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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The Ucayali river winds through Amazon rainforest in Peru. Image: Peruvian Ministry of the Environment

Killings highlight risks of land trafficking and corruption in Peruvian Amazon

Monday, September 18th, 2017

The slaughter of six farmers in the Peruvian Amazon has placed a spotlight on issues of land grabbing, corruption and illegal deforestation in the eastern region of Ucayali. The farmers, members of the Bello Paraiso Association of Agriculturalists, were tied up, tortured and shot by a group of between 20 and 40 assailants. The attack stemmed from a dispute over the ownership of agricultural land in the area, with local farmers and press reports blaming land traffickers.

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Toucan in Macaw Nature Park, Honduras. Photo by Lauri Vain

Spread of palm oil threatens protected areas in Honduras

Thursday, August 31st, 2017

An investigation into palm oil plantations in Honduras has shown how growing demand for the crop combines with non-existent enforcement to incentivise illegal clearances in national parks.

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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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Dangote’s oil palm and pineapple plantations in Cross River National Park. Source: The politics of the forest frontier: Negotiating between conservation, development, and indigenous rights in Cross River State, Nigeria, George Christoffel Schoneveld, Land Use Policy, Volume 38

Huge ag investments by Africa’s richest man threaten expansion of illegal deforestation in Nigeria

Monday, July 17th, 2017

A corporation led by Africa’s richest man, which is already involved in the alleged illegal conversion of some of Nigeria’s few remaining areas of dense natural forest, has announced plans for a huge expansion of agricultural plantations in the country.

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Palm oil encroaching on protected areas in Chiapas, Mexico, driving “clandestine” deforestation

Thursday, June 29th, 2017

Illegal oil palm development is playing a leading role in deforestation in the Mexican state of Chiapas, according to a government source interviewed by a reporter for Mongabay.

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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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Guatemalans wait for justice, two years on from toxic spill

Thursday, June 1st, 2017

The spill, linked to an oil palm plantation, killed thousands of fish and destroyed the plant life in the Pasión River, impacting the food security of thousands of local families.

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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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Denounced by government and RSPO, Peruvian plantation continues

Friday, May 26th, 2017

Threats have reportedly been made against indigenous people whose territory has been occupied by an oil palm company, which continues to operate in spite of sanctions by the Peruvian government and a denouncement by the leading palm oil certification scheme.

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Major US pension fund invested in illegal deforestation

Tuesday, May 16th, 2017

One of the largest pension funds in the USA has invested millions of dollars in the palm oil sector, including in companies repeatedly exposed for illegal deforestation, according to a new report.

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Concession

Parliament resolves to tackle EU’s role in driving illegal deforestation through imports of agro-commodities

Friday, April 21st, 2017

On 4th April, the EU Parliament passed a ‘Resolution’ calling for action by the world’s largest economic bloc to urgently address tropical deforestation, including regulations to address the EU’s role in driving the destruction through its imports of agricultural commodities grown on illegally deforested land.

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