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In response to Sime Darby announcement to exit from the HCSA steering committee, Grant Rosoman Global Forest Solutions Coordinator for Greenpeace International said:

“This move by Sime Darby shows the consistent failure of key plantation companies to show they are serious about ending deforestation. Sime Darby has yet to provide full transparency and a clean supply chain, including maps for its third party suppliers. Its withdrawal from HCSA only begs the question: how will it measure and verify and report on its commitments given its poor track record?”

Sime Darby’s exit from the HCSA, the most credible and widely supported tool to implement ‘no deforestation’, comes after failing to meet the crucial objective of “eliminating deforestation from the production of agricultural commodities such as palm oil, soy, paper and beef products by no later than 2020” that it signed up to as a signatory of the New York Declaration on Forests [1]. By exiting the HCSA, Sime Darby is dodging the membership requirement to provide evidence of its implementation of NDPE across its supply chains.  

Sime Darby also has a history of selling its way out of its No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation (NDPE) commitments:

. When the company had major land rights disputes in relation to its plantation PT  MAS in West Kalimantan, it simply sold the plantation instead of resolving them. 

. In 2019, Sime Darby divested ownership from its Liberia operations that were plagued with reports of  human rights violations, violence and allegations of torture. 

. Its operations and suppliers have been linked to catastrophic peatland fires from 2015 through 2018 in Indonesia. 

. A Greenpeace International investigation found Sime Darby was one of the palm oil groups with the highest number of fire hotspots associated with its concessions in Indonesia in 2019. After last year’s burning season, air pollution from forest fires put nearly 10 million children at risk according to the United Nations

Sime Darby, like Wilmar International who also exited HCSA in April,  shows that NDPE commitments are merely a PR exercise. Meanwhile, the palm oil sector continues to be mired in corruption, land theft and  human rights violations, and remains a leading driver of deforestation with all its climate and biodiversity impacts. 

Notes

[1] Sime Darby was a signatory of The New York Declaration on Forests which arose from the United Nations Secretary-General’s Climate Summit held in New York in 2014. See original declaration text here

Notes

Sol Gosetti, International Communications Coordinator, Indonesia Forest campaign, Greenpeace Southeast Asia [email protected], +44 (0) 7807352020