Licence to kill

How deforestation for palm oil is driving Sumatran tigers toward extinction

Report - 22 October, 2013
As few as 400 tigers are thought to remain in the rainforests of Sumatra, which are vanishing at a staggering rate – a quarter of a million hectares every year. Expansion of oil palm and pulpwood plantations was responsible for nearly two-thirds of the destruction of tiger habitat from 2009 to 2011, the most recent period for which official Indonesian government data are available. Such destruction fragments the extensive tracts of rainforest over which tigers need to range in order to hunt.

Although Wilmar has undertaken to preserve high conservation value (HCV) forests and peatland on its own concessions, these areas supply less than 4% of the palm oil it trades and refines, with the remainder being produced by third-party suppliers. In relation to Wilmar, Greenpeace has documented deep peatland fires in oil palm concessions; wholesale rainforest destruction and illegal oil palm plantations within the Tesso Nilo National Park, harvests from which have previously been tracked to Wilmar’s own mills and which continue to feed into Indonesia’s palm oil supply chain; and extensive clearance of both tiger and orang-utan habitat. Wilmar is known to own, have a significant stake in or trade with most of the producers Greenpeace has documented as engaging in such irresponsible or illegal activities.

Licence To Kill - How deforestation for palm oil is driving Sumatran tigers towards extinction

Although Wilmar has undertaken to preserve high conservation value (HCV) forests and peatland on its own concessions, these areas supply less than 4% of the palm oil it trades and refines, with the remainder being produced by third-party suppliers. In relation to Wilmar, Greenpeace has documented deep peatland fires in oil palm concessions; wholesale rainforest destruction and illegal oil palm plantations within the Tesso Nilo National Park, harvests from which have previously been tracked to Wilmar’s own mills and which continue to feed into Indonesia’s palm oil supply chain; and extensive clearance of both tiger and orang-utan habitat. Wilmar is known to own, have a significant stake in or trade with most of the producers Greenpeace has documented as engaging in such irresponsible or illegal activities.

Greenpeace’s investigations have revealed that household names including Colgate Palmolive, Mondelez International (formerly Kraft), Neste Oil, Procter & Gamble, Reckitt Benckiser and a host of other companies are linked to Singapore-based Wilmar International Ltd and its international trade in dirty palm oil. Wilmar is the world’s largest palm oil processor, accounting for over one-third of the global palm oil processing market and with a distribution network covering over 50 countries.

Greenpeace believes that Wilmar and the household brands that buy its palm oil must recognise the true costs of irresponsible palm oil production. They need to ensure that their palm oil supply makes a genuine contribution to Indonesia’s development, rather than destroying the future for its people, its wildlife and the global climate on which we all depend.

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