South Korean conglomerate POSCO International says it has committed to a policy of “No Deforestation, No Peatland, No Exploitation” (NDPE) in its palm oil operations in Indonesia’s Papua province. POSCO has long faced scrutiny over the actions of its local subsidiary, PT Bio Inti Agrindo (BIA), which cleared 270 square kilometers (104 square miles) of rainforest for an oil palm plantation between 2012 and 2018. The company has also been embroiled in disputes with indigenous communities claiming ancestral rights to the land, but now says it will protect and respect their rights. It has also pledged to compensate for the deforestation caused by its activities — a commitment that isn’t usually present in typical NDPE policies. JAKARTA — Environmental watchdogs have welcomed a zero-deforestation pledge by South Korean trading giant POSCO International with regard to its palm oil operations in Indonesia’s Papua province, following years of razing the land. Under its “No Deforestation, No Peatland, No Exploitation” policy, or NDPE, announced on March 1, POSCO says it will prohibit new plantation development in areas of high conservation value (HCV), high carbon stock (HCS), and peatlands. It has also promised to protect and respect the rights of local indigenous communities, […]

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