Golden Agri Declares Strong Commitment to the New York Declaration on Forests at the UN Climate Summit 2014
- New York Declaration on Forests is a collective vision by the public and private sector to address deforestation and promote restoration of forests
- This is aligned to the goals of GAR’s pioneering Forest Conservation Policy which was put in place by GAR in 2011, to ensure ‘No Deforestation” in its entire supply chain
New York, 23 September 2014, Golden Agri-Resources (GAR) declares its continuing strong commitment to forest protection at the United Nations (UN) Climate Summit New York taking place today, by participating in the New York Declaration on Forests.
The New York Declaration on Forests is a collective vision by Governments, companies and business associations, indigenous peoples, civil society organisations and multilateral institutions to act individually and collectively to achieve high-level goals which will address deforestation and promote restoration of forests.
“GAR’s commitment to the New York Declaration on Forests is aligned to the goals of our Forest Conservation Policy. At GAR, our commitment to sustainability stems from our internal values and principles in striving to be the best at what we do. We believe that multi-stakeholder engagement is the best way to achieve solutions for sustainable palm oil production and are greatly encouraged that commitments are made to work collectively to protect forests globally”, said Franky Widjaja,Chairman and CEO, GAR.
The Climate Summit 2014 is led by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to galvanise and catalyse climate action among world leaders from government, finance, business and civil society. The summit is aimed at providing a unique opportunity for leaders to champion an ambitious vision, anchored in action that will enable a meaningful global agreement in the 2015 UN Climate Change Conference in Paris.
Indonesia Palm Oil Pledge
In addition to the New York Declaration on Forests, GAR also signed the Indonesia Palm Oil Pledge together with other players including Cargill, Wilmar and the Indonesia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN).
Palm oil plays a strategic role in the development of Indonesia. Today, the industry in Indonesia employs about 4.5 million people, of whom 175,000 work for GAR. To date, we have helped to develop and support the establishment of 232 schools that employ 2,348 teachers and educate 37,487 students, ranging from kindergarten to junior high. Palm oil is also the cheapest vegetable oil with a wide range of uses. Therefore, palm oil plays an important role in mitigating the mounting pressures on food security that accompany a rising population.
Mr Franky Widjaja said: “Given the global momentum towards deforestation free palm oil and traceability, we are confident that our collaboration can achieve long term solutions to balancing economic development and forest conservation. It is encouraging that since we launched the FCP, many players have also come on board. This means we can achieve greater food security, create much needed employment and a better future for all”.
As a signatory, GAR commits to improving environmental stewardship, working with KADIN and other relevant stakeholders to engage the Government of Indonesia to encourage development of policies, legal and regulatory frameworks that promote the implementation of the pledge,expanding social benefits to smallholders, the community and lastly, improving the competitiveness of Indonesian Palm Oil.
Since 2011, GAR has implemented a Forest Conservation Policy (FCP) together with The Forest Trust (TFT). The FCP ensures that the Company is working towards achieving a “no deforestation” footprint in its palm oil operations while creating long-term sustainable growth for GAR and the industry. The FCP applies to GAR’s entire supply chain and the Company is implementing processes to ensure that the palm oil for both its upstream and downstream operations are in line with the FCP.
GAR has taken the lead to investigate and promote the adoption of the High Carbon Stock (HCS) concept across the palm oil industry.GAR conducted fieldwork in collaboration with TFT, Greenpeace and other stakeholders in the first half of 2011 and published the results of the fieldwork in the HCS Forest Study Report on 4 June 2012. On 13 March 2013, GAR announced the implementation of an HCS forest conservation pilot project in PT Kartika Prima Cipta (PT KPC), West Kalimantan, Indonesia. The purpose of the pilot is to establish a for successful HCS conservation by the broader palm oil industry.
GAR has implemented its pilot project on HCS conservation in West Kalimantan for 12 months.During the pilot, GAR reached out to relevant stakeholders from the community, Indonesian government, civil society organisations and industry, to establish a framework for successful HCS conservation by the palm oil industry.
In August 2014, GAR joined an HCS Steering Group comprising NGOs and plantation companies to lead a process for further development and global standardisation of the HCS methodology. The mission of the HCS Steering Group is to ensure that there is a practical,transparent, robust, and scientifically credible approach that is widely accepted to implement commitments to halt deforestation in the tropics while ensuring that the rights, livelihoods and aspirations of local peoples are respected.More information can be found here.
As part of GAR’s holistic approach towards sustainability, the Company has in place a Social and Community Engagement Policy (SCEP) which was launched in November 2011. The SCEP ensures that GAR’s palm oil operations improve the lives of the communities they impact. In addition, GAR launched the Yield Improvement Policy (YIP) in February 2012 to leverage on technology and innovation to increase crude palm oil (CPO) yield in order to improve the livelihoods of smallholders and also to reduce the pressure to open new land.
About Golden Agri-Resources Ltd (“GAR”)
GAR is one of the leading palm oil plantation companies with a total planted area of 470,600 hectares (including smallholders) as at 30 June 2014, located in Indonesia. It has integrated operations focused on the production of palm-based edible oil and fat.
Founded in 1996, GAR is listed on the Singapore Exchange since 1999 with a market capitalisation of US$5.7 billion as at 30 June 2014. Flambo International Limited, an investment company, is GAR’s largest shareholder, with a 49.95% stake. GAR has several subsidiaries, including PT SMART Tbk which is listed on the Indonesia Stock Exchange since 1992.
GAR is focused on sustainable palm oil production. In Indonesia, its primary activities include cultivating and harvesting of oil palm trees; processing of fresh fruit bunch into crude palm oil (“CPO”) and palm kernel; and refining CPO into value-added products such as cooking oil, margarine and shortening. It also has integrated operations in China including a deep-seaport, oilseeds crushing plants, production capabilities for refined edible oil products as well as other food products such as noodles.
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