Palm oil for India 'destroying Indonesian forests'

Jun 19, 2012
Workers harvest palm oil fruits at a plantation in Medan, Indonesia. Surging demand for palm oil in India for cooking and everyday grocery items is driving tropical forest destruction in Indonesia, Greenpeace said.

Surging demand for palm oil in India for cooking and everyday grocery items is driving tropical forest destruction in Indonesia, Greenpeace said Tuesday.

In its report "Frying the Forest" the group called on Indians to boycott products by brands Britannia, ITC, Parle and Godrej, such as biscuits and soap, until the companies commit to sustainable palm oil supply chains.

" in Indonesia are expanding rapidly every year to meet India's demands," Greenpeace forest campaigner Mohammed Iqbal Abisaputra said in Jakarta.

"We are asking Indian consumers now to stop buying products made from unsustainable Indonesian palm oil."

Booming India is the world's hungriest nation for palm oil, consuming almost 7.4 million tonnes last year, or 15 percent of , almost all of it imported, US Foreign Agricultural Service data show.

Of that amount, 5.8 million tonnes is imported from Indonesian companies, many of which Greenpeace claims are illegally clearing carbon-rich peatland.

One company targeted by the group is Duta Palma, which owns 155,000 hectares of palm oil plantations in Indonesia, the report says.

The company is deforesting peatland up to eight metres deep on the islands of Sumatra and , the report says, despite a law banning the clearance of peatland more than three metres deep.

Greenpeace also claims fires continue to burn on peatland within the company's concession, even though the slash-and-burn technique for is illegal.

The report comes after a string of successful consumer-targeted campaigns, in which brands like Barbie-maker Mattel and food-maker Kraft dropped paper packaging contracts with Asia Pulp & Paper, who were accused of logging outside their concession area.

The focus on India marks a shift in Greenpeace's strategy to consumers in developing countries.

"Asian countries will be among the first to feel the effects of climate change, so we can no longer act as if it's Europe or America's problem," Abisaputra said.

Indonesia has implemented a two-year moratorium on issuing new logging concessions on peatland and other high-conservation forest. But unsustainable logging continues within companies' existing concessions.

Before the moratorium, 80 percent of Indonesia's greenhouse gas emissions came from deforestation, UN data show, making it the world's third-biggest emitter.

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User comments : 9

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2 / 5 (4) Jun 19, 2012
Just sickening ... nothing natural is sacred or safe when crushing numbers of people want or need something. It will be our demise.
3 / 5 (4) Jun 19, 2012
Why the apostrophes in the article title? It's perfectly solid truth. Our Disinterest in 'The Environment' Signals the End of Nature. IMO with increasing of population the price of human life declines and the civilization is losing its selfpreservation instincts as a whole, which is indeed dangerous trend.
2 / 5 (4) Jun 19, 2012
The palm oil is using widely in western countries too in the manufacture of soaps, washing powder and other hygiene and personal care products. Some meta-analysis point to excessive intake of palmitic acid as a main culprit in heart diseases.
1.7 / 5 (6) Jun 19, 2012
We are supposed to be treating the violent eco-cult, Greenpeace, as a source of credible information and follow their opinion about anything? Should we also ask Hezbollah's opinion on European building codes?
1.7 / 5 (6) Jun 19, 2012
The palm oil is using widely in western countries too in the manufacture of soaps, washing powder and other hygiene and personal care products. Some meta-analysis point to excessive intake of palmitic acid as a main culprit in heart diseases.

Meta-analysis: the philosopher's stone of lore which can change many small fails into one big win using devious and magical statistical cons.
1 / 5 (1) Jun 19, 2012
1 / 5 (8) Jun 19, 2012
No panic. Trees grow back.

But I do think countries like Germany, the UK and France should lead the way and plow under their agriculture fields and plants trees.

Greenpeace should lead the way. Boycott food products from their own country -- Germany.

The mantra should be "Ignore What We Did. Pretend We Didn't Cut Down Trees".

4.2 / 5 (5) Jun 19, 2012
No panic. Trees grow back.
But it doesn't happen - instead of it, the speed of deforestation increases, which makes climate more dry and hostile and it makes the replanting of trees more difficult. We are facing the hysteresis here, when the people will switch biosphere into change, from which it will not be recoverable anymore. Not to say about lost of irrecoverable biosystems, which may hide the future marvelous biotechnologies, chemicals and cancer cures (between many others). We are losing reservoir of genes which evolved for millions of years. I'm not bioterrorist at all, I'm just thinking in wider space-time scheme, than the proponents of free-market (which always operates with current prices only) are willing to consider. It's all just about money, but about money in more distant perspective - i.e. about strategical thinking.
3.7 / 5 (6) Jun 19, 2012
If we will keep the price of natural products artificially low, it will just enable to breed another billions of people, which will spend their lives in pure reproduction and they will face the starvation and various wars. At the very end these desperate people will attack the western world, which helped them to reproduce (Indonesia is Muslim country). Not to say, the deforestation of tropical forests will bring the droughts even into western world, like the Texas. This is not sustainable solution. Everyone of us should dismiss the products, which support such a blind exploitation of resources and which are threatening the western life style in its very consequences.

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