Clearance of rainforests by PT. Tualana Raya for palm oil, Aceh Timur, Indoneisa. Image courtesy of RAN Leuser Watch.

Plantation firms defy moratorium to continue clearing Sumatran rainforest

Wednesday, September 27th, 2017

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 of forest cover between January and July 2017, according to local watchdog Forest, Nature and Environment of Aceh (HAkA).

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Around 85% of PNG’s population live in rural villages. Under PNG law, they have legal rights to their customary land and
the forests that grow on it. Photo: Fábio Erdos/Global Witness

Papua New Guinea’s government resurrects zombie ag licenses

Monday, September 11th, 2017

The government of Papua New Guinea appears to have turned the notion of post-truth politics into an art form, making so many inconsistent claims on the legal status of the plethora of fraudulently issued plantation licenses in the country that it seems prudent to ask whether it knows where the truth lies anymore.

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Fire set to clear peatland in Indonesia. Photo by Rhett A. Butler for Mongabay

Firms filmed exploiting peatland forest in West Kalimantan

Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

An Indonesian company and its Chinese partner have pushed ahead with an industrial wood plantation in a forest in Borneo, flouting a moratorium on the drainage and exploitation of Indonesia’s peatlands.

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The remains of a burnt tree in East Kalimantan, Indonesia. Photo: Josh Estey/AusAID, used under Creative Commons license

Indonesian government failing to collect more than $1 billion in deforestation fines

Friday, August 25th, 2017

The Indonesian government is failing to make firms convicted of illegal deforestation pay more than US$1 billion in fines, hampering efforts to restore the peat and forest habitats damaged by their operations.

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One million hectares of oil palm “beyond effective control by government” in Indonesian province

Monday, August 21st, 2017

Wiratno, Director General of Ecosystem and Natural Resources Conservation of the Environment and Forestry Ministry, told a seminar that the plantations were occupying the ‘forest estate’ without permission of the central government.

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Aerial view of the recently land clearing by PT. Agra Bumi Niaga. Peunaron Village. East Aceh, Indonesia. 13/01/2017

Latitude: 4° 34' 1.062" N
Longitude: 97° 41' 11.73" E

Corporate giants exposed to palm oil sourced from illegal clearances of Sumatran rainforest

Tuesday, July 25th, 2017

Some of the world’s biggest consumer brands may have sourced palm oil from illegally deforested land on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, according to an investigation by the Rainforest Action Network.

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Indonesian government finances palm oil companies ignoring its laws

Thursday, June 29th, 2017

Three banks majority-owned by the state – Bank Mandiri, Bank Rakyat Indonesia and Bank Negara Indonesia – have ploughed billions of dollars into an industry that is systematically undermining the rule of law and efforts to repair Indonesia’s reputation as a climate villain in the wake of catastrophic forest fires.

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Illegal palm oil concession generates flood of timber, greenwashed by Indonesia’s flagship certification scheme

Monday, June 26th, 2017

Timber from illegal palm oil concessions has been certified as ‘legal’ under Indonesia’s state forestry certification scheme, according to a new report from two NGOs.

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Papuan government “exercises its discretion” to encourage palm oil company to break the law

Tuesday, May 30th, 2017

The company at the heart of a controversial palm oil development in Papua has claimed that the provincial and district governments encouraged it to commit a criminal offence because they were “impatient” to see the project begin.

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

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

Thursday, March 2nd, 2017

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.

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Politician’s son named as suspect in illegal land clearing case in Indonesia

Tuesday, January 31st, 2017

The son of a local parliament chief has been named a suspect over illegal land clearing in the Singkil Swamp Wildlife Reserve, a protected area in Indonesia that is home to the densest population of Sumatran orangutans.

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Illegal operations common feature of palm oil-driven conflicts

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

Illegalities by palm oil companies are a significant factor in the widespread conflicts between them and rural communities in Indonesian Borneo, according to a recent paper published in Applied Geography.

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April

Pulp giant ‘misinterprets’ peat canal blocking decree, constructs canal

Monday, December 19th, 2016

Pulp and paper giant April has carved a three kilometre canal through carbon-rich peatlands in Sumatra in violation of Indonesian government regulations intended to curb greenhouse gas emissions and prevent another annual return of catastrophic forest fires.

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Riau network urges government to prosecute forest encroachment

Friday, December 16th, 2016

Analysis of plantations in Riau Province, Indonesia, suggests that the majority of oil palm plantations are operating without permission from the Ministry and Environment and Forestry.

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Illegal palm oil encroaches on Aceh’s largest peatswamp

Thursday, November 24th, 2016

The province of Aceh, Indonesia, lost more than 4,000 hectares of forest in the first half of 2016, largely due to “legally questionable, if not downright illegal” palm oil expansion, according to a report on Mongabay.

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