Eco-business published an exclusive article jointly written by FPP, Greenpeace, RAN and WWF, on the NGOs’ thinking on protecting high carbon stock (HCS) forests. They indicated that despite commitments by some companies to protect these forests, challenges still remain, namely the definition of HCS. They discussed the two main groups and initiatives underway, namely the HCS Approach Steering Group and the HCS Study initiated by the Sustainable Palm Oil Manifesto (SPOM) group, in determining the “HCS Approach”.
Palm oil companies have long been criticised for their damaging clearance, of both forests and peatlands, which contributes significantly to global warming. It is estimated that Indonesia, where deforestation is still increasing despite Presidential promises to halt it, is the world’s third highest emitter of green house gases. This is mainly due to large scale land clearance for palm oil plantations, pulp and paper ventures and transmigration. Considering the ineffectiveness of Government efforts, getting companies to set aside forest and peatland areas within their concessions seems like a sensible way to limit the problem. But, given that most concessions are handed out by governments without first recognising and securing the lands of local communities,what are the implications of these set-asides for the rights and livelihoods of forest peoples?