Burning Paradise – The Oil Palm Practices of Korindo in Papua and North Maluku
Korindo, a company whose name constitutes a composite of the words Korea and Indonesia, is a large enterprise that employs around 20,000 people in Indonesia. The company’s main businesses are in natural resources with operations involving logging, pulpwood and oil palm concessions, and plywood, wood chip and palm oil production. Other Korindo businesses include newsprint paper manufacturing, heavy industries including wind towers, financing, and real estate. Korindo is controlled by the South Korean Seung family.
In 2013, Korindo began its aggressive clearing of tropical lowland forests for oil palm plantations. It has eight areas totaling 160,000 hectares. Seven of these, covering 149,000 hectares, are in Papua where Korindo is the largest palm oil company. The remaining 11,000 hectares are in the province of North Maluku. In addition, Korindo helps the Korean company Daewoo with its 30,000-hectare plantation in Papua.
As of June 2016, 75,000 hectares of valuable forests remained in Korindo’s oil palm concessions. These forests are all at risk of clearing in the coming years. According to Indonesian government data, more than half of them are previously untouched, so-called primary forests.