The recent protests aimed at Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group regarding their involvement with the palm oil industry and its subsequent rainforest destruction through associate company, Astra Agro Lestari (AAL) appear to have had an impact with the the company announcing it will place an immediate moratorium on all forest clearing.
Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group and AAL are owned by the same parent company, Jardine Matheson. The hotel company was targeted recently by protesters organised by environmental activist group, Forest Heroes. Last month we reported Mandarin Oriental properties were greeted with protesters dressed in elephant onesies in an effort to draw attention to the plight of animals such as the Sumatran Elephant whose habitat is under threat from forest clearing.
According to Forest Heroes, AAL has released a statement announcing the company “has today introduced an immediate moratorium whereby it will stop all land conversion” and “will ensure that there will be no clearance of any natural forest either by the Company or any of its contractors across all its operations in Indonesia.”
“We commend Astra for moving quickly to respond to concerned citizens and investors around the world,” Vemund Olsen, Senior Policy Adviser with Rainforest Foundation Norway told Forest Heroes. “The moratorium is a critical first step to protect Indonesia’s rapidly disappearing rain forests. Astra now needs to bring transparency to its work by joining other companies in disclosing its plantation locations and those of its suppliers,” he added.
We applaud Forest Heroes in their successful awareness campaign. Let’s hope more palm oil industry participants are motivated to follow AAL’s lead and stop their involvement in palm oil related forest destruction.