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A native tree left standing in an oil palm plantation in Papua. Ulet Ifansasti/Greenpeace

Palm oil deforestation in Indonesia levels off in 2022

A native tree left standing in an oil palm plantation in Papua. Ulet Ifansasti/Greenpeace

Analysis by TheTreeMap, conducted using Sentinel-2 and Planet/NICFI satellite imagery

In 2022, Indonesia experienced its second-lowest annual deforestation caused by industrial palm oil production, following a record 22-year low in 2021.

Industrial plantations grew by just 59,965 hectares in 2022, a 29% decrease from the previous year and a 22-year low (2001-2022).

Surprisingly, palm oil-driven deforestation increased 14% from the previous year, with 18,830 hectares of forest converted in 2022 compared to 16,530 hectares cleared in 2021.

Figure 1. Expansion of oil palm plantations by year from 2001 to 2022 with emphasis on forest conversion. White bars represent the oil palm-driven deforestation or the areas of forest cleared and converted to plantations in the same year. The black bars represent areas of non-forest converted to oil palm. The sum of white and black bars represent the area of plantation added each year. Here, Forest is old-growth, high carbon and high conservation value. ref to Gaveau et al. 2022 for definitions

The conversion of peatland for palm oil cultivation saw a 41% drop from 2021, with a total of 8,012 hectares cleared compared to 13,617 hectares the previous year. This marks the lowest level of peatland conversion for palm oil since 2002.

Figure 2. Expansion of oil palm plantations by year from 2001 to 2022 with emphasis on peat conversion. White bars represent the conversion of peat. The black bars represent areas of non-peat, likely mineral soils, converted to oil palm. The sum of white and black bars represent the area of plantation added each year. The official peatland map from the Ministry of Agriculture was used.

This is good news and demonstrates some commitment from the Indonesian government and the monitoring of NDPE commitments.

A flock of Papuan hornbills (Rhyticeros plicatus) flying above primary forest threatened by oil palm plantations. photo by Ulet Ifansasti/Greenpeace

Nevertheless, satellite imagery has shown an increase in deforestation in Papua, the country’s final frontier. Palm oil-driven deforestation declined or stabilized in Kalimantan and Sumatra, but doubled in Papua from the previous year, with 2,123 hectares of primary forest converted. This number remained well below 2015, when the palm oil industry cleared >30,000 ha of forest.

Figure 3. Expansion of oil palm plantations by region with emphasis on forest conversion. Y-axis represent areas (in 1000-ha, note different scales) of the total area of plantations added each year by rapidly clearing forests (light bars, below), or by using areas already cleared (dark bars, above).

The satellites and cadaster compiled in Nusantara Atlas also reveal that scores of companies still engage in deforestation and peat conversion for oil palm.

In 2022, > 41 companies engaged in deforestation for oil palm, and > 18 exploited peatlands, including on orangutan habitat (e.g. Permata Sawit Mandiri in Kalimantan), despite efforts to prevent deforestation and peat conversion.

Tables 1 and 2 at the end of this document report the complete list of companies converting forest and peatlands to industrial monoculture oil palm in 2022.

PT Permata Sawit Mandiri supplied NDPE markets in 2022 through the mill of the company Goodhope (until the end of January 2022), and Bumitama’s Bukit Belaban Jaya mill in West Kalimantan.

Time lapse satellite animation revealing clearing of primary forest in preparation for oil palm in Concession Permata Sawit Mandiri, Papua. Created using Sentinel-2 imagery from ESA images. Processed in Nusantara Atlas.

In 2022, Ciliandry Anky Abadi cleared the most forest, 1,894 ha in three separate concessions, including 1,452 ha in a newly acquired concession Inti Kebun Sawit in West Papua. The company is owned by Ciliandry and Wiras Fangiono, part of the wider Fangiono family behind Singapore-based First Resources. First Resources is the subject of a Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) complaint due to issues around ownership between Ciliandry Anky Abadi and First Resources and the affiliated FAP Agri. According to CRR, Ciliandry Anky Abadi enters NDPE supply chains through Grupo Bimbo and Mondelēz.

Ciliandry Anky Abadi keep disregarding the law by clearing the ancestral lands of indigenous peoples, even after their permits have been revoked, such as PT Inti Kebun Sawit and PT Permata Nusa Mandiri in Papua.

Time lapse satellite animation revealing clearing of primary forest in preparation for oil palm in Concession Inti Kebun Sawit, Papua Barat. Created using Planet/nicfi images. Processed in Nusantara Atlas.

