PETALING JAYA: Palm oil company Felda Global Ventures Holding Berhad (FGV) has agreed to restore more than 1,000ha of peat forest in West Kalimantan after coming under pressure for its unsustainable deforestation.
Reports from environmental organisations Greenpeace and Chain Reaction Research had criticised FGV’s rapid deforestation, especially in high conservation value forest, that is said to be a violation of Indonesia’s no-peat development law.
Among the issues raised were FGV’s violations of its own sustainability policy, labour exploitation at plantations, and the forest fires that caused the 2015 haze crisis.
“In response to the article that was published by Chain Reaction Research in their April and May bulletins, we engaged with our various stakeholders to obtain feedback on our Group Sustainability Policy,” FGV officer-in-charge Datuk Khairil Anuar Aziz told The Star Thursday.
He said the policy was revised on Aug 25, 2017 to reflect FGV’s commitment to support its stakeholders’ No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation Policy, which prohibits the development of peatland.
FGV’s revised policy pledges no deforestation, no conversion of high conservation value areas, no new planting on peatland irrespective of depth or when the peatland was acquired, and to immediately stop all new development of peatlands.
Additionally, the policy commits to rehabilitating the peatlands developed after the policy’s approval and to continue with community programmes in the neighbouring areas of PT Temila Agro Abadi and PT Cita Niaga Perkasa in Kalimantan.
FGV, a subsidiary of Felda, is the world’s largest palm oil producer.
According to Greenpeace South-East Asia, the is the first time a palm oil company has been pressured by its stakeholders to restore the forest it cleared.