Defend Endangered Forests and Indigenous Rights

Target: Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil

Goal: Prevent palm oil company from destroying indigenous communities’ land and important wildlife habitat.

Malaysia-based palm oil company Kuala Lumpur Kepong wants to develop an industrial plantation on the traditional lands of indigenous communities in Papua New Guinea’s Collingwood Bay area. If the company succeeds, it will mean disaster for the people of Collingwood Bay, as well as for the until-now unspoiled rainforests in this part of Papua New Guinea. Sign the petition below to help stop this misguided project.

The island nation of Papua New Guinea is home to rainforests that support an astonishing diversity of plant and animal species, including tree kangaroos, long-beaked and short-beaked echidnas, and beautiful birds of paradise. Many species native to New Guinea are found nowhere else in the world, and all depend on healthy ecosystems to sustain them.

Papua New Guinea’s indigenous peoples have co-existed with native animals and plants for centuries – but when industrial plantations take over, it means bad news for wildlife and for traditional communities. Unlike indigenous agricultural practices, industrial plantations destroy vast areas of rainforests that both people and wildlife depend on. It’s this type of plantation that Kuala Lumpur Kepong wants to develop at Collingwood Bay.

The chiefs of communities at Collingwood Bay have filed a complaint with the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), challenging  Kuala Lumpur Kepong’s seizure of their land. However, the RSPO has so far not responded. Sign the petition below to urge RSPO to take immediate action to address indigenous leaders’ concerns.


Dear Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil,

We, the undersigned, are writing to express our disappointment that RSPO has not taken prompt action in response to the complaint filed by indigenous leaders from the Collingwood Bay area in Papua New Guinea, submitted in April, 2013. As you are aware, residents of Collingwood Bay argue that by attempting to develop a palm oil plantation on their traditional lands, Kuala Lumpur Kepong is violating the RSPO’s standards for social and environmental responsibility. These are serious concerns that need to be addressed.

Kuala Lumpur Kepong is an RSPO member, and any action the company takes in violation of RSPO’s standards will discredit the entire organization. RSPO was founded with a worthy goal – that of providing sustainably and ethically harvested palm oil to international markets – but we believe more needs to be done to fulfill this important mission.

Please, take immediate action to address the concerns raised by Collingwood Bay communities. The world is waiting for a signal that RSPO’s standards are more than empty talk.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Richard Ashurst via Flickr Creative Commons

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