PT Permata Nusa Mandiri is an oil palm plantation owned by Indonesian businessman Anthoni Salim behind Salim Group, a company group that operates multiple business lines such as oil palm plantations (under Salim Ivomas Pratama and IndoAgri), media, grocery stores.

Indigenous People strongly opposed the development of oil palm in the area managed by PT Permata Nusa Mandiri because land overlaps with the ancestral lands of the Namblong People. On Feb. 28, the Jayapura government ordered the company to halt its forest clearing activities, to no avail.

Time lapse satellite animation revealing clearing of primary forest in preparation for oil palm in Concession Permata Nusa Mandiri, Papua. Created using Sentinel-2 imagery from ESA images. Processed in Nusantara Atlas.

Despite La Nina weather phenomenon, bringing rain to Indonesia, Large fires >6000 ha linked to palm oil expansion on peatlands still occurred in 2022 near several palm oil mills in West Sumatra supplying to international buyers. The four palm oil processing mills are the Tapan plant, owned by the company Kemilau Permata Sawit, and nearby Sodetan, Silaut and Anak Angkat mills, all owned by Incasi Raya.

Time lapse satellite animation revealing clearing of degraded peatlands by fire, in preparation for oil palm near four palm oil mills in Tapan, Sumatra. Created using Sentinel-2 imagery from ESA images. Processed in Nusantara Atlas.

Despite genuine and dedicated conservation efforts by Park Offices, deforestation for palm oil accelerated in 2022 in some key protected areas: Tesso Nilo national park in Riau, Rawa Singkil Nature Reserve in Aceh, and the Leuser Ecosystem, the home of orangutans, elephants and Tigers.

 A newspaper concluded in July 2021 that PT Mitrasari Prima mill is processing palm oil fruits from Tesso Nilo. MitraSari Prima supplies CPO and PKO to GAR and Musim Mas, and Wilmar.

Time lapse satellite animation revealing clearing of primary forest in preparation for oil palm in Tesso Nilo National Park. Created using Planet/nicfi images. Processed in Nusantara Atlas.
Time lapse satellite animation revealing clearing of peatswamp forest, in preparation for oil palm in Rawa Singkil Nature Reserve, Sumatra. Created using Sentinel-2 imagery from ESA images. Processed in Nusantara Atlas.

PT. Nia Yulided Bersaudara continued to decimate lowland rainforests in 2022 northeast of the Leuser Ecosystem in Aceh. The company sold to a mill called PT. Bumi Sama Ganda. PT. Bumi Sama Ganda is listed as a palm oil supplier to NestléColgate PalmolivePepsiCoNissin Foods and major traders including Wilmar, Golden Agri Resources, Sime Darby, ADM and Bunge Loders Croklaan.

Table 1. List of companies converting forest to industrial monoculture oil palm in 2022. This table only shows conversion >50 ha.

