The success of the Forest Reserves Protection and Biodiversity Monitoring Program is greatly related to the zero deforestation and forest preservation policy adopted by the Group in 2001.
In that year, the company carried out its last deforestation, properly licensed and authorized by the competent environmental agency. It has since decided to ban deforestation from its expansions and to establish new plantings only in areas already degraded by human activities.
Agropalma establishes all new oil palm plantings according the following criteria, which apply to own plantations and to plantations established by all FFB suppliers:
Since November 2013, when POIG charter was launched and brought the concept of High Carbon Stocks (HCS) assessments, Agropalma did not have any expansion and the few developments done by its integrated outgrowers were placed in areas with non-native vegetation (mainly pastures), so there was no need for carrying out any HCS assessment.If in the future Agropalma or its suppliers decides to expand to an area composed by native vegetation in any stage of regrowth company is commits to adopt HSCA and apply HCSA toolkit to make the assessment, complementing HCV assessment.
Complementing efforts to ensure zero deforestation, Agropalma Group has implemented a robust system for fires identification and fighting. Company has a trained fire-fighters team, equipment, tools, vehicles and heavy machinery used in firefighting. In addition to the on-site identification of fire outbreaks, Agropalma also uses the alert service provided by RSPO and WRI (Fire Watch).
Whenever a firebreak is identified, the Emergency Action Plan (PAE) is triggered and company mobilizes the necessary resources to put out the fire. Eventually, company also carries out awareness campaigns on the importance of fires prevention.
Our historical data reveals that few fires may affect Agropalma. Most of them start in the surrounding neighborhoods and always occur in the second semester, in the hottest and driest months. In 2019, monitoring satellites have registered 57 hotspots within our farms. Fortunately, none was confirmed to be an actual fire. In the same way, Agropalma did not register any fire in its FFB suppliers.
To make sure our Zero Deforestation Policy is properly implemented, we provide trainings and monitor our own field staff and FFB suppliers. Deforestation is verified on ground and via satellite images interpretation. For our own estates, our forest rangers team patrol our forests every day and report any disturbance. In the case of FFB suppliers, the technical assistance team visit the farmers every two weeks and report on any deforestation or fires that might be happening. Once a year we check the satellite images to confirm the integrity of the forest reserves (independent FFB suppliers are also included, if any). So far, the results we get are being satisfactory considering in 2019 we recorded zero deforestation in our own operations as well as in our FFB suppliers’ operations.
Company is committed to restore any of its own areas deforested by accident. If it happens, a restoration plan will be implemented in order to recover the original features, values and functions. In case any FFB supplier is found with deforestation, it will be suspended and required to implement a restoration plan to recover the original features, values and functions. The refuse of doing so will lead company to terminate the contract. Company consider as non-compliant any deforestation for oil palm plantation carried out after November 2005.