Forestry and Poverty Project Newsletter – Issue 18, November 2010

Indonesia Rebukes Greenpeace on Eve of Cancun Talks
Indonesia has delivered a rebuke to Greenpeace on the eve of the United Nations climate change conference in Mexico, according to Indonesian media reports. Indonesian Government officials publicly criticized the claims and data in a report by Greenpeace which claims aid money will be misused by the Indonesian Government. They also indicated that Greenpeace’s call for negotiators to make ‘zero deforestation’ a condition for aid money has been rejected.  Continue reading

Conservation Debate: A Question of Growth

Alan Oxley, Jakarta Globe

The refusal of the Indonesian government to allow Rainbow Warrior, dubbed by some as Greenpeace’s environmental warship, to dock in Indonesia recently, reveals a growing impatience in Southeast Asia toward the attitudes and methods of Western environmentalists.

There are two sources of disaffection. The first is disregard of the poor and economic growth. Continue reading

The Issue of Indirect Land Use Change Associated with Biofuel Consumption; Submission to the European Commission

October 2010 – A Submission by World Growth

The EU Renewable Energy Directive directs the European Commission to prepare a report on the issue of indirect land use change associated with biofuel consumption.  The Commission is expected to present its report to the European Parliament and the European Council in December 2010.  Early in 2010 the Commission commissioned a number of analyses of different aspects of the issue. These analyses consist of three modelling analyses of the greenhouse impacts of indirect land use change, together with a review of the literature on this subject.  The Commission has Continue reading

Why Does World Bank Hate Palm Oil?

Alan Oxley, New Straits Times

MANY large global resources companies now refuse to take finance from the World Bank for major projects in developing countries. Bank procedures now increasingly make the bank a regulator, and not of compliance with policies of governments, but of non-governmental organisations.

This is about to happen in palm oil, an industry which is very important to Malaysia. Continue reading

Green Risk and Red Ink: WWF’s Threat to Free Enterprise

October 2010 – Green Papers: Issue VII

The World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF) is a large, multi-faceted international non-governmental organization. It has a high income and expenditure, in excess of US$650 million annually. It devotes as much as one-third of its operating budget to forestry issues, either through conservation work or via lobbying governments and the private sector on forestry policy. It enters into partnerships with corporations that impose a cost on business. Its varying programs and coalitions with other NGOs and the private sector wield considerable policy influence over governments, Continue reading

The RSPO and a Carbon Intensity Standard — Issues, Facts and Necessity

October 2010 – Green Papers: Issue VI

The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil has come under significant scrutiny and criticism recently from environmental NGOs. This criticism has centred on a claimed failure of the RSPO to uphold and improve sustainability criteria for palm oil. Pressure from NGOs to tighten sustainability requirements and adopt criteria and principles to demonstrate compliance with a carbon footprint is growing. There is, however, no reason to adopt one. The latest proposals before the RSPO to introduce a carbon standard lack the necessary scientific or social impact analysis to Continue reading

Palm Oil Disputes Overshadowing Real Issues

ABC Radio Australia

It’s a multi-billion dollar industry, credited with helping millions in Malaysia and Indonesia escape poverty.

But, the palm oil industry often finds itself embroiled in controversy. Conservation groups accuse palm oil producers of putting profits before the environment, especially deforestation for new plantations. Producers in turn accuse environmentalists of “green-washing” companies with misinformation. Continue reading

The Fight Over Palm Oil Funding

John Berthelsen, Asia Sentinel

The World Bank Group seeks a middle path between development and environmentalism

The global oil palm industry, providing either the world’s most indispensable cooking oil or the last nail in the coffin of the world’s rain forests, is the focus of an intense struggle for funding within the World Bank Group, the world’s biggest development lender. Continue reading

Whither Poverty Reduction? The World Bank’s Visible Green Hand; A Review of the World Bank / International Finance Corporation’s Proposed Palm Oil Strategy

August 2010 – A Submission by World Growth

The World Bank Group (WBG) has proposed a new policy approach for engagement on palm oil which will substantially alter the Group’s current approach and runs counter with the Bank’s response to the impending global food crisis. It will erect new conditions for financing, create a new and more onerous set of preconditions for financing, establish a de facto regulatory role for the World Bank, and skew Bank lending and support away from its development mission. The framework will restrict Bank lending to development of palm oil and endorses the concept of Continue reading