About Rapid Response

Over the last several years, the private sector has dramatically increased its commitment to intervene with those suppliers involved in deforestation and peatland development.

Many of the world’s largest food and agriculture companies have adopted ‘No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation’ (NDPE) policies aimed at eliminating such practices from their supply chains.  Satellite monitoring data has become more sophisticated and affordable, making it possible for companies and governments to capture and respond to deforestation incidents more quickly than ever before.  Such remote sensing data has proven highly valuable for helping reduce or eliminate deforestation where there is a clear business or government mandate for action.

In the fall of 2017, Mighty Earth – supported by MapHubs, Aidenvironment and Planet – launched a Rapid Response monitoring system to identify deforestation and new peatland development across 3000+ oil palm concessions in Indonesia and Malaysia. The total area currently monitored covers around 21 million hectares, or 208,000 square kilometers, an area more than twice the size of Portugal.  Mighty Earth plans to expand the system to monitor other geographies and commodities, including soy, cattle, rubber, and cocoa.

This Rapid Response monitoring program utilizes Global Land Analysis & Discovery (GLAD) tree cover loss alerts from the University of Maryland to generate a list of the top potential incidents of deforestation and/or peatland development documented in the past month within palm oil concession boundaries in Indonesia and Sarawak, Malaysia.  The GLAD alerts information is then confirmed using images generated by Planet’s nano satellites. In addition to the case studies identified through GLAD alerts analysis, the team also incorporates other cases studies brought to Mighty Earth’s attention via partners and independent research. The team then identifies supply chain and financial links between the plantations and the world’s largest agricultural buyers.

PT Krida Dharma Kahuripan located in Katingan Regency, Central Kalimantan.

To date, the Rapid Response program has identified deforestation and peatland development in oil palm concessions in Papua, West Papua, Sumatra, and Kalimantan in Indonesia, as well as Sarawak in Malaysia. These cases have been linked to dozens of companies and their parent groups, such as ANJ Group, BLD Plantations, and Tsani Hutani Abadi Group.

The evidence is published in Rapid Response reports which are sent directly to global palm oil traders that control the majority of the global trade in palm oil, with the expectation that swift action can be taken with their suppliers to stop these incidents before they grow into large-scale events. 

Mighty Earth’s work has driven results from companies that have a public and transparent grievance tracking process, including a log of filed grievances and progress updates.

See our Success Stories to learn more about the impact of our work.