Plantation firms defy moratorium to continue clearing Sumatran rainforest

27.09.2017

Clearance of rainforests for palm oil in Aceh Timur, Indonesia Photo: RAN Leuser Watch

Oil palm plantation firms are continuing to clear rainforest in the Leuser ecosystem on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, in defiance of a moratorium on deforestation.

Leuser lost 3,941 hectares (ha) of forest cover between January and July 2017, according to local watchdog Forest, Nature and Environment of Aceh (HAkA). The majority was cleared in the first six months of the year, with 1,093ha lost in June alone.

Supply chain analysis by the Rainforest Action Network (RAN) has found that fruit from these plantations has been processed in the refineries of multinational palm oil giants, including Wilmar International, Golden-Agri-Resources and Musim Mas.

“We know from on-the-ground reports and satellite imagery that the Leuser Ecosystem continues to be destroyed, despite national and regional protections in place,” RAN forests communication manager Emma Rae Lierley told Mongabay.

The group has established a website, Leuser Watch, which provides continual updates on companies identified as having been previously involved in illegal deforestation in Leuser.

Forest clearance for oil palm development has been banned in Leuser since June 2016, when the Acehnese government declared a moratorium on the practice.

The moratorium was stipulated in a circular letter that ordered all oil palm firms to stop clearing forests, even within areas they have already been licensed to develop, while the government reviews their permits.

More from Illegal Deforestation Monitor

ISPO / Indonesia's recent “reform” of palm oil sustainability scheme criticised for threatening forests and human rights

Continue reading
UK military / Brazil beef supplier used by Ministry of Defence buys from farmers guilty of illegal deforestation, fires and fraud

Continue reading
Cameroon / Local women fight back against controversial palm oil, rubber firms accused of destroying community way of life 

Continue reading
Mexico / Decline of monarch butterflies shows need for greater forest protections

Continue reading
Cocoa / New report emphasises threats major firms face in not having a full picture of their supply chains

Continue reading
Colniza massacre / Repórter Brasil investigation reveals links between JBS and Marfrig and  farmer accused of brutal 2017 killings

Continue reading
Tanah Merah / Auditor kayu Indonesia akan menyelidiki tuduhan izin-izin palsu bagi kayu senilai $6Milyar



Continue reading
Norges Bank / Norwegian sovereign wealth fund divests from consumer giant Alicorp over palm oil-linked destruction in Peru

Continue reading
JBS / Brazil meatpacking giant urged to improve monitoring as  politicians and NGOs pile on pressure 

Continue reading
SVLK / Indonesian timber auditors to probe allegations of faked permits for $6bn of wood at Tanah Merah mega-project 

Continue reading

Stay up to date with all Earthsight news & updates

Receive email updates for the latest news and insights from Earthsight and be among the first to read our new investigations.

We keep your data secure and don’t share anything with third parties. Read full terms.