STOP THE DEFORESTATION IN SAHYADRI FORESTS

  • By: Ruth McD
  • Target: President of India Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India Ms. Jayanti Natarajan

The tiger, the orangutan, the rhinoceros, the elephant is today classified as critically endangered. The main cause of the dramatic whittling down in the numbers of these animals is not poaching as much as the ravaging of their habitat — Indonesia’s forests — by mining, pulp paper interests, and most specially, by the palm oil industry.

India is in fact the world’s largest importer of palm oil, the very resource which is behind much of the habitat destruction that threatens Indonesia’s large mammals. According to Greenpeace, the palm oil sector was the single largest driver of deforestation in the 2009–2011 period, with identified concessions accounting for about a quarter of forest loss. Indonesia is the world’s largest producer of palm oil and the industry accounts for 11 per cent of Indonesia’s export earnings, second only to oil and gas.

The number of Indian companies that import and use palm oil in their products is vast, and includes big names like Godrej, Emami, Adani Wilmar and VVF Ltd. In a report, Frying the Forest, released last year, Greenpeace demonstrated how Indian companies like Ruchi Soya bought oil from known environmental offenders, like Indonesia’s Duta Palma. A palm oil growing and exporting group, Duta Palma has repeatedly been found to be in violation of Indonesian laws, including operating without a concession title, illegal clearance of deep peatlands and intentional burning of forests to make way for oil palm plantations.

The tiger, the orangutan, the rhinoceros, the elephant is today classified as critically endangered. The main cause of the dramatic whittling down in the numbers of these animals is not poaching as much as the ravaging of their habitat — Indonesia’s forests — by mining, pulp paper interests, and most specially, by the palm oil industry.


India is in fact the world’s largest importer of palm oil, the very resource which is behind much of the habitat destruction that threatens Indonesia’s large mammals. According to Greenpeace, the palm oil sector was the single largest driver of deforestation in the 2009–2011 period, with identified concessions accounting for about a quarter of forest loss. Indonesia is the world’s largest producer of palm oil and the industry accounts for 11 per cent of Indonesia’s export earnings, second only to oil and gas.


The number of Indian companies that import and use palm oil in their products is vast, and includes big names like Godrej, Emami, Adani Wilmar and VVF Ltd. In a report, Frying the Forest, released last year, Greenpeace demonstrated how Indian companies like Ruchi Soya bought oil from known environmental offenders, like Indonesia’s Duta Palma. A palm oil growing and exporting group, Duta Palma has repeatedly been found to be in violation of Indonesian laws, including operating without a concession title, illegal clearance of deep peatlands and intentional burning of forests to make way for oil palm plantations.

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