Norway’s $650 billion sovereign wealth fund will ask companies in which it invests to disclose their impacts on tropical forests, as part of its effort to reduce deforestation, reports Reuters. The move could usher in broader reporting on the forest footprint of operations and boost eco-certification initiatives.
In a policy posted on its web site in September, Norway’s Pension Fund said it now expects portfolio “to manage risk associated with the causes and impacts of climate change resulting from greenhouse gas emissions and tropical deforestation.” The fund has investments in some 7,000 companies but the policy is initially directed at “companies with operations or value chains in sectors and regions materially exposed” to deforestation risk.
The move came after campaigners targeted the fund for continuing to invest in companies associated with deforestation — especially timber, palm oil, mineral, and wood pulp production — at a time when the Norwegian government has committed 3 billion krone per year ($522 million) toward protecting forests, making it the world’s biggest patron of rainforest conservation.
The fund’s new policy was welcomed Rainforest Foundation Norway, one of the groups that pushed for stronger investment criteria.
“This decision is a turnaround from the Norwegian government and an important step forward in the battle to save the world’s rainforests. Companies responsible for deforestation now get a message from one of the world’s largest investors that it is unacceptable to continue destroying rainforests for profit,” said Lars Løvold, director of Rainforest Foundation Norway, in a statement.
“This decision strengthens Norway’s reputation as an advocate of rainforest protection. What remains now is to make this policy operational and demonstrate to the world that Norway is able to follow up on its high profile commitment to save the tropical forests.”
As a first step, the fund will engage in an “ownership dialogue” on climate and forest issues with companies in its portfolio. The fund lists several questions it will consider in assessing deforestation risk.
- Does the company disclose information on its tropical forest footprint, how it monitors its impact on tropical forests over time, and its assessment of whether it poses a risk to its business operations?
- Has the company, or its suppliers, committed to achieve compliance with international standards for sustainable production of agricultural commodities, or sustainable forest management?
- Does the company report on the implementation of its commitments to reduce tropical deforestation?
The new policy doesn’t state the implications for non-compliance, but in recent years the fund has divested from six companies involved in especially egregious deforestation.
Norway’s Pension Fund is thought to be the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund. Launched in 1990, the fund is a product of Norway’s oil revenue.
Presented by Volcomunity + V.Co-Logical in partnership with Sumatran Orangutan Society Filmed and Edited by Mark Samuels
Costa Mesa, CA. – November 7th, 2012 –Volcom announced today, the public premiere of the 15-minute, eco-themed documentary. It will be shown on Volcom Facebook on Thursday, November 8, 2012 at 10 AM PST and held onVolcom YouTube’s page for viewing after initial public Facebook debut.
The Last Orangutans documentary is presented by Volcomunity + Volcom V.Co-Logical in partnership with Sumatran Orangutan Society (SOS), and was filmed, edited and directed by Mark Samuels. This film stemmed from a product collaboration with Volcom V.Co-Logical Series and SOS for the Fall 2012 year, where 5% of sales from select Volcom products (by way of its 1% for the Planet membership) we’re given directly to the UK based SOS organization in efforts to support their conservation and educational work revolving around the critically endangered Sumatran Orangutan. This film was seen at select global film festivals during the 2012 summer film festival circuit where it gained nominations in best short film documentary and best director amongst other accolades.
In December of 2011 a small group traveled to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, to experience firsthand, the plight of the near extinct orangutans in one of their last strongholds.
“Amazingly, we found that a majority of Indonesians were uninformed about the severity of the problems and others, including government officials, lack any true resolve to confront the issues facing the orangutans and the forest itself,” said Mark Samuels, the film’s director.
The documentary compels the viewer to examine the causes of the rainforest destruction occurring in Indonesia and the effects an average citizen has on the destruction and the impending extinction facing the orangutans. Through interviews with government officials, villagers, and NGOs as well as breathtaking footage from Leuser National Park and the animals themselves, the film offers a compelling look into the problems and solutions that will decide the fate of the last orangutans.
For more information and the film’s trailer please view:http://www.volcomunity.com/2012/05/the-last-orangutang/
Behind the scenes of ‘The Last Orangutans’ filming Part Ihttp://www.volcomunity.com/2012/01/sumatra-orangutans-part-i/
Behind the scenes of ‘The Last Orangutans’ filming Part IIhttp://www.volcomunity.com/2012/01/sumatra-orangutans-part-ii/
About Volcom, Inc.
