Natural forests store large amounts of carbon and host the vast majority of the world's terrestrial species. They are also important for the livelihoods of millions of people that are members of indigenous and local communities. One of the most significant impacts linked with deforestation is that it is accelerating climate and biodiversity breakdown. Deforestation can also have destructive effects on soils, causing erosion and desertification. To address these issues and impacts, SIPEF has made the below commitments that apply to both its own operations and to those of its suppliers.
Since November 2014, SIPEF has committed to no deforestation and to no new plantings on peat of any depth for all of its crops. For oil palm, SIPEF is also committed to the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) Remediation and Compensation Procedure (RaCP) in its own operations and in that of plasma supplier programmes. For both its own operations and its suppliers, the commitment is implemented through the respective RSPO procedures.
All new developments undergo an integrated High Carbon Stock Approach (HCSA) and High Conservation Value (HCV) Assessment in line with current relevant standards and prior to any land development. The process includes a peer review of the HCV/HCS assessments, all of which are available on the HCV Resource Network and HCSA websites.
SIPEF’s deforestation monitoring programme has been significantly expanded in 2021, and now covers the full scope of the Group’s own operations in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, and their supplier areas. Since 2020, SIPEF utilises the Global Forest Watch (GFW) platform as a remote sensing tool for monitoring its HCV and HCS areas for tree cover loss and potential encroachment. The Group is also working with external technical experts and partners to supplement its monitoring systems with the verification of any land use change in the areas under the Company’s management in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.
The results of the GFW monitoring activities are disclosed in the SIPEF Sustainability Reports as of 2020. In addition, a visual layering of the locations of any verified illegal/non-compliant land development identified through the monitoring activities can be enabled using the SIPEF Traceability Tool, Geo SIPEF.