Indonesia — The international organisation of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) yesterday lashed out at Greenpeace over the Indonesian forest fires, which had caused Asia’s worst air pollution crisis in decades.
In a statement, RSPO disagreed with Greenpeace’s allegation that the former was only seeking to clear its member companies of their alleged involvement in the fires in Sumatra.
On Thursday, Greenpeace had said RSPO’s member companies were responsible for the fires in Sumatra, which caused haze in Singapore and Malaysia.
RSPO said the five member companies mentioned by Greenpeace were selected “by what the media had indicated at the time”.
“We insist on maintaining objectivity in making any analysis and conclusion.
“Hence, we put emphasis on the importance of transparently comparing the concession maps posted in public domain with the verified concession maps provided by the implicated companies.”
RSPO said it believed that Greenpeace had misplaced its objectivity in analysing the issue of the fires.
“RSPO takes its members’ involvement in the fires seriously.
“We fully intend to investigate and take the appropriate action.”
Pulp and paper plantations were identified as having significantly more fires then palm oil plantations, a sector that Greenpeace had been involved in.
“Therefore, we hope that Greenpeace will regain some perspective and start to apply the same watchfulness in this (pulp and paper) sector, now that the RSPO has undertaken its own investigation.”
RSPO said it had a system in place, where stakeholders could seek help for any alleged violation against its code of conduct.
“Rather than using media sensationalism to address the issue, it would be highly constructive if Greenpeace and RSPO could collaborate together.
“We remain an association that is open to working and collaborating with any organisation that can serve a mutual purpose, as no one person, nor organisation can solve the issues at hand solely.”
RSPO also said it had extended several invitations to Greenpeace for a live discussion.