August 13, 2018

GAMA Plantation ceases new peat development 

JAKARTA( - Satellite data has confirmed that after the Indonesian Environment and Forestry Ministry conducted a ground-based inspection in April this year of a palm oil concession belonging to PT GAN, a GAMA Plantation-owned company, due to the construction of new canals, no further new peat development has taken place in this concession.

The GAMA company, whose concession extends across West Kalimantan's Kubu Raya regency, was found to be building new canals on a massive scale in the concession, parts of which are located in targeted peat restoration areas and peat protection zones

At the end of March this year, after first discussing it with the ministry, the team exposed the level of new canal development undertaken by the palm oil company, as shown by the following photos

Time-series based satellite data confirms that the GAMA palm oil company is no longer carrying out new peat development, ever since the ministry's field inspection (Apr 11-12) and after a strict sanction was imposed by the ministry against it (Jun 21). 

The following Planet Explorer images, which have been analyzed by the spatial team, provide clear evidence that the GAMA company has been complying with the ministry's law enforcement actions, starting from April and continuing until today.

In fact, satellite data from Planet Explorer through to as recently as August 10 also indicates that no further new peat development is taking place in the PT GAN palm oil concession. 

To shed light on the previous peat violations committed by the GAMA company, has published 8 related news reports since late March this year, with this being the ninth. 

Greenpeace International also recently released a report (Jun 25) which, among other things, revealed the peat development undertaken by PT GAN for the purpose of the GAMA palm oil plantation expansion. 

Beyond legal compliance? 

The past peat violations perpetrated by the GAMA palm oil company underline just how inappropriate it is to rely on the monitoring system used by The Forest Trust (TFT), given that it consistently fails to detect new peat development linked to the supply chains of its members. 

This case also demonstrates that Wilmar’s efforts to clean up its supply chains have yet to extend beyond legal compliance, in that these supply chains are still associated with peat violations, as epitomized by GAMA Plantation - one of its most important palm oil suppliers - being hit with a strict sanction by the ministry. 

What is certain is that further observations are required to check the extent to which the GAMA-controlled company is able to fulfill its legal compliance so that the severe sanction levied against it by the ministry can be lifted. 

In late January this year, Indonesian Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya stated firmly that companies which have announced the cleaning up of their supply chains must back up this commitment by implementing it on the ground level.