PALM OIL NEWS
March 18, 2019
No resolve evident in palm oil moratorium enforcement
JAKARTA (foresthints.news) - Nearly five months after the signing of the moratorium on palm oil expansion in September last year by President Joko Widodo, the implementation of the evaluation of good forest cover in existing palm oil concessions is still absent.
As previously reported by foresthints.news (Mar 5), in December last year Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya delegated the evaluation of good forest cover in existing palm oil concessions to provincial governments.
This move was not in line with the President's order instructing the minister herself to evaluate good forest cover which should not be cleared for palm oil expansion and whose legal status should be reverted to state forest areas.
Clear evidence pointing to the fact that the evaluation of good forest cover in existing palm oil concessions is not working can be found, among other places, in PT PSM’s concession situated in West Kalimantan’s Ketapang regency.
No effect from delegation
The following Planet Explorer images show the level of good forest cover that had been cleared in part of PT PSM’s concession before the minister delegated the evaluation of good forest cover in existing palm oil concessions to provincial governments.
After the evaluation of good forest cover in existing palm oil concessions was placed in the hands of provincial governments in December last year (Dec 19), it turned out that the good forest cover in PT PSM’s concession continued to be cleared unabated.
In other words, there was no difference in impact before and after the evaluation of good forest covered was delegated by the minister to provincial governments.
On the contrary, the deforestation of good forest cover composed of Bornean orangutan-inhabited forests in PT PSM’s concession proceeded without any change, as seen in the Planet Explorer images below.
This case represents an ongoing lesson learned in terms of the implementation of Indonesia’s palm oil expansion moratorium and highlights the need for the moratorium to be continually supervised up close on a time-series basis.
Ineffective NDPE policies
The PT PSM palm oil concession was initially owned by Genting Plantations (GenP). Wilmar previously announced that this company had committed not to develop HCS forests, in response to a report published by Greenomics Indonesia.
However, after this announcement, Wilmar unexpectedly made another announcement that GenP had sold the concession, including of course the HCS forests within it which are home to the critically-endangered Bornean orangutan and are still being subjected to clearing as of today.
This case also serves as an ongoing lesson learned with respect to the implementation of Wilmar's new policy measures, including how ineffective the NDPE policies of major global brands and leading palm oil traders have been, as previously reported by foresthints.news in December last year.