along the value chain are struggling to clearly define and operationalize them.

And in the world’s largest producer of palm oil, Indonesia, which is planning to boost supply through the expansion of plantations into forest and peatland areas, these companies are facing public opposition from the national government.

Therefore, while simple in their aim, the zero deforestation commitments, and their associated sustainability goals, have divided the palm oil sector in terms of which rules to follow and whose rules to follow.

A POLEMIC CROP

The rapid expansion of oil palm plantations across Indonesia during the past decade—the crop now covers 10.5 million hectares—has been accompanied by fervent controversy.

Read the full article: CIFOR

 

Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.