Protection of carbonated Forest Through new palm-oil Contract
A prominent producer of Palm oil is now collaborating with environmental activists for the purpose of forest protection. The Indonesian corporation Golden Agri-Resources (GAR) has decided to work under the new regulations in order to protect forests that stock large quantities of Carbon.
This is being done in collaboration with and under the supervision of international environmental group The Forest Trust (TFT). This recent contract will be an extension to already existing regulations as fostered by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), a worldwide coalition of producers, processors, retailers and environment groups.
Among the existing laws, RSPO prohibits the cutting of old forests and land associated with them, and those intending to develop in those areas are required to obtain formal consent from the residents of the land.
Extending the above mentioned law, the new deal proposes that the humates and the carbonized forests shall not be cleared under any circumstances.
The consequencies of this deal would be that those forest areas that have been, to some extent, cleared would not be allowed to be operated upon any further. As a rough initial estimate, 35 tonnes of carbon stored per hectare has been set as a limit, which could vary with the progress of the research.
Scott Poynton, the TFT’s executive director stated that these measures are not supposed to be in clash with PRSO, but only suggest ways to take proper measures towards this direction.
GAR is among the leading producers of palm-oil world-wide, which is being used in food and other utilities like cosmetics and fuel.
Throughout the years, like other major corporations operating on forests, GAR has also been criticized by environmental groups, and this criticism has moved GAR towards this initiative.
Franky Wijaya, GAR’s chairman and CEO said that being the leaders in palm oil industry, GAR has decided to play it’s role in the preservation of forests in Indonesia.
He further argued that GAR’s collaboration with TFT can result in producing palm oil in ways that would, on one hand, by quite harmless to the forests and on the other, be beneficial for progress, opening new doors for employment and assets.
This same year, TFT nailed down a contract with Swiss-based multinational food corporation, Nestle, to arrive at a mutual agreement that Nestle’s palm oil production would not result in the forest-damage.
These activities have sparked a discussion among the palm oil producers and it’s evident that in order to retain their markets, they need to come up with ways that would be beneficial them while not damaging the timberlands.
A pioneer among the forests activist NGOs, Greenpeace, has hailed this step as a huge positive initiative. According to campaigner Phil Aikman, this deal would prove to be a good example to follow for other palm oil producers.
He contended that such measures would protect the forests as well as the wild life that were in severe danger as a result of palm oil production. The deal directs the producers to come up with more efficient ways of production rather than damaging forests for their yield.
In past, such initiatives have generally failed due to negligence, but TFT intends to closely monitor the entire process from now on.