Ahead of highly anticipated elections, report highlights how global markets help sustain the enormous political power of the agribusiness lobby in Brazil’s congress

Tuesday, September 25th, 2018

A damning report by Amazon Watch has shed light on the commercial links between European and US companies and agribusinesses in Brazil connected to illegalities and the powerful rural lobby in the country’s congress. According to the report, the bancada ruralista – a cross-party political caucus of federal deputies and senators who promote the interests of agribusinesses in congress – has actively worked to benefit the agroindustrial sector in Brazil while undermining environmental protections and indigenous rights, and offering amnesties to land grabbers and illegal deforesters.

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Deforestation connected to illegal cattle ranching, logging and mining continues to accelerate in northern Brazil

Tuesday, September 25th, 2018

More than 10,000 hectares of forest have been cleared in the states of Pará and Mato Grosso in northern Brazil due to illegal cattle ranching.

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Village women take on palm oil firm in Cameroon

Tuesday, September 25th, 2018

A recent report by Fern, a European conservation NGO, has revealed damning testimony by local residents of the impacts of an oil palm firm previously subject to allegations of illegal deforestation.

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Forest fires burn in palm oil concessions linked to global brands

Tuesday, September 25th, 2018

Fires have broken out inside palm oil concessions in West Kalimantan, Indonesia, belonging to suppliers to some of the biggest household brands in the world, according to analysis by Greenpeace Indonesia.

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Gama Plantations concessions closed down due to peat fires

Tuesday, September 25th, 2018

Four concessions owned in West Kalimantan’s Kubu Raya district have been sealed by the Indonesian Environment and Forest Ministry in law enforcement operations due to ongoing peat fires.

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Indonesian national park cleared for illegal oil palm

Tuesday, September 25th, 2018

More than 1,000 hectares of one of Indonesia’s most important national parks has been encroached upon by illegal palm oil plantations, according to an investigation.

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Zero deforestation commitments failing to stem illegal deforestation in Brazil, study finds

Friday, August 31st, 2018

Weakened environmental standards, a lapse in law enforcement, and low levels of compliance with zero deforestation commitments led to the loss of more than 90,000 hectares of forest in the Amazon, according to an analysis by the Brazilian environmental watchdog Imazon.

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Analysis: Does Indonesia’s storied anti-graft agency have a blind spot for corrupt palm oil deals?

Wednesday, August 29th, 2018

There is a growing realization that the corrupt allocation of land to plantation firms is a main underlying cause of Indonesia’s deforestation and land-rights crisis. Backroom deals with politicians allow companies to clear rainforests and peat swamps that might otherwise be protected, and to seize land from indigenous and other rural communities, while also channeling dark money into elections. With the stakes so high, then, why has the KPK prosecuted so few of these cases?

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Pulp giant in centre of storm around ‘shadow companies’

Wednesday, August 29th, 2018

An investigation by Mongabay has unearthed new evidence indicating that companies the pulp and paper giant Asia Pulp and Paper has sought to distance itself from are in fact controlled by the plantation giant.

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Beef firm at centre of Brazilian corruption scandal channelled $1.7bn through tax havens

Wednesday, August 29th, 2018

The biggest companies involved in trading commodities driving deforestation in Brazil are channelling money through tax havens, inflating their profits and preventing greater scrutiny of their operations, according to a paper in Nature.

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Hundreds of hotspots detected in plantations in West Kalimantan, as Indonesian forest fires rage again

Wednesday, August 29th, 2018

The annual debate over blame for the cause of the fires has re-emerged with the smoke in recent weeks, following relatively mild years in 2016 and 2017.

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Cattle ranching driving surge in illegal deforestation in northern Brazil

Wednesday, August 29th, 2018

Almost 13,000 hectares of protected forests were destroyed in the northern Brazilian state of Pará in May and June, according to analysis by the conservation NGO Socio-environmental Institute (ISA).

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“Zero deforestation” supply chains tainted by illegal palm oil from Sumatra, as demand exceeds supply of clean produce

Wednesday, July 25th, 2018

An investigation in Sumatra has exposed, again, that major palm oil traders are sourcing palm oil produced illegally in the island’s heavily threatened and biologically valuable protected areas.

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GVL drops out of RSPO, months after rebuke for a litany of rights abuses

Wednesday, July 25th, 2018

A subsidiary of the giant palm oil and paper conglomerate Sinar Mas has withdrawn from the RSPO, five months after it was rebuked by the certification scheme for coercing communities into giving “consent” to its operations in Liberia.

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World’s largest pension fund dumps shares in beef firm in wake of corruption scandal

Tuesday, July 24th, 2018

The Norwegian state pension fund has decided to divest from JBS on the basis of an investigation earlier this month, on the grounds that there was “an unacceptable risk” that a company is “contributing to or is itself responsible for gross corruption”.

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