February 8, 2019

RSPO takes move, listed company stops deforestation

JAKARTA ( - The RSPO Secretariat’s Investigations and Monitoring Unit (IMU) has reached a key finding regarding one of its members, PT ANJT Tbk. This Indonesian listed company is linked with the deforestation of high carbon stock (HCS) forests in the province of West Papua. 

“The IMU has found inconsistencies in landscape conservation and development plans submitted to the RSPO Secretariat,” Tiur Rumondang, RSPO’s Indonesia Country Director, explained in an email to (Feb 7). 

With respect to this finding, she added, ANJT has been instructed to submit “several requirements that can explain changes made to the landscape conservation and development plans” in two ANJT concessions (PT PPM and PT PMP).

“The given timeframe (for the submission) is due in the second week of March 2019,” Rumondang wrote. 

In the late months of 2013, ANJT began to remove West Papua’s intact forest landscape to make way for new palm oil plantations in the two concessions conconcerned. Mongabay, by referring to a Greenomics Indonesia report, first exposed this case in late July 2014. 

The replacement of West Papua’s HCS forests with palm oil plantations in the two ANJT concessions, which cover an area greater than 57 thousand football fields, was in fact still ongoing until early December 2018, as previously reported by (Dec 7)

The Planet Explorer images below, provided by Greenomics, show however that no further HCS deforestation was underway in one of the ANJT concession spots from early January to February 2019.

This is the umpteenth news report posted by in the last three years focusing on ANJT’s operations, given that this company has been relentless in clearing West Papua’s HCS forests, including the draining of the peat ecosystem.

Greenomics has also demonstrated that HCS deforestation in another spot in one of the ANJT concessions was discontinued from early January to early February this year, as seen in the following Planet Explorer images.

Nestlé, as reported by in mid-October 2018, clarified that “We are currently working with our suppliers and supply chains to identify where and how ANJT (palm oil) is entering the supply chain, in order to remove them once and for all.” 

Meanwhile, Mars declared its position concerning ANJT’s palm oil too, stating “We have asked our supplier ADM to remove ANJT from the supply chain,” - as also reported by in October last year (Oct 19). 

Cargill also took a position relatively similar to that of  Nestlé and Mars, proclaiming that “We immediately engaged our direct supplier (PHG) and have agreed on the terms to remove ANJT from our supply chain,” - once again the subject of a report in October last year (Oct 24).

The ending of ANJT’s deforestation practices needs to be permanent, not only for the moment. To this end, further monitoring is still required to ensure that no more deforestation takes place in the two ANJT concessions, in line with the RSPO’s new standard. 

Furthermore, the RSPO also has to make sure that ANJT does not destroy the HCS forests spread within its third palm oil concession, the location of which is near to the listed company’s two concessions in West Papua.