RRDC’s rejoinder: Nigeria — Wilmar International announces policy to protect forests and communities.
No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation Policy to meet rising Market demand for traceable, responsibly produced vegetable oil. (Singapore, 5 December, 2013)
As an NGO working extensively in the forest region of Cross River State of Nigeria, we have reasons to express some doubts about the implementation of the laudable objectives expressed in this press release issued by Wilmar International. Within the Cross River State of Nigeria for instance, the blue print issued by Wilmar at the inauguration of her CALARO, IBEA & BIASE oil Palm Plantation projects on the 12th of November, 2012, in the Cross River State of Nigeria, shows that Wilmar International is intending to develop plantations over a territory that amounts to 50,000 hectares. According to Wilmar, “the plan is to develop the initial 50,000 ha plantations in the next 5 year period. We have so far completed acquisition of approx. 30,000 ha of land suitable for Oil Palm development in the Cross River State and have established nurseries at 3 locations – Calaro, Ibiea and Biase estates.” More than eighty percent (80%) of these lands will include community forest and farmlands of indigenous communities which have never been cultivated as oil palm plantations. There is therefore no way Wilmar International will be able to develop oil palm plantations in the New Planting territories without massive destruction of forest.
Existing oil palm plantations in Cross River State, Nigeria that are part of a concession acquired by the Wilmar International (Photo: GRAIN).