The ‘Sustainability Lie’ of Indonesian palm oil

This is a powerful short documentary on the palm oil industry as it’s currently being run in Indonesia. Forests are allegedly being illegally destroyed and indigenous communities are being crushed by unaccountable companies which govern their concession areas like states within states.

Thanks to the excellent Redd Monitor blog for the tip on the documentary, and for its updates on the UN-backed scheme to reduce emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD).

It seems that even the UN is aware that any plan to throw billions of dollars at a corrupt country like Indonesia in exchange for forest conservation is likely to fuel graft and fraud, at the expense of the climate and the taxpayers of rich countries.

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime says many questions need to be answered:

Since the REDD+ programme envisages a payment scheme, involving a consistent cash flow to compensate for activities aiming at the reduction of deforestation, it is very likely to invite corruption and fraud. Corruption could impede fair and transparent distribution of funds, the risk being that the same mechanism today involved in illegal logging could engage in fraudulent conservation and forest development activities.

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