Palm oil giants announce deforestation moratorium — effective immediately 20 September, 2014

Five of the world’s largest palm oil producers have announced an immediate moratorium on palm oil sourced via clearance of potential high carbon stock forests.

On Friday, Asian Agri, IOI Corporation Berhad, Kuala Lumpur Kepong (KLK) Berhad, Musim Mas Group and Sime Darby Plantation said they will suspend forest clearing until they have completed a year-long study that aims to establish a threshold for defining what constitutes high carbon stock (HCS) forest.

The move comes after intense campaigning by environmentalists pushed dozens of major palm oil buyers to establish zero deforestation sourcing policies for palm oil, which is one of the top drivers of forest conversion in Malaysia and Indonesia. At the time of the announcement, several major palm oil producers and traders — including Golden Agri-Resources, Wilmar, and Cargill — had already established zero deforestation commitments based on a definition of 35 tons of carbon per hectare, effectively barring conversion of old-growth forests, secondary rainforests, and peatlands.

The moratorium may provide a temporary reprieve from green groups, which have portrayed the five companies — dubbed the Sustainable Palm Oil Manifesto Group for the name of their sustainability initiative — as laggards in the sector for continuing to chop down forests. NGOs that ran campaigns against the firms — including the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) and Rainforest Action Network (RAN) immediately welcomed the announcement, as did Green Century Capital Management, an investment advisory firm that a week earlier called for a deforestation moratorium.

“Just a week after receiving our letter signed by investors representing over $600 billion in assets under management, members of the Palm Oil Manifesto Group announced today that they would be adopting an immediate moratorium on clearance of high carbon stock (HCS) forests as called for in our letter,” said Lucia von Reusner, Shareholder Advocate for Green Century Capital Management. “A unified approach towards protecting forests in the palm oil supply chain is absolutely critical as the market shifts rapidly away from deforestation and towards climate solutions.”

Members of the Sustainable Palm Oil Manifesto Group say they are committed to “sustainable production across the supply chain.”

“This includes no deforestation, creating traceable and transparent supply chains, and protecting peat areas, while ensuring economic and social benefits for the local people and communities where oil palm is grown, and respecting their right to give consent to proposed developments or conservation through the Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) process,” according to a statement from Sime Darby.

How Can You Help

There are lots of ways you can support orangutans and help ensure the survival of this precious ape.

Adopt an Orangutan

Adopt an Orangutan

Orangutans are endangered and at risk of extinction. Habitat destruction results in hundreds of orphaned orangutans, who rely on our care every year. You can help by adopting one. Their dedicated ‘nannies’ teach them everything they need to know for when it’s time to release them back to the wild. You can follow their progress through Forest School.

Adopt Now
Make a Donation

Make a Donation

Please help the Orangutans in their struggle for survival. Your donation is important and goes directly to BOS Indonesia. By donating, you are helping bring this noble yet endangered species back from the brink of extinction and on a path to freedom - from rescue to rehabilitation and release.

Donate Now
Visit Our Shop

Visit Our Shop

The perfect gift for any occasion! Choose from our selection of instant gifts that directly support our orangutans. You can buy a wheelbarrow, provide food for an orangutan for two months or lots more. You will receive a certificate, personalised with the name of your choice - perfect gift for you or a friend.

Shop Now