NoCompany NameGroupConcession (Ha)ProvinceDeforestation 
1Inti Kebun SawitCiliandry Anky Abadi 13,344 West Papua1,452
2Pipit Citra PerdanaOther/unknown16,531 North Kalimantan1,397
3Permata Sawit MandiriSepanjang (formerly Genting)16,770 West Kalimantan1,137
4Lahan Agro Inti KetapangAlam Indah Sdn Bhd/Meadows Capital Ltd12,472 West Kalimantan704
5Kartika Nugraha SaktiBengalon Jaya Lestari14,422 North Kalimantan697
6USUAsian Agri Group6,769 North Sumatra639
7Citra Palma PertiwiSulaidy7,877 East Kalimantan556
8Khatulistiwa Agro AbadiFirst Borneo16,868 West Kalimantan500
9Anugerah Langkat MakmurAlam18,881 North Sumatra470
10Arthatama Prima PersadaOther/unknown3,845 East Kalimantan393
11Inti Kebun SejahteraCiliandry Anky Abadi (formerly Kayu Lapis Indonesia, Kalia Agro)21,885 West Papua342
12No nameBengalon Jaya Lestari7,838 North Kalimantan340
13Sumber Rahmat SentosaOther/unknown6,524 Central Kalimantan337
14Sawit Rokan SemestaOther/unknown10,108 Riau268
15Menthobi Mitra Lestari (PT Menthobi Sawit)Bakrie10,691 Central Kalimantan260
16Tridaya Hutan LestariCiliandry Anky Abadi2,696 East Kalimantan244
17Banyan Tumbuh LestariBuana Pratama Cipta (formerly Provident Agro)18,720 Gorontalo229
18Citra Agro AbadiFangiono Family/Ciliandry Anky Abadi (CAA)9,199 Central Kalimantan216
19Permata Nusa MandiriSalim/IndoGunta17,396 Papua202
20Subur Karunia RayaSalim/IndoGunta38,600 West Papua199
21Taringin PerkasaOther/unknown4,821 Central Kalimantan150
22Palm Beach IndonesiaOther/unknown14,419 West Kalimantan145
23Rendi Permata RayaOther/unknown3,740 North Sumatra130
24Sebuku Inti PlantationCentral Cipta Murdaya (Murdaya Family)4,443North Kalimantan118
25Agrindo Sukses SejahteraStarmas Sentosa Mandiri5,384East Kalimantan110
26Agrindo Green LestariFangiono Family/Ciliandry Anky Abadi (CAA)8,745Central Kalimantan103
27Sawit Berkat SejahteraSalim/IndoGunta7,123North Kalimantan100
28Senabangun Aneka PertiwiOther/unknown18,709East Kalimantan96
29Anugerah Niaga SawindoOther/unknown7,982Riau93
30Mitra Sawit MakmurOther/unknown7,119East Kalimantan89
31Putra Utama LestariRachmat/Dharma Satya Nusantara (DSN)35,119East Kalimantan84
32Menthobi Mitra LestariBakrie5,019Central Kalimantan84
33Nabatindo Karya UtamaBumitama9,262Central Kalimantan84
34Bulungan Citra Agro PersadaTSH Resources19,320North Kalimantan82
35Sandai Makmur SawitOther/unknown10,084West Kalimantan80
36Mitrakarya AgroindoSinar Mas (GAR)22,929Central Kalimantan79
37Tekukur IndahKuala Lumpur Kepong (KLK)2,906East Kalimantan67
38Borneo Citra Persada JayaSulaidy17,927East Kalimantan65
39Nia Yulided BersaudaraOther/unknown2,207Aceh59
40Kahayan Agro PlantationAnglo Eastern14,940Central Kalimantan59
41Flora Nusa PerdanaOther/unknown6,371Central Kalimantan58
42Nunukan Jaya LestariSinar Mas (GAR)21,382North Kalimantan56
43Ketapang Hijau LestariOther/unknown13,918East Kalimantan54
44Rana Wastu KencanaRana Wastu13,372West Kalimantan52
45Tanjung Sawit AbadiCitra Borneo Indah17,503Central Kalimantan51

Table 1. List of companies converting peatlands to industrial monoculture oil palm in 2022. This table only shows conversion >50 ha.

NoCompany NameGroupConcession (Ha)LocationClearing on peat (Ha) 
1Samora Usaha JayaSungai Budi/Tunas Baru Lampung40,073South Sumatra1,702
2Pipit Citra PerdanaOther/unknown16,531North Kalimantan1,424
3Lahan Agro Inti KetapangOther/unknown12,472West Kalimantan811
4Kartika Nugraha SaktiBengalon Jaya Lestari14,422North Kalimantan703
5Khatulistiwa Agro AbadiFirst Borneo16,868West Kalimantan621
6Tania BinatamaSampoerna Agro5,108South Sumatra490
7Borneo International AnugerahFirst Borneo20,016West Kalimantan229
8Lestari Alam RayaOther/unknown10,290West Kalimantan185
9Palm Beach IndonesiaOther/unknown14,419West Kalimantan175
10Sebuku Inti PlantationCentral Cipta Murdaya (Murdaya Family)4,443North Kalimantan169
11Andes Sawit LestariCargill15,091West Kalimantan139
12Citra Agro AbadiFangiono Family/Ciliandry Anky Abadi (CAA)9,199Central Kalimantan131
13Sebakis Inti LestariCentral Cipta Murdaya (Murdaya Family)11,010North Kalimantan112
14USUAsian Agri Group6,769North Sumatra78
15Sungai Rangit JayaSampoerna Agro7,765Central Kalimantan69
16Hamparan SentosaNPC Resources10,274East Kalimantan62
17Ichiko Agro LestariOther/unknown7,673West Kalimantan59
18Mulia IndahMusim Mas7,860West Kalimantan43

TheTreeMap endeavours to protect tropical forests through scientific research and advanced monitoring platforms. We are cartographers, remote sensing engineers, software developers, and field investigators.  We empower civil society with the tools to detect deforestation in real-time and ensure what happens on the ground is fair, transparent, and democratic. We build systems that check the deforestation footprint of agribusinesses in tropical forests to ensure sustainable production. Our work is based on the premise that no one wants food and other products to be the cause of forest destruction.

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