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International Update Volume 45, Issue 26

INDONESIA SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS $26M FINE TO OIL PALM COMPANY FOR CUTTING AND BURNING FOREST

Indonesia

The Supreme Court of Indonesia upheld the Environment Ministry’s charges of $26M in fines and reparations against palm oil company PT Kallista Alam. PT Kallista Alam had disputed the three-year-old charges for cutting and burning forested areas of the Tripa peat swamp region in Aceh Province. In addition to monetary punishment, the Attorney General’s office filed criminal charges against PT Kallista Alam.

BRAZIL TO RECEIVE BILLION DOLLAR PAYMENT FROM NORWAY FOR DEFORESTATION REDUCTION

Brazil, Indonesia, Norway

Norway announced that it will pay Brazil’s Amazon Fund $1 billion USD by the end of the year. This payment fulfills a pledge that Norway made to Brazil in 2008 to compensate deforestation reduction. Norway made another $1 billion USD pledge to Indonesia in 2008, but Indonesia’s efforts have fallen short. Brazil’s accomplishments were commended by the Norwegian Minister of Climate and Environment, as well as by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

FRANCE TO USE EU OPT-OUT SCHEME TO RETAIN BAN ON DOMESTIC GM CULTIVATION

France, Germany

The French Farm and Environment ministries announced that they would use the European Union’s opt-out scheme to ensure France’s ability to prohibit the production of genetically modified (GM) crops. In March 2015, the EU agreed on an opt-out scheme that permits EU countries to exclude themselves from requests for GM cultivation. The only GM crop currently grown in Europe is Monsanto maize, produced in Spain and Portugal. Other crops are being reviewed for approval by the EU.