Korindo Group, guilty but still not charged: FSC Board delays complaint verdict until next year

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) has notified Mighty Earth that its International Board of Directors has delayed until March 2019 a decision on whether the organization will disassociate from the Korindo Group, a notorious Korean-Indonesian logging and palm oil conglomerate that has engaged in massive deforestation in Papua, Indonesia.

The Board’s decision follows an investigation by an FSC appointed ‘Complaint Panel’ to assess Mighty Earth’s May 2017 ‘Policy for Association’ complaintagainst Korindo. The Panel report’s describing its findings was concluded in April 2018 and presented to the FSC Board in August 2018.

“Despite indisputable evidence that Korindo is guilty of clearing over 30,000 hectares of Indonesian rainforests, the FSC Board has failed to prevent Korindo from misusing its association with the FSC brand. said Phil Aikman, Mighty Earth’s Campaign Director. “This case couldn’t be any clearer: satellite images, videos, aerial photos, eyewitness interviews and other evidence showed that Korindo has destroyed vast areas of precious rainforests and abused rights of indigenous people.”

Mighty Earth’s report about Korindo, ‘Burning Paradise’, is available here

Under the Policy for Association, the FSC describes the ‘conversion of more than 10,000 ha of forests under the organization’s responsibility in the past 5 years [as] harmful to FSC’s reputationThrough this policy FSC expects to be able to identify organizations not committed to the basic fundamentals of responsible forest management and prevent them from misusing their association with FSC.

The FSC Board has now requested supplementary analysis around two out of three aspects of the original complaint, specifically the ‘destruction of high conservation values’ and the ‘violation of traditional and human rights’ in the forest areas cleared or logged.

“Make no mistake: a delay by the FSC censuring Korindo is a win for deforestation and puts the fundamental credibility of the FSC in serious jeopardy. The FSC should have decided this case in two minutes, not almost two years.” Aikman said.

About Mighty Earth

Mighty Earth is a global environmental campaign organization that works to protect forests, conserve oceans, and address climate change. We work in Southeast Asia, Latin America, Africa, and North America to drive large-scale action towards environmentally responsible agriculture that protects native ecosystems, wildlife, and water, and respects local community rights.  Mighty Earth’s global team has played a decisive role in persuading the world’s largest food and agriculture companies to dramatically improve their environmental and social policies and practices. More information on Mighty Earth can be found at www.mightyearth.org/.

Notes to Editor:

  • Aerial photographs of fires within Korindo’s oil palm concessions can be downloaded here.
  • FSC statement on the Board’s decision is available here
  • The ‘Policy for the Association of Organizations with FSC’ is available here.