Demand that Nestlé and Mars Protect Aceh’s Peatlands from Palm Oil Companies’ Crimes

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The province of Aceh in Indonesia has over 200,000 hectares of peat swamp forests that keep carbon out of the atmosphere, provide flood control, sustain fisheries, and hold incredible potential for eco-tourism; but this potential has been undermined by companies destroying the balance of Aceh’s Leuser Ecosystem by clearing peatlands for palm oil plantations.

"Before the ‘90s, rice fields owned and cultivated by local communities reached peak harvest in time for villagers to be able to give to charity. But that's an old story, now the rice fields have become flooded swamps. Not only have we lost the rice fields, but fish are increasingly difficult to catch. River and swamp fish become rare in the dry season. Palm oil comes in and rice fields are gone," said Arianto, Geuchik Gampong Teluk Rumbia, Singkil District.

The clearing of peatlands by palm oil companies has become a serious threat for the peat swamp forests of Aceh. Areas that should be preserved as a globally important ecosystem and carbon sink for climate balance are now drained for canals and converted to palm oil plantations, increasing the risk of catastrophic floods and forest fires that only make the climate crisis worse.

Rainforest Action Network’s (RAN) undercover investigations have exposed an illegal palm oil plantation responsible for destroying critical wildlife habitat and the sources of livelihoods for local communities. Their report traced Conflict Palm Oil being harvested from within the protected Rawa Singkil Wildlife Reserve all the way to the oil supplied to big global brands such as Nestlé and Mars.

A further investigation revealed that a rogue palm oil company that was convicted of intentionally using fire to illegally destroy some of the world's most valuable orangutan habitat in Tripa peatland, is still supplying palm oil to the global market, years after being found guilty in Indonesian court. Nestlé and Mars are among the international brands that, once again, had not placed the company, PT Kallista Alam, on 'No Buy' lists and are at risk of continued sourcing of Conflict Palm Oil responsible for the destruction of the carbon-rich, lowland peat forests in the Leuser Ecosystem. 

These investigations proved that global brands such as Nestlé and Mars are NOT following their own commitments to no deforestation, no peat destruction and no exploitation and they still can't guarantee deforestation-free palm oil is being used in their products! 

Join us as we call on Nestlé and Mars and demand they intervene to protect Aceh’s peatlands in the Leuser Ecosystem from Conflict Palm Oil!

#ProtectAcehPeatlands #ProtectLeuserEcosystem