In 2013, Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) bowed to pressure from Greenpeace, other NGOs, and its customers, promising to turn off its bulldozers and end its addiction to deforestation. Yet since then, almost 8,000 hectares of forest and peatland has been cleared in two concessions linked to APP and its parent company the Sinar Mas Group.
Last week, Greenpeace released shocking footage of clear-cutting in Papua, Indonesia, illustrating just how pervasive the problem has become for consumer companies and palm oil traders. How much land was cleared? An area almost half the size of Paris.
A decade has passed since the Guinness World Records in 2008 awarded Indonesia the “highest rate” of deforestation on the planet, and yet we're still seeing high rates of deforestation in Indonesia. This is a result of the rapid growth in the use of palm oil — an ingredient found in soaps, shampoos, cookies, chips, and makeup. It’s basically in everything and everywhere.