Volcom is a modern global lifestyle brand that embodies the creative spirit of youth culture. The company was founded on the principles of liberation, innovation and experimentation, and this is uniquely expressed in premium quality clothing, accessories, sunglasses, goggles and related products under the Volcom and Electric brand names. For more information, please visitwww.volcom.com . Volcom is a wholly owned subsidiary of PPR S.A., www.ppr.com.
About Sumatran Orangutan Society
The Sumatran Orangutan Society (SOS) is dedicated to protecting orangutans, their forests and their future. This is done through:
- Raising awareness about the importance of protecting orangutans and their habitat.
- Supporting grassroots projects that empower local people to become guardians of the rainforests, and restoring damaged orangutan habitat through tree planting programs.
- Campaigning on issues threatening the survival of orangutans in the wild.
For more information please visitwww.orangutans-sos.org
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MEULABOH – Indonesian Ministry of Environment (MoE), represented by a team of State Attorney Lawyers, has filed a lawsuit against PT Kalista Alam at the District Court of Meulaboh under the registry number 12/pdt.G/2012/PN.
The lawsuit filed by the MoE at the District Court of Meulaboh relates to the clearing by burning conducted by PT Kalista Alam in Tripa Peat Swamp.
Meulaboh’s Court Comittee Member, Munizar, confirmed that the State Attorney Lawyers has filed the lawsuit against PT Kalista Alam on Thursday, November 8, 2012.
“That is correct that the legal representative of the MoE filed a crime and civil lawsuit, so we have received it including the supporting documents,” said Munizar.
Meanwhile, team member from the MoE filing the lawsuit did not give any further comment, since it is the domain of the MoE in Jakarta to clarify.
Commenting the action, the Director of WALHI Aceh over the phone to ATJEHPOST said that WALHI strongly support the legal lawsuit filed by the Government against PT Kalista Alam. He urge all parties to also support the decision.
Further, TM Zulfikar explained that the involvement of NGOs integrated advocacy team is mainly to save the environment, specifically Tripa Peat Swamp.
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JAKARTA – Deputy V heading the Legal Division of the Ministry of Environment, Sudariono, explained that a team of State Attorney Lawyers will file a lawsuit in the case of the Tripa Peat Swamp this week.
“The plan is at the beginning of this month, and within one to three days, the team of State Attorney Lawyers, as the legal representatives of the Minister of the Environment, will depart for Aceh,” said Sudariono during a press conference after a Coordination Meeting on Environmental Law Enforcement in 2012 in Jakarta, last Tuesday morning, November 6, 2012.
He said, there are two lawsuits to be filed: a criminal case and a civil case related to PT. Kallista Alam (KA) and PT. Surya Panen Subur (SPS) 2. For PT. KA the case will be filed in Nagan Raya, Aceh Barat, namely the District Court of Meulaboh.
While for PT. SPS-2 the case will be filed in the District Court of Jakarta. But, Sudariono did not declare exactly which court. “In accordance with the deed,” he claimed.
Sudariono said that for the criminal case, the team of State Attorney Lawyers is prepared with an Order of Appoinment for the Public Prosecutor to Observe the Development of the Investigation of the Crime, also known as P 16.
“The criminal charges are compiled together with BPLN LH, so hopefully,” added Sudariono.
Currently, the Ministry of Environment ,with the Attorney General and the Supreme Court, are applying a Certification Programme for Environmental Judges.
The goal of this programme is to improve the legal handling of environmental cases at all court levels, including the Administrative Court, to better fulfill the sense of justice for litigants involved, and also to support efforts in environmental protection.
“There are still laws that are unclear, so this certification programme is important in order to build a common perception,” said the Head of the Supreme Court, Hatta Ali.
Hatta Ali said that the enforcement of environmental law so far strictly refers to Law No. 32/ 2009, but there are still obstacles on the field. “Concerning expert witnesses, for example, what is the criteria? Does it fulfill the requirements for filing a “legal standing?” said Ali.
The Ministry of Environment indicated that the Certification Programme for Environmental Judges will be carried out for two months. This programme prioritises the judges in charge in the regions with the most severe envrionmental destruction, namely Sumatera, Java and Kalimantan.(bna)
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