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  • Archive for June, 2015

    Ten per cent of Amazonian deforestation occurring in protected areas

    2015 - 06.17

    Ten per cent of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon is taking place within protected areas, a new report has suggested.

    Using spatial analysis, Imazon examined deforestation in the Brazilian section of the rainforest between August 2012 and July 2014. It found that 158,400 hectares of the 1.531 million hectares cleared in the Amazon during the two-year period took place within 160 officially designated conservation units.

    The vast majority (87 per cent) of the loss that occurred in protected areas came from zones in just two states: Para and Rondonia, Mongabay.com reported.

    While deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon has sharply declined over the past decade, forest loss has been rising steadily in recent months, Imazon found. It is believed that Brazil’s weakening currency along with a sharp reduction in state funding of a key Amazon protection program are the main contributing factors to the apparent reversal.

    Imazon is a non-profit research institution focused on promoting sustainable development in the Amazon. The organisation’s most recent study says that the tree loss was highest in areas where infrastructure was expanding or management plans and funding were lacking. Consequently, the researchers recommend tougher law enforcement and the eviction of non-traditional settlers from illegally occupied forests, as well as a crack down on fake land titles, and targeted already-deforested lands for state resettlement schemes.

    Greenwood Management supports projects that aim to reduce deforestation, along with research that draws attention to this critical issue.

    Top firms punish palm oil supplier for forest deforestation

    2015 - 06.03

    Top palm oil companies have put their dealings with leading suppliers on hold following news of mass rainforest clearance in New Guinea.

    Palm oil titans Wilmar and Golden Agri-Resources (GAR) have announced in an email to Mongabay that they will be suspending their dealings with palm oil supplier Austindo Nusantara Jaya (ANJ) Agri following the news that the firm is clearing dense rainforest across the country.

    Despite research published in 2014 by Indonesian NGO demonstrating that the palm oil developer was undertaking mass deforestation within New Guinea, the company has continued to engage in unsustainable methods of securing its resources over the last year.

    The firm’s largest customers continued to utilise an existing partnership until the latest report was revealed by Greenomics, who found that GAR spent £13.5 million on crude palm oil from ANJ and accounted for 43 per cent of its sales over the last 12 months.

    Commenting on the recent end to the relationship between the two companies, a GAR spokesperson said: “Following serious allegations against our supplier ANJ Agri regarding clearance of high-carbon stock forest in Indonesia’s West Papua province, we have immediately engaged with them to investigate the issues.”

    Similar customers yet to break their link with the firm include Asian Agri and Musim Mas, who have given no indication that they will end their partnership with the palm oil developer despite possessing a number of sustainability policies.

    Many other companies, including Greenwood Management, have already pledged their support for sustainability policies, working to prevent deforestation and encourage worldwide forest conservation.