Palm oil firm with links to international trade illegally fells elephant habitat


Aerial view of recent land clearing by PT. Agra Bumi Niaga in January 2017 Photo: Nanang Sujana/RAN

An investigation by the US-based non-profit Rainforest Action Network has found evidence of illegal clearance of critically endangered Sumatran elephant habitat in the Leuser Ecosystem, in the far west of Indonesia.

Rainforest Action Network named the culprit as a “rogue palm oil producer” named PT Agra Bumi Niaga (PT ABN). 

PT ABN supplies a nearby crude palm oil processing mill, which in turn supplies Wilmar International, one of the world’s largest palm oil trading firms.

The investigation uncovered evidence that PT Agra Bumi Niaga has cleared hundreds of hectares of forest over a six-month period. 

The deforestation documented is in clear violation of a moratorium announced by the President of Indonesia in April 2016 as well as instructions from the Governor of Aceh made on 17 June 2016 ordering the same company to cease all forest clearance activities, including areas with existing permits.

The Leuser Ecosystem is one of the most important areas of rainforest left in Southeast Asia for biodiversity. It also provides critical ecosystem services to millions of Acehnese citizens.

A detailed summary of the evidence is available here.

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