Success: Palm Oil Companies Place Moratorium on Deforestation

Originally published on September 24, 2014, at ForceChange.com

Target: Sukanto Tanoto, Chairman of RGE; Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Mohd Bakke Salleh, President of Sime Darby; Bachtiar Karim, Chairman of Musim Mas; R. M. Allas, Chairman of KLK; and Lee Shin Cheng, Chairman of IOI Group

Goal: Applaud palm oil companies for placing a moratorium on deforestation

Five major palm oil companies have agreed to hold a moratorium on deforestation. Notorious for destroying large areas of rainforest to make room for their palm oil plantations, these companies consented to a 12-month moratorium on deforestation while an environmental impact study is being conducted. A previous ForceChange petition demanded an end to deforestation caused by palm oil companies in Indonesia. With this moratorium, we’ve taken a giant step towards that goal.

While environmentalists and ecologists conduct a High Carbon Stock study, which will identify forest containing significant amounts of carbon, five palm oil corporations agreed to cease cutting down rainforests during the course of the study. For the next 12 months, the study will review biodiversity, greenhouse gas emissions, and socioeconomic impacts caused by massive land conversions.

After submitting to pressure from environmental groups, Sime Darby, Musim Mas, KLK, IOI Corporation, and Asian Agri agreed to end their rampant destruction of the rainforest while the study assesses the amount of damage that they have caused to the environment. Although the moratorium is temporary, these corporations should be applauded for taking a step in the right direction and will hopefully place a permanent moratorium on deforestation in the future.

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Stop Corporations from Illegally Destroying a National Park

Originally published on August 29, 2014, at ForceChange.com

Target: Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, President of Indonesia

Goal: Prevent illegal gold mining and deforestation from demolishing a national park

Even though it is currently illegal to deforest national parks in Indonesia, corporations are overtly breaking the law by logging and gold mining on Borneo. These rapidly depleting forests are home to the endangered orangutans and proboscis monkeys. The Indonesian government needs to enforce the law and protect its rainforests from corporate greed.

Although the Indonesian government has chosen to impose a temporary moratorium on the deforestation of their country’s rainforests, corporations continue to illegally raze the ground at Borneo’s Tanjung Puting National Park. A palm oil company is tearing down trees in order to make room for new plantations, while gold mining corporations contaminate the environment. These companies must be punished for their violations and kept out of the national park.

Refusing to perform environmental impact assessments, the corporations are allegedly bribing local officials to acquire permits. Villagers protest the decimation of their land as endangered orangutan and proboscis monkey populations are under the threat of possible extinction. Hundreds of species of birds and trees are also at risk due to this blind avarice.

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