Thursday, August 28, 2008

Palm oil producers in Indonesia reject moratorium on forest destruction

Mongabay: Palm oil companies operating in Indonesia have rejected a proposed moratorium on clearing forests and peatlands for oil palm plantations, reports the Jakarta Post. The Indonesian Palm Oil Producers Association (GAPKI) — a group with 250 palm oil producers — said that a ban on converting natural ecosystem for oil palm estates would hurt the economy, increasing unemployment and poverty.

"Indonesia does not need to apply a moratorium on its forest. GAPKI strongly rejects the forest conversion moratorium idea," GAPKI executive Derom Bangun was quoted as saying by the Jakarta Post at a Greenpeace-organized conference on palm oil in Semarang, Indonesia. Derom's comments come three months after Didiek Hadjar Goenadi, executive director of GAPKI, said that palm oil companies would only develop "idle land" — including former forest concession areas, some of which include rainforests and peatlands. At the time Didiek estimated that Indonesia has some seven million hectares of idle land suitable for oil palm or rubber plantations….

A palm oil plantation in Cigudeg, Bogor, in Indonexia. Shot by Achmad Rabin Taim from Jakarta, Indonesia, Wikimedia Commons, under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License

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