The Greenpeace International report ‘License to Clear’ details evidence of systematic violations by the Indonesian Government regarding plantation and forest release permits in the Papua region. The report also finds that clearing forest for palm plantations in West Papua could release huge amounts of carbon into the atmosphere, undoing previous climate action. 

New Zealand is the world’s biggest importer of palm kernel expeller – a product of the palm industry used as supplementary feed for New Zealand’s 6.5 million dairy cows. Greenpeace Aotearoa is calling on the New Zealand Government to phase out supplementary feeds like palm kernel expeller (PKE).

This report urges national and provincial governments in Indonesia to seize a fleeting opportunity to intervene in a vast area slated for deforestation for palm oil in Papua Province. Since 2000, forest estate land released for plantations in Papua Province has totalled almost a million hectares – an area almost twice the size of the island of Bali. 

The report finds systematic violations of permitting regulations as plantations were pushed into forest areas. To make matters worse, forest and peatland protection measures introduced by the national government – such as the Forest Moratorium and the Oil Palm Moratorium – have not yielded the reforms promised and are hamstrung by poor implementation and a lack of enforceability. 

It will be nearly impossible for Indonesia to meet its commitments in the Paris Agreement if the estimated 71.2 million tonnes of forest carbon stored in the plantation concession lands targeted for clearing in Papua Province are released. The majority of this forest remains intact for now, so reversing this move by providing permanent protection for uncleared forest areas and recognising customary land rights could be Indonesia’s banner moment to take to the UN Conference of Parties later this year.

Download the report (PDF): License to Clear

FFP Deployment at PT SUM Concession in Kubu Raya, West Kalimantan. © Rendra Hernawan
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