JAKARTA, Sept. 21 (UPI) -- Due to mounting pressure from the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) and Rainforest Action Network (RAN), five major palm oil companies have decided to halt deforestation of high carbon stock forest while they study which sections of forest are most harmful to remove, according to mongabay.com. Corporations like Cargill had already agreed to stop sourcing palm oil produced via deforestation. IOI Corporation Berhad, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Berhad, Asian Agri, Musim Mas Group and Sime Darby Plantation are the companies involved in the agreement so far.
"Just a week after receiving our letter signed by investors representing over $600 billion in assets under management, members of the Palm Oil Manifesto Group announced today that they would be adopting an immediate moratorium on clearance of high carbon stock forests as called for in our letter," said Lucia von Reusner, the shareholder advocate for Green Century Capital Management.
Palm oil is used in vegetable oil and many other products. Deforestation related to palm oil allegedly endangers one third of mammals in Indonesia, and the country has over 6 million hectares of plantations. Some estimates say deforestation in Indonesia accounts for 85 percent of their country's contribution to climate change.