Friday, November 8, 2013

Researchers slam palm oil initiative as industry meets

Seed Daily via AFP: Forests are still disappearing and local communities disregarded by palm oil development despite a plan to put the sector on a sustainable footing, researchers warned as an industry gathering kicked off Thursday.

After conducting 16 case studies in Africa and Southeast Asia, the hubs of the palm oil industry, researchers said in a new book they were disappointed with a joint industry-NGO initiative to reduce the sector's impact.

The criticism came as the group behind the initiative, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), began its annual meeting in Indonesia. "Since its founding 8 years ago, the RSPO has adopted good standards, but too many member companies are not delivering on these paper promises," said Marcus Colchester, one of the authors of the book "Conflict or Consent? The oil palm sector at a crossroads".

The RSPO was created in 2004 by members of the palm oil industry with the support of governments and non-governmental organisations such as the WWF to take a voluntary approach to limit the environmental and social impact of industrial farming....

NASA image of palm oil cultivation on Borneo

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