Jan 17

Palm oil company hit with momentous fine for destruction of key orangutan habitat

Palm oil plantationAn Indonesian company has been ordered to pay US$30 million to the state for illegally clearing 1,000 hectares (2,500 acres) of the Tripa Peatland Swamp Forest in Aceh province, Sumatra. The historic fine was imposed after PT Kallista Alam was found in breach of Indonesian National Law for the “illegal use of fire to clear forests”.

Tripa Peatland Swamp Forest is part of the unique Leuser Ecosystem which is home to approximately 80% of the remaining Sumatran orangutan (Pongo abelii) population, classed as critically endangered by the IUCN*. However, as the world’s largest palm oil producer, Indonesia’s forests, and the diverse wildlife which inhabit them, are under threat from clearance and burning for palm oil production resulting in a desolate and lifeless environment. The fine received by palm oil conglomerate PT Kallista Alam has therefore been widely applauded. Almost US$21 million of the fine is to be used to restore the affected forest.

vEcotourism Ambassador, Ian Redmond explains: “This welcome decision represents a huge step forward in Indonesia’s struggle to halt deforestation. The fine is of such a size that any palm oil company thinking of converting forest to plantation will think twice about breaking the law.”

You can experience the majesty of the critically endangered Sumatran orangutan and the unique Tripa Peatland Swamp Forest through vEco’s immersive, one-of-a-kind tour in Sumatra here!

*International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

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