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Jakarta Post

Palm oil firms vow to stop using forests

  • <b>Adianto P. Simamora</b>

    The Jakarta Post

Bogor   /   Tue, May 13 2008   /  10:39 am

Palm oil companies operating in Indonesia pledged to stop expanding plantations into forests in response to growing global criticism about deforestation and to promote more sustainable products. Executive director of the Indonesian Palm Oil Association (GAPKI), Didiek Hadjar Goenadi, said here Monday palm oil companies would focus on utilizing idle land, including former forest concession areas, to maintain Indonesia as the world's largest crude palm oil producer. "We realize the environmental impacts by opening all our forests so we will stop touching the forest and just concentrate on abundant lands which have not been cultivated yet," Didiek told reporters during a break in a a seminar on climate change, agriculture and trade. There are currently 6.7 million hectares of oil palm plantations in the country -- half belonging to private firms, while the r...