'The world’s largest trader in palm oil has unveiled plans to use satellite monitoring to prevent further destruction of rainforests.
Wilmar International is backing a project by sustainability consultancy Aidenvironment to draw up a comprehensive mapping database of suppliers in countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia.
It has pledged to immediately suspend groups involved in deforestation or development on peatland, while also working with them to improve their operations.
The announcement by the company, which supplies around 40 per cent of the world’s palm oil, was hailed as a “potential breakthrough” by environmental campaign group Greenpeace.
Kiki Taufik, global head of Indonesian forests campaign for Greenpeace Southeast Asia, said: “If Wilmar keeps its word, by the end of 2019 it will be using satellites to monitor all of its palm oil suppliers, making it almost impossible for them to get away with forest destruction.”
He added: “As the world wakes up to the climate and extinction crisis, inaction is not an option. Wilmar has taken an important step and must now put its plan into action immediately.
“Stopping deforestation requires industry-wide action. Other traders and brands must now follow with credible plans to map and monitor all of their suppliers.
“Equally important is action to end exploitation and human rights abuses in the palm oil sector.”'
Read more: Palm oil giant Wilmar International to combat deforestation using satellite monitoring of suppliers
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