The palm industry is coming under close international scrutiny
due to its impact on climate change, the environment, biodiversity
and indigenous communities. In Indonesia and Malaysia millions of
hectares of old growth rainforests have been cleared to make way
for palm plantations.
In August the World Bank announced it had decided to halt all
new International Finance Corporation (IFC) investments in palm oil
and review existing investments, due to environmental and social
Next Tuesday's public meeting has been organised by Greenpeace
and the Indonesia Human Rights Committee in response to recent
debate over the use of palm products in New Zealand. It is being
billed as a chance to learn about the campaign to stop
unsustainable imports from the palm industry and protect the old
growth forests and people of Indonesia.
Earlier this year Cadbury was forced to removed palm oil from
its chocolate bars in response to consumer pressure.
Over the last six weeks Greenpeace has drawn attention to two
shipments of palm based animal feed (PKE), destined for Fonterra
dairy farms, entering New Zealand and called on John Key to halt
imports of the product due to its devastating impact on climate
change and the fact it is not needed for New Zealand farming.
Following the blockade of a shipment in the Port of Tauranga
deputy Prime Minister Bill English conceded palm kernel production
had an impact on rainforest destruction (2).
Speakers at the meeting include Greenpeace New Zealand climate
campaigner Simon Boxer, Indonesia Human Rights Committee (IHRC)
spokesperson Maire Leadbeater and Green Party MP Catherine
Delahunty who is sponsoring a new bill in parliament to combat
IHRC is concerned about the impact of deforestation and palm oil
plantations in Indonesian ruled West Papua and has campaigned
against the import of Papuan kwila for local furniture and
They will be joined by Hauraki farmer Max Purnell who recently
travelled to Indonesia to assess the impact of Fonterra's palm
The meeting will be held at Auckland University in lecture
theatre 404 of the Engineering Building, Symonds Street, from 7 -
Other contacts: Simon Boxer, Greenpeace New Zealand climate campaigner 021 905 579
Maire Leadbeater, Indonesia Human Rights Committee spokesperson, 027 443 6957
Phil Crawford, Greenpeace New Zealand communications and media 021 2299 594
Notes: (1) http://news.mongabay.com/2009/0909-palm_oil_ifc.html
(2) In response to questions in Parliament about palm kernel imports, Deputy Prime Minister Bill English, speaking on behalf of Prime Minister John Key, admitted that palm kernel harms the environment saying, "Of course, it has some impact; the Government does not deny that."
Exp. contact date: 2009-11-22 00:00:00