IN-DEPTH: One year after Coming Storm, temporary halt in deforestation not an end to Congo basin’s threats

Thursday, April 4th, 2019

One year ago Earthsight published Coming Storm, showing that a toxic mix of dodgy firms, impunity and collusion in the plantation sector threatened to consign Congo rainforests to the same fate as Southeast Asia and the Amazon. Since then, Earthsight’s report has helped trigger some positive action by companies, though the persistence of low palm and rubber prices have been the main factor preventing an acceleration of the destruction. Our new research shows that a number of firms have halted clearing, with one company pressured to do so following divestment by the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund. On the other hand, Earthsight has found new links between a palm firm in the Central African Republic and a warlord facing trial for crimes against humanity. And the underlying secrecy and lack of government transparency remain as bad as ever.

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Military open fire on communities protesting oil palm development in DRC

Friday, March 22nd, 2019

Tensions between local communities in DRC and Canadian oil palm company Feronia have escalated in recent months following a complaint presented last year to the company’s international financial backers. Affected communities have denounced displacement and occupation of their ancestral lands.

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Indonesian palm oil company embroiled in lawsuit for burning forest in Kalimantan

Thursday, March 7th, 2019

A palm oil company in Central Kalimantan is being sued by the Indonesian government for allegedly causing illegal forest fires. PT Arjuna Utama Sawit, a Musim Mas supplier, has also been connected to land conflicts and the illegal clearing of peatland.

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Tackling Bad Ag in Indonesia demands increased transparency, say NGOs, as yet another attempt to obtain information is ignored

Monday, February 25th, 2019

More than a year after a request for information was submitted, authorities in Aceh still have not released data about a plantation concession, ignoring a court decision and raising questions about its motives. The case follows similar behaviour by the Ministry of Agrarian Affairs and Spatial Planning, which continues to defy a Supreme Court order for more transparency.

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SOCFIN under scrutiny over alleged abuses and malpractices in Africa despite pledges to clean up its act

Friday, February 22nd, 2019

Recent reports have shed light on land rights violations and other abuses allegedly committed by SOCFIN in Africa. Despite commitments made by the firm to change its behaviour, the reports reveal that communities affected by SOCFIN agricultural activities continue to face an uphill battle to have their land and human rights respected.

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Indonesian anti-corruption body denounces deforestation license for oil palm giant found guilty of wrongdoing

Monday, February 18th, 2019

Indonesia’s anti-corruption body has asked the country’s Ministry of Environment and Forestry to review its decision to authorise the conversion of 10,000 hectares of forest in Buol district, Central Sulawesi, into oil palm plantations.

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Family of North Sumatra Deputy Governor implicated in illegal conversion of protected forests into oil palm plantations

Wednesday, February 13th, 2019

Police has named Dodi Shah, younger brother of Deputy Governor of North Sumatra Musa Rajekshah, as a suspect in a case of illegal deforestation of protected areas for oil palm cultivation.

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Oil palm expansion in Nicaragua threatening local communities and forest conservation

Monday, February 11th, 2019

In southeast Nicaragua a palm oil company has allegedly expanded its oil palm cultivations without the necessary environmental permits and driven local farmers to occupy lands at a protected area.

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Corruption and land trafficking in Peru’s Ucayali leading to deforestation for rice and palm

Friday, January 18th, 2019

Alleged criminal activity involving civil servants, government officials, judges and business owners in the eastern Peruvian region of Ucayali has been identified as a driver of deforestation in the area as illegally acquired forested lands are converted to palm and rice.

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Oil palm companies connected to land grabbing, illegal deforestation and industrial pollution in Latin America

Monday, January 14th, 2019

A Mongabay Latam series on the oil palm industry in several Latin American countries has revealed that the advance of oil palm monocultures has resulted in illegalities, deforestation, environmental pressures, and conflicts with local communities.

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Palm oil giant FGV sanctioned for forced labour and rights violations

Thursday, January 3rd, 2019

Malaysian palm oil giant FGV Holdings Berhad, formerly FELDA Global Ventures, has been sanctioned by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) for forced labour, possible trafficking in migrant workers, and numerous other violations of Malaysian labour laws.

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Palm oil executives arrested in bribery scandal in Indonesia

Wednesday, October 31st, 2018

Three executives from one of Indonesia’s biggest palm oil firms were arrested over the weekend by the nation’s anti-graft agency, the KPK, after an employee was caught bribing politicians to kill an inquiry into water pollution and plantation licenses in Borneo, the agency said on Sunday.

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Honduran authorities seek to halt illegal oil palm cultivation within Jeannette Kawas National Park

Wednesday, October 31st, 2018

Following years of complaints by local communities and conservation organisations, public prosecutors in Honduras have finally begun to investigate illegal deforestation for oil palm cultivation within Jeannette Kawas National Park in north-eastern Honduras.

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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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