Marking its strengthened commitment to sustainable production and landscape protection, palm oil company Eagle High Plantations (EHP) will provide 25 years of financing for the Rimba Raya biodiversity reserve in Central Kalimantan, the company said in a release obtained on Wednesday (22/5).

“We work with Lestari Capital because they help us meet RSPO requirements, ensuring our financial commitments to biodiversity and conservation translate to long-lasting impact,” Denys Munang, Director of Sustainability at EHP was quoted as saying in the release which also said that the project will serve as a cornerstone of EHP’s responsible sourcing strategy in the area.

“This is the first step in our commitment to sustainable production, which means we also need to protect areas surrounding the plantations that we source from,” Munang added. 

Lestari Capital sources projects that meet the criteria of RSPO’s Remediation and Compensation Procedures (RaCP), and supported EHP in the development of a concept note and full proposal that detail the 25-year commitment to conservation. As a result, EHP’s mill, which includes surrounding estates in Kumai, Central Kalimantan, completed RSPO’s Initial Certification Audit, becoming EHPs first management unit to be awarded RSPO certification on May 10, 2019. 

Eagle High Plantations’ commitment to landscape protection in Central Kalimantan represents a wider vision for transformation to more sustainable production. This includes a robust commitment to RSPO certification for all the palm oil plantations it operates, including 28 concessions across 148,000 ha. 

Lestari Capital has launched an ecosystem services marketplace, designed specifically to support the RSPO Remediation and Compensation procedures that were finalized in 2015. The marketplace, known as the Sustainable Commodities Conservation Mechanism (SCCM), finances projects over a 25-year period, providing independent fiduciary oversight that ties payments to results on the ground, ensuring benefits to local communities, global climate, and biodiversity.

The RSPO’s RaCP represents a framework to address deforestation, conservation, and social issues at the plantation level that few other industry sustainability bodies have managed to achieve.

“RSPO’s RaCP enables companies to address their conservation and social responsibilities in a positive, measurable and durable way. We certainly hope more growers join us as we begin to scale up conservation and restoration efforts as a key part of our operations,” continued Munang. “If brought to scale, these efforts will help change the narrative about the legacy of palm oil development, address certain misconceptions and draw more attention to our sustainable practices,” he said. 

EHP’s financing through the SCCM delivers tangible benefits on the ground, by supporting the largest private Orangutan preserve in the world. The Rimba Raya project also delivers critical conservation and ecosystem restoration benefits by protecting an important peatland zone near EHP’s management unit in Central Kalimantan. EHP’s funding through the RaCP is expected to support the project in its efforts to protect more than 64,000 hectares around Tanjung Puting National Park for the next 25 years. 

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