Sustainable palm oil and deforestation: Double Standards

The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) is currently revising the standards it requires oil palm growers to meet to be certified as “sustainable”.

The RSPO’s current standards, adopted in 2013, have been widely criticised for being insufficient to protect forests as they only protect primary forests and High Conservation Value (HCV) areas since November 2005, meaning other forests can be cleared.

In the draft of its revised standards, the RSPO has stated it will ensure ‘no deforestation’. However, it has adapted, rather than adopted, an agreed method on ‘no deforestation’ – the High Carbon Stock Approach (HCSA) – that will still mean forests can be cleared.