The Jakarta Post, 20 September 2018
A commitment to source palm oil only from producers that are committed to protecting the environment and respecting human rights was introduced in late 2013 as a reaction to the reckless expansion of oil palm plantations. The commitment, dubbed No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation (NDPE), was introduced by the world’s biggest palm oil trader, Wilmar International. It was followed immediately by other traders and producers of consumer goods who vowed to supply the market only with deforestation-free palm oil by 2020. Fast forward five years, environmental group Greenpeace International has found that palm oil producers were still committing extensive deforestation practices. In a report obtained by “The Jakarta Post”, Greenpeace revealed that 25 major palm oil producers supplying the world’s largest brands were known to have destroyed more than 130,000 hectares of forest and peatland since 2015. The number is almost certainly an underestimate of the full scale of devastation, because the total size of their collective landbank is unknown. From the total damaged area, around 40% of the destruction, or 56,000 ha, occurred in Papua, the newest front in the palm oil industry’s war against the environment. Responding to the report, Indonesian Palm Oil Association (GAPKI) Deputy Chairman Togar Sitanggang said GAPKI had ensured that each of its member obeyed the law and prevented further environmental damages. He added that GAPKI would not cover up for companies caught violating the law and regulations on environmental protection.