Sustainability pledges help Indonesia produce palm oil with less deforestation

JAKARTA — Sustainability commitments and greater scrutiny of supply chains is helping bring down deforestation rates associated with palm oil in Indonesia, a new analysis suggests.

The country is the world’s top producer of the commodity, and although production is increasing while prices are rising — factors that usually drive a surge in forest clearing for new plantings — deforestation rates are down significantly, the analysis by palm oil supply chain mapping initiative Trase has found.

It shows that deforestation for palm oil fell by 82% over the past decade to 45,285 hectares (111,902 acres) annually from 2018-2020, only 18% of its peak from 2008-2012.

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