Kuala Lumpur, 27 September 2016 – Today Greenpeace has undertaken a series of actions to block the facilities of IOI at the Port of Rotterdam, to raise the public attention on the fires burning the Indonesian rainforest and threatening endangered species such as orangutans. The haze from these fires has been drifting across to Singapore, Malaysia and other countries in Southeast Asia.
The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) shares Greenpeace’s concerns on the alarming number of forest fires in Indonesia and the impact of unsustainable palm oil cultivation across the country. The fires and the haze are affecting the life of local communities and the burnings pose a serious threat to one the most biodiversity-rich areas in the world, while significantly increasing GHG emissions.
Unfortunately, this is still a widespread situation which requires the adoption of systematic solutions, shaping the governance of the whole region, based on the contribution of all stakeholders in the palm oil supply chain.
The RSPO fully acknowledges the gravity of the violations of its principles and criteria by a number of IOI subsidiaries which led to the suspension of IOI in April 2016. IOI’s suspension was lifted on 8 August, based on the initial progress achieved with the adoption of an action to plan to remediate the violations.
However, the RSPO Board of Governors made it clear that the implementation of the action plan by IOI will be subject to an independent ground verification by a team of experts. RSPO has engaged a team of independent experts and the verification was completed on 11 September. The experts will submit a report by the end of this week and their findings will be scrutinized by the RSPO Complaint Panel (CP). The Panel will advise the Board of Governors to re-impose the suspension, with immediate effect, if the verification team finds significant failures in the implementation of IOI’s commitments to RSPO and in correcting deficiencies that led to IOI’s certifications being suspended.
Hence, the progress of IOI is being monitored and will be subject to a second independent ground verification in 12 months and further review meetings of the RSPO Complaint Panel.
Therefore, the RSPO believes that the assessment of IOI’s commitment shall follow the due process according to its rules of procedures and code of conduct, and that any further sanction of the company shall be subject to the examination of available evidence by the RSPO Complaint Panel.
More generally, stakeholders are invited to make a submission to the RSPO Complaints Panel, wherever there is evidence of an RSPO member acting in violation of the RSPO rules and criteria.