July 8, 2019

GAMA translating NDPE policy into action in Papua

JAKARTA ( - Almost a year after it adopted an NDPE policy, global palm oil supplier GAMA Plantation has performed outstandingly in executing zero deforestation practices among high carbon stock (HCS) forests in its two concessions (PT ACP and PT APM) in Merauke, Papua province. 

Over 51,000 hectares of HCS forest landscape or 77% of the total effective area of the two concessions - equivalent to more than 15 times the size of Brussels - remain there, having not been replaced by new palm oil plantations since August last year when the NDPE policy was implemented. 

This forms part of a series of news reports from shedding light on the substantial impacts made by palm oil and forestry companies with respect to the protection of Indonesia’s HCS forests as well as the habitat of key critically-endangered wildlife species.

Ground-based evidence 

After recently completing a spatial analysis, the team carried out a ground-based verification in the two concessions which revealed that GAMA is on the right track when it comes to no deforestation in Papua’s HCS forests following the adoption of its NDPE policy

The following photos represent ground-based evidence that there has been no further palm oil expansion involving new deforestation of the HCS forests in the two GAMA concessions since the company implemented its NDPE policy. 

GAMA’s firmness in enforcing its zero deforestation policy has yielded concrete results on the ground, unmissable to any observer of the two concessions, with major areas still dominated by an expanse of relatively intact forests.

The photos below depict a stretch of HCS forest landscape accounting for 77% of the total effective area of the two concessions and previously targeted for clearing and subsequent development into new palm oil plantations, which is instead being protected by GAMA as the first anniversary of the implementation of its NDPE policy approaches.  

Furthermore, the completely insignificant amount of HCS forests logged before GAMA adopted its NDPE policy, less than 1% of the total effective area of the two concessions, has not been subjected to any further clearing for palm oil expansion. This demonstrates the company’s class in executing its NDPE policy. 

The following photos show HCS forests in the two concessions, a relatively small amount of which were logged selectively but were then not converted into new palm oil plantations after GAMA declared its NDPE policy. 

At present, there are around 14,000 hectares, slightly more than 22% of the total effective area of the two concessions, covered by existing palm oil plantations that were developed by this leading palm oil supplier prior to the adoption of its NDPE policy.

However, 77% of the total effective of the two palm oil concessions is still covered by HCS forest landscape, far more significant than the 22% made up by existing palm oil plantations, a fact for which GAMA deserves appreciation.

Clear lesson learned

The serious efforts made by GAMA in implementing its NDPE policy, which are still being facilitated by AidEnvironment, constitute a clear lesson learned. The company’s approach exemplifies NDPE best practices in the palm oil sector.

GAMA’s impressive actions in executing its NDPE policy are not confined to Papua, as the company has performed similarly in its palm oil concession (PT GAN) in West Kalimantan’s Kubu Raya regency, including achieving legal compliance.

This has resulted in Bornean orangutan-inhabited peat forests spanning an area over twice the size of Brussels being maintained to this day, as proven by satellite data along with a ground-check and detailed in two earlier news reports by