Rimba Collective Could Be a Game Changer for Commodity Agriculture

Yesterday, the world’s largest palm oil company, Wilmar International, along with palm oil users Nestle, PepsiCo, and Procter & Gamble, joined with Lestari Capital to announce the Rimba Collective, a project to mobilize $1 billion and drive more than one million acres of forest and peat conservation and restoration. Mighty Earth CEO Glenn Hurowitz shared the following statement:

“There’s been great success in persuading large commodity companies to avoid future harm by stopping deforestation, and you can see that in the more than 90% drop in deforestation for palm oil. But until now, few companies have done much of anything to go beyond avoiding harm and make an actual positive contribution to conservation.

“The Rimba Collective announcement begins to change that by pledging to mobilize real dollars for real conservation. This is a far better investment for companies that use palm oil than just throwing money at certification schemes, and has the potential to deliver gigaton-scale climate benefits and expanded habitat for orangutans, tree kangaroos and other wildlife that have been pushed to the edge of extinction by plantation agriculture.

“Of course, just as pledges to stop deforestation only mattered when they were actually implemented on the ground, these conservation commitments will only matter once the money starts flowing and is invested in high-quality conservation that benefits Indigenous and local communities. When that happens, it could be a game changer for commodity agriculture.”