Indonesia Palm Oil Pledge (IPOP)

At the recent UN Summit entitled the New York Declaration on Forests some new corporate pledges. Wilmar, Golden Agri-Resources, Asian Agri and Cargill and the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) signed the Indonesia Palm Oil Pledge. They commit to work together to improve the environmental performance of the Indonesian palm oil industry. This Pledge includes benchmarks such as proactive government engagement on policy reform and a principle of no planting on high carbon stock or peat lands. The event is reported to be funded by Norway and significantly executed by Climate Advisers, a co-advisor with TFT to Wilmar on its 5 December 2013 "no deforestation, no peat, no exploitation" pledge.

Thanks to a Khor Reports reader, for this background article on the New York UN Summit from an article in REDD Monitor:

Made in the USA, paid for by Norway: The New York Declaration on Forests By Chris Lang 2 October 2014; "The New York Declaration on Forests was funded by Norway. It was part of a contract between Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative and the Meridian Institute, a US-based consulting firm... Thanks to Norway’s Freedom of Information legislation and its Electronic Public Records database, we know that the New York Declaration on Forests was part of Task Order 25: “Advancing REDD+ at the UN Secretary General’s Climate Leaders Summit and other Major Climate Events in 2014″....  The Meridian Institute sub-contracted part of this work out to Climate Advisers, another US-based consulting firm. Climate Advisers is working on another Norwegian-funded project aimed at “Creating demand for REDD+”. A Memorandum dated 9 September 2014 from the Meridian Institute asks for further funding from NICFI and explains Climate Advisers’ role: “Climate Advisers has been serving as the primary negotiators and drafters for the parties to finalize the New York Declaration on Forests and its associated Action Agenda....Pharo’s* email explains that Norway saw a “key role” for Indonesia in promoting REDD at the UN Climate Summit. (Brazil didn’t have a key role and didn’t sign on.)... Pharo’s email provides an interesting insight into the way Norway pushed the New York Declaration on Forests. It’s a “a legally non-binding political declaration”...." ”
*Pharo Per Fredrik Ilsaas, Director,  The Government of Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative, he Norwegian Ministry of the Environment

Also: Report rates palm oil companies on sustainability commitments by; October 05, 2014; "A new report published Forest Heroes, an advocacy campaign pushing for an end to deforestation, ranks global palm oil companies on their sustainability commitments. The Green Tigers, authored by Glen Hurowitz**, reviews the recent history of environmental policies in the palm oil sector...."; ** Forest Heroes Campaign Chair / Managing Director of Climate Advisers.
Statement and press conference:

Indonesian Palm Oil Pledge - Press Conference, 23 Sep 2014 - US and Indonesia climate press conference on the Indonesian Palm Oil Pledge.

Pledge statement:

News link:

UN summit hails palm oil pledges September 24, 2014 9:45AM; "Dunkin' Donuts and Krispy Kreme have joined a raft of international food companies pledging at a UN Summit to stop using palm oil (TYPO!), considered a major contributor to deforestation.... And the world's three largest palm oil companies - Wilmar, Golden Agri-Resources and Cargill - said they would co-operate to end deforestation and encourage Indonesia's incoming president Joko Widodo to implement policies on the issue.... The UN said that, after a year-long effort, a growing percentage of palm oil producers had pledged to use forest land that hadn't been illegally cleared, now representing up to 60 per cent of the global production.... Cargill CEO Dave MacLennan, appearing with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, pledged that the company would go further by avoiding deforestation in all its products - not just palm oil...."

NGO reactions:

WWF Statement on the Indonesia Palm Oil Pledge September 23, 2014; “The environmental issues associated with oil palm development are well known and of global concern. The commitment we’ve seen today from the leading palm oil companies is welcome, significant, and potentially transformative. This should be a model for other palm oil producers and traders, and for other sectors experiencing forest loss due to uncontrolled agricultural expansion... Transparency and engagement around suppliers is critical, and must be aggressively pursued and openly reported....In the past, limited governance and an absence of enforcement allowed illegal development to flourish, resulting in some of the fastest rates of tropical deforestation on the planet. As the Indonesian Minister of Forestry recently announced, there are two million hectares of illegal palm oil plantings in the Riau Province alone, and WWF’s own field teams are reporting the encroachment of National Parks and Protected Areas.... It is essential now for the government to meet the opportunity presented by these new and deeper company commitments with the governance and enforcement to give them traction. Some regions in Indonesia are already beginning to meet this demand for legal development and production, and we hope and expect to see legality move from the exception to the norm...”