Thursday, June 29, 2017

Three major new initiatives to tackle human rights, wildlife conservation and concessions’data across the palm oil supply chain were announced at the recently concluded Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) conference in London.  On wildlife conservation, some of the world’s largest palm oil companies are teaming up with conservation groups and NGOs to launch a new initiative to save 10,000 orangutans in Borneo.  A new analysis to kick-start the Pongo Alliance showed that certification by RSPO together with corporate policies of “no deforestation, no cultivation on peatland and no exploitation” have had a positive impact on the survival of the species.  However, orangutan populations continue to decline in certified plantation areas.  Wilmar, Sime Darby and Musim Mas are all involved in the new initiative. 

As to child labor and human rights initiatives, the alliance was launched at the annual European RSPO conference, where RSPO also announced that it will be working with UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, to promote business practices on children’s right and workers’ welfare in the palm oil supply chain. RSPO is hoping to pilot and implement a UNICEF workplace programme on the rights of children and working families in the palm oil sector.  It also wants to mainstream child rights into RSPO sustainability standards and activities, as well as create awareness amongst members. 

On concessions’ data, the new GeoRSPO mapping platform, which features concession maps submitted by certified growers, has gone live.  It offers a detailed satellite information on mills and concessions as well as tree cover and fire alerts. 

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